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SYLVAN HILLS FOOTBALL | Bears don’t expect to play smashmouth this season

There isn’t a lot going on at 6 a.m. most mornings. But on Monday, the practice facility at Sylvan Hills, as with most schools, was buzzing with players, coaches, and trainers.

First official day of preseason workouts means the final days of summer have arrived. Coach Jim Withrow said it wasn’t as momentous, but he was glad the time to get ready for the season has arrived.

“Just getting ready,” Withrow said.

The universal message was hydration. On the Bears’ official Twitter page on Sunday, it read: “Make sure you are hydrating and get a good night of sleep”.

Withrow said a good bit of time was spent working with his freshman squad, who he says, “need a lot of work”.

The freshman Bears have Jordan Washington, who Withrow said is a “nice quarterback,” but are in need of fundamental work as a whole.

The Bears go into the season with the bulk of their question marks dealing with lack of bulk. While Withrow is confident with what he has in the trenches on both sides of the football, the Bears are working without a depth net.

Smashmouth will not be in the Bears’ vocabulary this season.

“We can’t get anybody injured,” Withrow said. “We have to stay healthy.”

An advantage of his plethora of skill players is that the Bears can spread the field and keep opposing defenses moving in space.

That means the play of quarterback Tra Doss and his running backs and receivers becomes very important to the Bears’ success. Plus the Bears are thick in skill players.

If the Bears can improve on defense, and Withrow thinks they will, then Sylvan Hills could be more than just a middle of the pack team in the 6A-Central.

Bottom line is Withrow says his team has “a lot of work to do” and a short time to get it done.

The Bears travel to Vilonia in week one.

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