Searcy: Lions seeking playoff victory

The Searcy Lions regular season in 2010 was marked by more wins and a second trip to the playoffs.

For the past two years, the Lions have improved their record, moving up from only one win in 2008, to four wins in 2009, which earned the team its second straight trip to playoffs. Last fall, Searcy placed fifth in the 6A-East and fell in the first round of the state playoffs at Texarkana, 26-14, finishing with a 5-6 record.

Coach Tim Harper says the team is always improving.

“The next step is making it past the first round of the playoffs,” Harper said. “That’s going to be our goal in the upcoming season.”

Senior Dezmond Stegall (6-2, 208), a three-year veteran of the team, returns at quarterback. Stegall has received offers from Arkansas State University, University of Central Arkansas, University of Memphis and Louisiana Tech University.

“Dezmond is the real deal,” Harper said. “He’s a great athlete, his academics are great and we can expect to see bigger and better things from him.”

Also on offense, the Lions can count on senior Johnathan Powell (6-5, 220), who plays on defense but is now also the team’s tight end. Powell has received offers from Arkansas State University and Ouachita Baptist University.

“In the summer months, we’ve looked the best offensively since I started,” Harper said.

Despite a good offense, the greatest challenge for the Lions is replacing several veteran members of the defense. “Our linebacker Mike Brown went on to play at UAM,” Harper said. “He’s going to be tough to replace.”