CAMDEN – The preseason for Camden High’s football team this year could be described as the tale of two sides of the ball.
There’s a lot of potential on one side of the ball and a lot of questions on the other.
On offense, there’s a front line with two returning starters and a group of four or five more guys who can easily fight for the other three starting spots and playing time once the season begins.
Behind them is arguably the top returning back in West Tennessee, and that would be Deshawn Brown, who racked up more than 2,400 rushing yards while leading the Lions to a District 11-AA championship and the second round of the playoffs.
“We felt good coming out of the spring about that side of the ball and still do,” Camden head coach William Blow said. “Where we don’t have guys coming back, we’ve got good athletic kids coming up to fill in those spots that obviously need to get work in on the field and preferably under the lights.”
Defense is a different story. This time last year, the Lions were experienced with a lot of senior leadership and two- and three-year starters returning. Most of that group graduated in May. That means linebacker Dalton Whitfield is the lone returning starter.
“When you say there’s 10 starters gone, that doesn’t mean we’re putting a bunch of kids out there this year that have never played high school football before,” Blow said. “Did they get all the in-game snaps or all the reps in practice last year? No, so we’ve really focused on that side of the ball this offseason.
“They’re coming along, but there’s work to do there.”
As has happened in recent years, Camden’s region leans heavily toward Middle Tennessee as the region footprint stretches all the way to Cheatham Central and Sycamore. But fewer teams in the region means more games in West Tennessee this year. The Lions continue to play Waverly and Huntingdon but renew their series with McKenzie and Westview as well.
“Having those games back will be good for our fans,” Blow said. “But we’re back in a system now where we need to win the region games to make the playoffs, so we need to be ready for all of them.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751