Breaking news: Kickoff has been moved to 7 p.m. tonight.

Sylvan Hills Football

Bears ready to hit someone else

By Bruce Guthrie


The Sylvan Hills Bears have had enough.

Enough of looking across the line at each other. Enough conditioning. Enough drills. Enough premature whistles.

Now it’s time to hit somebody else. It’s time to count.

Friday night’s home opening game against the Vilonia Eagles could be the mark of a bright future for the Bears. Once a consistent playoff contender, the Bears have hit a bit of a lull in the win column as of late.

Head coach Jim Withrow says his team is well represented in youth and grizzled veteran leadership that not only does he expect success this year, but in the next two years as well.

"We are young," said Withrow, "but I think we have enough experience and talent to be able to be better."

Nothing exemplifies that more than Withrow’s quarterback position. J.D. Miller is the incumbent and will get the start this Friday against Vilonia, but was surprisingly pushed by an upstart sophomore Tra Doss.

"He had a great scrimmage," said Withrow of Miller. "He will start and Doss will play."

It’s not necessarily known where Doss will line up. While he may indeed get a few snaps under center, Vilonia will likely find him at receiver or running back as well.

"Those guys are too good not be on the field somewhere," said Withrow.

The issue from day one is the how the Bears will protect whomever is at quarterback. A chronically thin at depth of the offensive line continues to be a problem making an injury during the course of the 2012 season very problematic for Withrow.

"We’ve mixed and matched and plugged guys in," Withrow said. "It’s a concern but we’ll be OK."


The Vilonia Eagles won’t be easy. Ask the Sheridan Yellowjackets. Vilonia went to Sheridan for their benefit game and left with a 37-7 victory.

"They run that spread," said Bears head coach Jim Withrow, "but they can line it up two tight on short yardage and be effective too."

Vilonia threw 35 times during the scrimmage.


Two areas of concern for Bears’ head coach Jim Withrow all season is the youth in the secondary and the lack of depth in the offensive line.

While the depth can at least be experimented with, the secondary can only mature naturally, but that doesn’t mean the Bears don’t have talent.

Tra Doss and Marlon Cleamons are very athletic and are making plays on offense. Withrow says he hopes the playmaking carries over. Add Deangelo Bell and the Bears have three sophomores in four secondary spots. Christian Bailey is a junior.

"We have a talented group," Withrow said, "and sometimes I forget how young they are. It is going to be a bright future."