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2022 SAC Team Reviews


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  • 2022 SAC Team Reviews

    Now that the regular season is over, what did you think of your team? Did they fall short of, meet, or exceed expectations?

    For Wise, I think they fell short of expectations. However, I wasn't paying very close attention to their games, so I don't have a great barometer on what worked and didn't.

  • #2
    Obviously Limestone more than exceeded my (and probably most everyone's) expectations. From 0-9 last season to 8-3 is hard to comprehend.


    • #3
      I’ll post my thoughts when I have time today or tomorrow. It’ll be in essay format, double spaced and times new Roman.


      • #4
        Well, the Lions got to the point I thought they would. We came up a few plays short but We are Losing a lot of seniors. Maybe the younger guys can keep this going in the right direction.


        • #5
          Most teams, most years would be very happy with an 8 and 3 year, and a share of the conference championship even if it is a 4 or 5 way tie.

          Not many of us LR fans are in that camp this year.

          If not mistaken, we started the year being ranked 6th or a little lower, where ever, they were ranked nationally. Some games they looked every bit of being in the hunt; and some games they looked like they were the hunted. And they knew it.

          Defense, 80% of time, looked lights out. But other times went to sleep (4th quarter of Newberry and Wingate and no need to talk about Ferris any quarter).
          Offense worked pretty good against lesser teams. But against the top teams, well our weaknesses really showed up.

          With LR being a very young team, made up of mostly 4th year Juniors and 3rd year Sophomores (remember Covid, everyone got an extra year), one would think that we should be really looking forward to next year. And I am.

          Except, we still have no exceptional QB; no real tailback that can run with strength, power and speed; and, we need a coaching staff that can get LR ready for the big games.


          • #6
            I personally thought LR would go 9-2 and make po. Some outside of LR had them going 10-1 and one guy went so far as LR winning the national championship. No one from LR made any statements of LR dominating the SAC and in fact some thought we would be lucky to win eight games. We had some teams really make strides forward during the season. I think Limestone was the biggest news in that area. I would also note that CN made significant strides forward and also beat our designated conference champion Newberry. The SAC looks poised for some huge rivalry games next year especially with all the teams having a good year. I have always pulled for our conference in the po and would love to see a deep run by our representatives. Evan Wingate!!!!! One last thing congratulations on our first national championship in 62 years. Our women triathlon team won the national championship recently.


            • #7
              Bearof, amen. Good post. and I saw the news on and was going to post it. you beat me to it. Thanks,


              • #8
                Some good, some not so good from the Bears this year - unfortunately there was more bad than good and that pushed them over the edge in big games against Newberry and Wingate.

                Starting with what’s going right for LR. It's a very young team. It's wild to me that some of the marquee contributors to the team (McGee, Maye, Jefferson, Lester) still have years of eligibility left. JR Maye, if he sees his LR career through, will have started for this team for 5 whole seasons. No other SAC contenders (that I know of) play so many Freshman and Sophomores and this should pay massive dividends going forward.

                We have a solid defense. Again, most players still have at least two years of eligibility left. The strength of the team is the depth of the front seven. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen bench players make big plays and turned to a buddy and said “do you know who that guy is?” This really speaks to the quality of recruits that Jacobs et al (don’t worry I’ll criticize the coaching staff later) are bringing to Hickory.
                We have a great variety of skill position players. I know that many of you here like to bemoan the fact that we don’t have a bruiser-type running back. To be honest I’ve never really understood that criticism, a smaller scat back who runs with his eyes and is as good at squirming through holes as Dwayne McGee is, can be just as effective at short yard to gain situations – unfortunately the blocking just wasn’t there this year in the way it has been in the past. Anyway, back to the skill position players. We have four or five WRs (all returning next year except Carter) who make great plays in space. Still think a big target man is needed. As for the running backs, Dillard really came on as the season progressed and I think he provides a good foil to McGee, he blocks well in the passing game and runs downhill.
                The stadium atmosphere. This isn’t really football related, but goodness-me we are spoiled at LR. Bears Club made the right decision allowing people to tailgate 5 hours (6 for homecoming) prior to games and game day really feels like it’s taken a massive step up in the past few years. Every game Between the Bricks just feels big time. I can’t help but think of the recruits coming to LR over homecoming or for the Wingate game and feel that they’ve been absolutely wowed by what we have here at the D2 level. All props to Pate, Whitt, and Aaron Bessey/Justin Hay (among others) for what they’ve done here in Hickory.
                On to the not so good….
                The offensive line doesn’t stand up to better opposition. I guess I didn’t quite realize this until the Wingate game but going back and looking at the games where we’ve struggled, LR loses that first jump off the line fairly consistently. I thought it could have been a fluke when we went up against some physically dominant players vs Ferris. Unfortunately, it’s more than just in the passing game, the O-line does not give McGee the time nor the holes to run forward past the line of scrimmage. We saw too many 0 to negative gains on the ground this year.
                The offensive play calling is too predictable. I understand that we are somewhat limited given the QB position, but I just didn’t feel that we ever gave White the opportunity to play with the playbook fully open. In general, LR runs about four different styles of plays on offense. Zone run, WR sweep, WR screens, and crossing routes over the middle. White did grow into his own as the season went on (and looked really good the last two games), but I think the play calling held him back. I think if anybody is thinking about personnel changes over the offseason, it should happen here.
                We weren’t motivated in the biggest games. Going into the season, I thought one of Jacobs’ strengths was his ability to get the team amped for the big games. The way we’ve played against Wingate the past few years should be testament to this (I think we limited them to negative rushing yards during the covid season). But this year, the team came out sluggish against Wingate and Newberry and were forced to play catchup the rest of the way. Results are a process driven phenomena, but sometimes there are certain key points where you can say “it went wrong here.” The first halfs against the Dawgs and Wolves are those season defining moments.
                Going forward I think we have a lot to be excited for. The youth movement is real in Hickory and I think we have to go into next season with the mentality that we’re going to win the SAC considering all we’re bringing back. HOWEVER, despite the good things I’ve said about the QB, I still think that some competition is needed during the offseason. Bring in a transfer to really push White (or to beat him out). Also, Newberry, Wingate, and Limestone are all away games next year. For the Bears fans, bring your wine and cheese to the stadium for those home games, but the lunch pail needs to be in hand when we go on the road.


                • #9
                  Bearof, really well done post. Thank you for the time and thought process.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cavsfan94 View Post
                    Now that the regular season is over, what did you think of your team? Did they fall short of, meet, or exceed expectations?

                    For Wise, I think they fell short of expectations. However, I wasn't paying very close attention to their games, so I don't have a great barometer on what worked and didn't.
                    After checking out the Massey Ratings, the Cavs apparently had the 4th worst points allowed, and the 2nd worst points scored in the SAC.