It's the Sherman Bearcats Broadcasters Blog, exclusively on mySherDenBuzz.com and presented by Mad Rock 102.5 FM and Dean Gilbert with Century 21! Each week, a member of the SHS play-by-play team will have a writeup on the game, breaking down what happened on the field and what it means moving forward. This week is the season preview and is delivered by play-by-play voice Jay Lindly. Special thanks to Mad Rock 102.5 FM. Check them out online at MadRock1025.com today!
TOP FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR THIS SEASON
Here are five things that you need to know about the Sherman Bearcats entering the 2010 season:
A Record Breaking Year for Zach Whitfield:
Yeah I said it. Let me clarify. No one is catching Waymon James’ career record anytime soon. And the single season record that James holds at 1,934 yards will be hard to match. BUT, Whitfield had a terrific season last year. As a matter of fact, when you look at single-season yards per game (124.4 ypg...third All-time) and yards per carry (10.36 ypc...third All-time), he had one of the best seasons in Bearcat history. Those numbers are better than that of Sherman greats Eddie Wright, Curtis Luper and Sterling Boyd. If Whitfield can stay healthy, and that is a concern after missing 2 games last season and playing hampered in another, I am predicting that he has a season that will match some of the greatest running backs ever to walk the halls of Sherman High.
The Development of QB Thor Long:
Long has the tools. The question is can he utilize them in 4A? At 2A Callisburg, he put up ridiculous numbers, throwing for 3,000 yards and 30 TD’s as a sophomore. Last season, Thor made the transition to 4A and sat behind senior Madison Carter. Rightfully so. Carter had a huge year, in which he ended with the fifth best single season passing yard performance in school history. With a year of learning the offense, Long is more than capable of having a similar type season in 2010.
Ask Coach Kinne if there were any move-ins that will help this season and his face lights up. From South Oak Cliff, I give you junior Ryan Reid. Reid has the physical attributes. 6-foot, 180 lbs. Can run. Plays safety. This is great news for the Bearcats because one of the question marks at the end of last season was who would take over for Geoff Hooker? Again, from South Oak Cliff, I give you Ryan Reid.
Reid isn’t the only impact move in. Big things are expected of senior Jesse Hodge. The move in from Howe gives the Bearcats something they haven’t had in awhile on the defensive line, and that is solid size. Last season in Howe, Hodge averaged 6 tackles a game. At 6-4, 200-plus pounds, Hodge should be able to clog the middle and allow the linebackers to make plays.
The Bearcats also picked up some help iwith Bonham move in Braylon Mitchell. Mitchell did well in spot duty at running back last year for a 0-10 Bonham squad. He looks to make an impact on the defensive side of the ball in Sherman.
The Defense Will Continue to Improve:
Last season, Bearcat fans saw the defense go with a more attacking style, and the results were the second best defense in the district, behind only Denison. Not only that, but Sherman put up the best PPG allowed total in five years. Defensive Coordinator Brent Graham is in his second year with this group so you can expect more improvements to come.
The New Coaching Staff:
Coach Kinne has completely overhauled the Bearcat coaching staff. Only two faces remain from last year’s staff...defensive coordinator Brent Graham and co-offensive coordinator Clay Sims, and those were guys that Coach Kinne brought with him last year after he was hired in late July. In doing this, Kinne has turned some heads. But, at the same time, he has brought in people that have a similar approach to the game. Expect the offense to have more variety and the defense to continue with an attacking approach. Ultimately, I think this will lead to more cohesion and better communication between the staff. This, in turn, should lead to better production from the players on the field.