Overwriting a improved season on the gridiron from 2012, the Spring Hill Bears made 2013 football a year for respect. Due to their hard work, dedication in the offseason and spring, resulted a season of big accomplishments to reappear in the postseason with a first round playoff game hosted on their field at Bear Stadium in Spring Hill.
The Spring Hill Bears failed to qualify for the postseason in 2012 with one victory the entire season. Not only did the Bears put their previous season to bed, the Bears made 2013 a well progressed year beginning the conference season 2-0 as a front runner to capture the conference title. Despite tough losses to Dierks, Gurdon and Mineral Springs during the conference season, the Bears pulled off some big victories for the non-conference and regular season. The Bears began the season with an amazing win on the road to defeat a very good Mt. Ida Lions team 28-26, making them a team that will be challenging to compete against.
The Bears fell to Prescott on the road the following week, but sparked in a major way for their home opener to dismantle Genoa Central 14-0 for a shutout win on Homecoming, despite a rainy night on the gridiron.
Among this win, the Bears went on a three game winning-streak defeating Foreman and Lafayette County. When time for the Bears to take on the reigning class 2A state champs' Junction City Dragons, (who went on to capture their fifth state title over Des Arc 60-0 back in December 2013) were surprised early in the first quarter on the gridiron at Bear Stadium. As the Dragons routed majority of all their opponents early in their match-ups, the Bears kept close with Junction City to trial by a touchdown 13-7 after the end of the opening quarter.
Despite the Dragons going on for the dominating win, one of the Bears key seniors' Chandler Collier impressed the entire stadium for marking his 58 yard touchdown run of breaking down the Dragons tough defense, recorded one of Spring Hill's memorable plays - historic for their football program. Chandler, known to be one of the fastest if not the fastest player in the conference, made it recognizable when the best team in the state for class 2A and one of the top teams overall, not able to catch him on his run. Chandler's play against Junction City, along numerous plays the Bears' individually created during the season helped them be a contender for 2013. They grasp the attention of their opponents eyes, that they were a dangerous club.
In his second year taking over the Bears football program head coach Russell Carter was pleased with the teams improvement from last year. Carter thought the Bears worked hard during the summer and in the weight room in the offseason to be a better team for 2013.
Page 2 of 2 - Carter was more impressed of how his seniors worked hard during the summer and got stronger in the weight room, showed true leadership for their football program. Having to battle numerous injuries last season, the Bears didn't account as many this year, which resulted them to have a successful season to make the postseason and earning the No. 3 seed to host their playoff battle at Bear Stadium.
Bear seniors' Tyler Hammonds, Chandler Collier, Katlin Hamilton, Cayden Quillin, Justin “J.R.'' Rose, Ryan Orr, Donovan Beck, Tyler Kitchens, Andrew Barnett, Kasen Rhodes and big man Kylan Ford performed well during the season and led by example according to Carter. Their character on and off the field will reflect on the future for the Bears program as they'll have several key players returning for 2014.
The Bears pulled off a big conference win over Murfreesboro to seek revenge from last season as Spring Hill looks to be strong next season with a host of talented and hard nose running backs to fulfill, by losing key seniors in their ground attack.
Carter appreciates all the support the Bears' fans gave during the season at home and on the road and the cheerleaders and the community with their help.
On senior night at Bear Stadium, the senior Bears and varsity Bears cheerleaders made two big presentations to Ron Price for his dedication to the program and cheer coach Tracy Moore for her hard work during the year.
Now, Carter with assistant coaches' Todd Finley and Rusty Winfield will guide the Bears during the offseason on intense weight room workouts and a tough spring football practice to be ready to make an impact for gridiron season 2014.
Spring Hill ended the 2013 season 5-6 overall, 3-3 in conference for third spot finish in the standings.
Spring Hill Bears Seasonal Accolades
7-2A West All-Conference
Justin “J.R.” Rose
7-2A West Final 2013 Conference Standings
Team Conf. Overall
Dierks 6-0 11-1
Gurdon 5-1 10-2
Spring Hill 3-3 5-6
Murfreesboro 3-3 5-6
Mineral Springs 2-4 2-8
Foreman 1-5 2-7
Lafayette County 1-5 2-7