Lincoln Looks to Pitts as a Playmaker
Posted: August 25, 2014 at 7:42 a.m.
LINCOLN — Listen closely and you can hear discussions about Lincoln being a one-hit wonder.
The speculation is that the Wolves, who’ll take the field with a new coach, will return to their losing ways after setting a school record for victories. Seniors like Alec Pitts are determined not to let that happen.
“I hear people saying that last year one was a one-time thing, and that we’re not going to be very good this year,” Pitts said. “But they don’t know, because we haven’t played yet. I think we’re going to compete and win some games, more than people think.”
Lincoln returns four starters on offense and three on defense from a team that finished 11-2, including playoff victories over Nashville and Malvern. The biggest loss is Tyler Cummings, who powered for 415 yards and six touchdowns against Malvern and finished the year with nearly 2,000 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns. The Wolves must also replace Drew Harris, a two-year starter at quarterback, who left after his dad, Brad Harris, took a job as defensive coordinator at Benton.
Lincoln was picked fourth in a preseason poll of the 4A-1 Conference coaches.
“Tyler was a really good player for us,” said Pitts, who is one of 10 seniors for the Wolves. “I don’t think there’s anyone who can replace him, but we should be all right with the guys we have.”
Scott Davenport, who was hired in May to replace Brad Harris, plans to use Pitts in a variety of ways.
“Alec is going to be a big part of what we do,” said Davenport, a former Razorback who was an assistant coach at Rogers Heritage last season. “He’s an inside receiver, a lockdown corner, and he’s also going to be on special teams as a punt returner and kick returner. He’ll be on the field a lot, for sure.”
Pitts is a sprinter who scored eight touchdowns and had over 650 yards in receptions last season. He’s obviously a talented player but his coaches are equally impressed with his attitude and work ethic.
“Alec is always there, always doing the right thing so much you forget about him sometimes,” Davenport said. “I wish I had more like him.”
Lincoln’s only loss in the regular season came at Prairie Grove, which has won consecutive conference championships. But the Wolves finished strong and won six consecutive games before being eliminated 35-0 by Booneville in the state semifinals.
“The Farmington game was really big because that win got us the second seed,” Pitts said of the 28-7 road victory over the Cardinals. “If we would’ve lost, we wouldn’t have gotten the home playoff game.”
Lincoln will get an early start when the Wolves face Lake Hamilton on Labor Day at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Playing in the Hootens Kickoff Classic at an SEC stadium has generated a lot of excitement for Lincoln, which had opened against Westville, Okla., in recent years.
“Coach Davenport said playing in Razorback Stadium is going to be a great experience for us,” Pitts said. “We’re pumped, we’re ready to play. I can’t stop talking about it.”