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Tarbabes Sports

Moore League Preview (from Gazettes Sports)

Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 by Calvin Bryant
Mike Guardabascio, JJ Fiddler from Gazettessports.com

Compton Tarbabes: An Underdog Story

They're coming early and staying late at Compton High School this August, but that's nothing new.  In a way, they have to.  The Tarbabes compete in the Moore League, the highest average-enrollment league in the CIF Southern Section; but Compton has a few thousand less students than their competition, shrinking the pool of available talent.  That's to say nothing of meager resources, administrative strife, and the recent tendency of Compton-area kids to end up at other high schools, outside of the city.
Still, seventh-year head coach Calvin Bryant insists, as he always does, "We should be fine."
And why wouldn't you believe him?  Bryant has taken his team of Davids into the ultimate Goliath league and conference, and earned playoff berths in four of his six seasons, only failing to qualify in his first year, and the most recent season.  Last year, a series of injuries devastated the Tarbabe roster, with starting quarterback Tremell Sneed, starting running back James McConico, and more than half the offensive and defensive lines missing multiple games.
Fortunately for Bryant and the Compton faithful, they return six offensive starters and five defensive starters from a year ago, and should everyone stay healthy, they have a very good chance to get back to the playoffs.  On offense, you might see some new wrinkles from the Tarbabes.  Normally you'll only see Compton pass a few times a game, but Bryant says Sneed allows them to be a little more complex—both tight ends, Garrison Sialoi and Melvin Lewis, return from last season to give Sneed some familiarity with his targets.
"Of course, we're still going to do what we do well," says Bryant of the running game.  The recently graduated McConico set a state-record with 17 yards per-carry his junior season, and Bryant acknowledges it would be foolish to try and reinvent the Wing-T offense that has worked so well for him.  "We're not trying to trick ourselves, but we want to see ourselves evolve and do some different things." 
Roger Jones will get the nod as the top back this year; Jones was McConico's main backup last season, as a sophomore.  He played in seven games (missing three due to injury), scoring thirteen touchdowns and averaging just over nine yards per-carry.  Having Sneed back should improve the running game, too, since the quarterback's timing is so crucial in the Wing-T, as much on the ground as through the air; losing Sneed last year led to a lot of fumbled exchanges and miscues that Bryant is happy to have behind him.  Jones' backup, Deonte Dixon, will likely have a bigger impact on defense.
Deonte and his twin brother, Devonte, are sophomores this year, and the anchors of the Tarbabe attack on D.  Devonte plays linebacker, with Deonte at safety, and Bryant couldn't be happier to have the sophomores for another three years.  "They're both very smart," he says, "and great kids.  And they look like grown men out there, too."
In all, it looks like a roster that certainly has the potential to prove that last year was a hitch, and not the end of the recent string of Compton success.  "I was surprised," says Bryant.  "We had one bad year, and suddenly everyone is saying Compton is down."  As the sun sets on the end of a very late practice, Bryant's players head off to eat dinner, and he loads his car.  At Compton, there aren't flocks of parents watching practice, or hordes of players waiting to sign up, or expensive customized gear—but that's never stopped them before.
All games Friday unless noted, * denotes league game
9/3 @ Monte Vista, 7pm
9/10 @ Centennial, 7pm
9/17 @ Dominguez, 5pm
9/24 vs. Dorsey @ Compton, 7pm
10/1 vs. Lakewood @ Compton, 7pm*
10/8 @ Cabrillo, 7pm*
10/15 @ Wilson, 7pm*
10/22 BYE
10/29 vs. Jordan @ Compton, 7pm*
11/5 vs. Millikan @ Compton, 7pm*
11/12 @ Poly (@ Vet's), 7pm*
p10c5.jpg picture by GazettesSports

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