Getting in Shape Among Longview’s Top Priorities, QB Bivins Caraway Says
LONGVIEW -- Coach John King's Longview Lobos return only two starters from last year's offense, but fortunately for Lobo fans, one is quarterback Bivins Caraway.
Caraway (6-0, 200) threw for more than 2,400 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2011, when he guided the Lobos to an 11-2 record and Class 5A Division II Region II semifinal appearance.
Caraway told ETSN.fm on Thursday the Lobos' biggest obstacle during two-a-days has been conditioning.
"We're out of shape," Caraway said. "Everybody on the team really isn't in the best of shape right now, but we're working on that."
Back for his senior season, the ULM-committed Caraway is primed for an even better campaign, although he'll have a lot of new faces around him.
Gone are Eric Hawkins (Arkansas) and Donterius Jackson, Caraway's top two receivers from last year.
"We're getting our timing down," said Caraway, who noted Justinn Spady (5-9, 155) and Cedric King as potential playmakers in the passing game. "Our receivers are coming together."
Caraway also said an inexperienced offensive line has shown promise during the Lobos' first four days of practce.
"We're going to be all right," he said. "I think we've started out better than we did last year on the offensive line."
Combined with a proven quarterback who's ready for a big year, Longview's greatest offensive asset could be its backfield. Senior Tory White (5-9, 175) rushed for 770 yards last year, while sophomore Ja'Mycal Hasty (5-9, 185) could be the next big thing for the Lobos.
"They're pretty athletic. Give them the ball and they'll do what they do," Caraway. "Tory's got some nice cuts and can make moves. Hasty can run over you or run by you."
But the Lobo offense may have some time to piece itself together because the defense could be one of the best in John King's era.
Eight starters return from a unit that allowed 19.9 points per game in district and the playoffs. Consensus Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year DeMarkus Lathan (5-9, 190) is back at linebacker, while Cornelius Williams (5-10, 290) and Jalen Porter (6-0, 210) give the Lobos two veterans on the line. Then there's the secondary, which features Corey Bartley (5-7, 155) and Stephan Maxey (5-11, 185), two of Longview's best defenders.
"We've got a strong defense. I think they're going to be better than ever," Caraway said. "They hit pretty hard. They're fast. All of them over there are fast."
Friday marks Longview's first practice in pads. The Lobos have their sights set on next Friday, though, when they host rival John Tyler in a scrimmage.
Caraway again stressed the importance of conditioning when asked about the scrimmage.
"If we're not in shape we won't be able to run with them."
Longview opens the season against Coppell at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 at SMU's Ford Stadium in Dallas.