Experienced Douglas, Winters set to lead Bear charges

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

By Ronnie Hughes

Leader Correspondent


LITTLE CYPRESS — The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears are geared up and ready for the 2017 football season. After a first round exit from the post season against Henderson last season the Bears are optimistic about the upcoming season and their chances of making a deeper run. In district 10-4A Division I the Bears will need their experienced seniors to step up in a big way against district favorite Silsbee along with Bridge City and Navasota.

J’Lon Douglas is one of those seniors as well as a star leader on the team. Douglas has the size and strength that will catapult him to the next level, but his main focus is pushing his teammates to be their absolute best on and off the field.

“Most of this group has been playing together since peewee or junior high,” said Douglas “We push each other to be their very best, because we know what each other is capable of.”

Douglas nabbed the district Defensive MVP last season as the middle linebacker notched more than 100 tackles on defense. He also garnered 850 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns as a major offensive contributor as well, making him a dual threat player. Douglas believes if the Bears play mistake free football and play up to their potential they will go much further than another one-and-done in the post season.

Senior running back and strong safety Chris Winters, will get to enjoy one last ride along side his longtime friend, Douglas. The two not only know the game inside and out, but both are looked to as leaders of this Bears squad. After finishing district last season with a 3-2 record, Winters, wants to leave his mark in 2017. He looks to not only match his 1,000-yard and 17 touchdown season from 2016, but with his consistent summer work outs, he believes he could double those numbers.

“We focused on football all summer,” said Winters “We did everything from drills to film and going heavy in the weight room.”

As a first team all-district offensive and defensive player in 2016, Winters knows his role and the importance of stepping up as leader. At the strong safety position he understands it’s on him to ensure the defense knows the right call, the correct reads and their success on defense begins with his understanding of the game.

“I am prepared just like last season and confident I can make the right call for my guys,” Winters admits “If I miss a read and make a bad call then it’s on me. I don’t want to let my guys down so I am glued to film all week, making sure I know our opponents strengths and weaknesses.”

The Bears are used to playing the role of the underdog which both Douglas and Winters’ admits it just gives them fuel to prove their worth in such a tough district. Flying under the radar often weighs in favor of the Bears, because teams misjudge their firepower and speed on both sides of the ball. Brayden Babineaux is an example of that strength and speed that Winters and Douglas both mentioned as a player that deserves credit for his play. This season the Bears squad is littered with athletes such as Babineaux that put in the work and grind daily which will sure to be the extra edge to shake things up in district play.

“It’s up to us – the seniors – to leave behind a winning program for the underclassman to look up to,” said Douglas. “What we do this season is what they’ll be able to build on next season and we look forward to leaving them with a winning tradition.”