Back to work
Following the cancellation of Friday’s football jamboree, the Cameron High School Dragon football team will have only themselves to face before opening the season against Northeast Kansas City next Friday.
Without a summer camp, team workouts and a variety of other offseason programs, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind as players spent last week clad with facial coverings under their helmets in order to stave off an outbreak of COVID-19 and sprinting from drill station to drill station.
“I was worried we weren’t going to have a season. The fact they’re letting it happen is tremendous and it’s awesome people are taking steps to keep us safe,” said Kacy Kellerstrass, senior safety. “The masks may suck, but they’re keeping our season going. If you’re the person in a drill, then you have to have your mouthpiece in and nothing on. If we’re conditioning and we’re running you don’t have to have it on. As soon as you walk or you’re in line for a drill you have to have it on. It’s going to take some getting used to.”
While previously finding themselves mired in a perpetual rebuilding year, this year will be different for the Dragons who come into 2020 stacked with returning starters on both sides of the ball. Cameron coach Jeff Wallace credited the onslaught of returning starters, who already had last season’s playbook memorized, for making each practice as productive as possible.
“It’s different. I’m going to have to be as big of a leader as possible and so are a bunch of those guys who haven’t been leaders in the past,” said Tyler Campbell, senior quarterback. “We’re going to need all of the help we can get. This is new to everyone. No one has done this before. It’s going to be new for everyone and we’re going to have to learn as we go … We just want to show them what it takes to be a good football team.”
The Dragons come into 2020 coming off a 5-6 2019 campaign, including a few wins in Midland Empire Conference play. The Dragons hoped to hit the weights hard in the offseason with strength being their primary weakness, but with COVID-19 cancelling virtually all MEC teams’ offseason preparation, Wallace still hopes to physically improve the Dragons despite the limited training time.
“Everybody is in that same boat. It was just a lot of fun to have the kids back and we’ve had a great week so far. They came back a little bit hungry,” Wallace said. “… We’re going to have to play a lot more physical than we did last year. This conference is extremely physical and we’re going to have to match that. Our strength and size have all increased. That’s going to help us play a more physical game. I’ll tell you right now, we had pads on one day but we were more physical today than any time I can remember from last year.”