By DON WALLACE
News-Telegram Sports Editor
The multi-purpose building on the campus of Sulphur Springs High School was a hot-bed of activity for several hours Tuesday.
Sulphur Springs hosted powerhouse Gilmer in a 7-on-7 battle in the indoor structure. Games were held for varsity, junior varsity and one eighth grade team.
Contests were originally planned for all teams, but action was limited to the indoor facility due to wet conditions outdoors from recent rain.
Gilmer brought 80 total players to the event according to Buckeye head coach Jeff Traylor. Sulphur Springs had around 70 in action.
“We didn’t win, which is objective No. 1. However, as the night went along we improved. We have weaknesses identified and some areas we have to address,” said Matt Young, Sulphur Springs coach. “Larry Pryor showed he is definitely ahead of where he was last year with an understanding of the offense.”
Young pointed out receivers Dillon Carpenter, C.J. Stephens, Jaylon Dugan and Ben Brooks with making standout receptions.
Gilmer is a talented program with several of the speedsters in action, fresh from competing in the state track meet.
“Playing Gilmer did not allow for any margin for error,” Young said. “We had to be on. Overall, we caught the ball extremely well. I look for us to make more contested receptions.”
Young added, “The Sulphur Springs blue team came up short on the scoreboard, but Tanner Ramirez and Drew McCullough got quality reps. Tanner Graham and Derek Lamb made some nice catches. Cole Cooper and Christian Jackson also played well.”
The coach pointed out the on the JV, Easton Silman played well at quarterback. Other standouts were Jackson Kinsey, Taylor Ibarra and Tyrese Peters.
“It was the first opportunity for the eighth graders to compete in 7-on-7. They played well against a quality opponent,” said Colton Lovvorn, SSMS coach.
Lovvorn listed standouts as Simeon Taylor, Terrell Turman and Tyrese Pryor.
“Turman and Pryor caught the ball well from Ryan Humphries and Connor Nix,” Lovvorn said. “Humphries threw the ball well and only had five incompletions. The receivers ran great routes and spread the field well. Humphries, Taylor and Dedric Godbolt each had interceptions in the first game.”
In the second game, the coach listed Taylor and Brady Crouse as standouts.
“Overall we were impressed with what we saw and will coach up any weak points,” Lovvorn said.
Gilmer will be the host team Saturday when the teams play Saturday at the Azalea Orthopedic Tournament.
The seventh, eighth, JV and varsity will be in competition. Action begins at 9 a.m. At least 12 teams from the area will be competing in the tournament.
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