Young Bears brace for Woodville trip

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018


LITTLE CYPRESS — A group of young and hungry Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears will begin their first phase of a rugged non-district schedule as they will hit the road Friday to take on a very talented Woodville Eagles team to open up the season.

LC-M has a very challenging non-district slate against five playoff squads. After Woodville, the Bears will tangle with WO-S, Jasper, Vidor and Hardin-Jefferson before opening District 11-4A Division I play Oct. 12 at Bridge City.

The Bears have battled their way into the postseason four out of the last five seasons for long-time coach Randy Crouch and will look to do it again with a young group this year as they return four starters on offense and five on defense from last year’s 4-5 playoff unit.

“We’re really a super young team this year,” said Crouch. “We’re looking at a lot of kids to step in and play for us and pick things up pretty quickly. After the scrimmages and first couple games, we’ll get a better idea of who is what and where they’re going to help us down the road when district starts up.”

The Bears return District and All-Orange Leader Team Newcomer of the Year in quarterback Ethan McColuum, who passed for 1,130 yards and rushed for 785 more as a sophomore.

LC-M will count on inexperienced skill people to fill the voids of the likes of graduated backs Chris Winters and J’Lon Douglas and receiver Katon Brown.

Shawn McKay, Landon Bearden and Blake Pruitt will get plenty of touches. Also , receivers D.J. Williams and James Williams have been impressive in the two scrimmages. Adam Pope can also show his versatility, whether its playing quarterback or playing as a receiver.

The offensive and defensive line will be anchored by the likes of all-district performer Colt LeBleu. The Bears did suffer a major blow as standout lineman and running back Ethan McKay will have surgery on his knee.

The Eagles will look to continue to make noise for coach Ty Robinson in the Class 3A ranks. The Eagles return 14 starters, eight on offense, from last season’s 9-2 area finalist roster.

The Bears will look to slow down a pair of 1,000-yard backs in the forms of Zack Martin (1,411 yards, 18 TDs) and Michael Brooks (1,007 yards, 13 TDs). Also back is all-district quarterback Reese Shaw.

Defensively, the Eagles are paced by all-district defensive lineman Michael Lockett and all-district safety Jayden Argumon.