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Longview Lobos backfield duo returns from other sports

By Jimmy Carter jcarter@news-journal.com
May 13, 2013 at 10 p.m.

Quarterback Dezmond Chumley and running back JaMycal Hasty spent most of Longview's first 13 spring practices in shorts.

It was either that or the junior duo missed practice for the baseball playoffs and track meets, respectively.

But baseball and track ended Saturday. So the Lobos' starting backfield was finally intact for the first time in spring practice Monday.

"It felt good," Hasty said. "I actually got to get involved instead of just standing back and taking mental reps. It was a fun first day in pads."

Both players entered the spring as the starters at their positions after impressing as sophomores.

Chumley took over for injured starter Bivins Caraway, starting the final nine games of the season and throwing for 1,187 yards and 14 touchdowns. He spent the spring helping lead Longview's baseball team advance to the area round for the first time since 2007 by hitting .398 with a school-record 11 triples.

Now Chumley has to adjust back to throwing a football after throwing a baseball while pitching and playing right field.

"It's a big adjustment," Chumley said. "Different form, different ball. It's a big difference to me. But the reads are a lot easier now. My first year I thought they were hard. But they come easier and easier now. The reads were there, it's just my throws weren't."

He started strong and completed six of his first seven passes in a pass skeleton period, but struggled at times later during the team period.

"Dez has got some rust to knock off," Longview coach John King said. "We threw it a little bit more to try to get him out of the funk that he's in. But he'll get out of it. He'll be fine. That's to be expected since he's been playing baseball."

Hasty started the season finale against Austin Westlake after senior starter Tory White broke his collarbone. He finished his sophomore season with 340 yards and five touchdowns while averaging an impressive 7.2 yards per carry.

He picked up his first offer from Texas Tech in late April after an impressive early spring spent touring camps, including winning Running Back MVP at a Next Level Athlete showcase in DeSoto and posting the best SPARQ score for a class of 2015 prospect at a Dallas Nike camp.

But working in pads and with contact is an adjustment from running track and competing at camps.

"I'm tired," Hasty said. "Carrying those pads around, we were up there doing individual (drills) and it just felt heavy because I wasn't used to it. I've just got to get in better shape. If I'm in shape, I can be able to take those, however many amount of carries. So the main thing is just being in shape."

The duo's presence for the final week of spring practice should help open up the offense, especially as Chumley becomes more comfortable throwing the ball.

"He didn't make any bad reads," King said. "Communication was good and he understands where we want the football. He was good in our run-game schemes. He wasn't in mid-season form. But we didn't expect him to be. He did some good things."

<em>(Follow Jimmy Carter on Twitter @jicartersports)</em>



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