COACH: J.R. Boyd
LAST YEAR: 9-3 (4-0 Region 3-A)
PLAYOFFS: Second round, lost to Ware Shoals 31-30
RETURNING STARTERS: 7 offense, 4 defense
KEY PLAYERS: QB Quan Brown, RB Labradford Abson, RB Trey Caesar
KEY LOSSES: WR/DB Akeem Peoples
SCORING OFFENSE: 40.4 ppg
SCORING DEFENSE: 22.9 ppg
J.R. Boyd hopes to win one more state title in his final year as Lamar's head coach, and he may have a team talented enough to do it.
Boyd, who will retire at the end of the season, has a team full of veterans and plans to take full advantage of the opportunity.
"I've worked my rear end off pretty good throughout my career," he said. "And I'm gonna do the same this year."
Wideout Akeem Peoples is gone after signing with Tusculum, but Lamar returns seven starters on offense and is loaded in the backfield. Quarterback Quan Brown and running backs Labradford Abson and Trey Caesar combined to rush for 2,000 yards last year. All three return and they'll run behind an offensive line that brings back four starters. They'll allow the Silver Foxes to pound their rushing attack and dominate the clock while their defense develops.
"We want to try to control the game a little more because of our defense, and we have that ability on offense to hopefully move the ball," Boyd said.
Boyd's biggest concerns are at linebacker and in the secondary. But the Silver Foxes have talent on the line. So Boyd plans to switch to a 4-3 defense this year to help generate more pressure.
"Defensively we're still not where we need to be. Defensively we've got to be a lot better," Boyd said. "And that scares me because you've got to have a strong defense to go all the way."
Lamar appeared to have a state title caliber team last year but suffered a heartbreaking loss to Ware Shoals in the second round of the playoffs. The Silver Foxes are a year older and Boyd liked his team's work ethic in the weight room during the offseason. If the back seven on defense develop well, the Silver Foxes should have a chance to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Aug. 23 vs. Mullins
Aug. 30 at Hartsville
Sept. 6 at Timmonsville
Sept. 13 vs. Darlington
Sept. 20 vs. Marion
Sept. 27 at Chesterfield
Oct. 11 vs. Lewisville
Oct. 18 vs. C.A. Johnson
Oct. 25 at Great Falls
Nov. 1 at McBee