View Mobile Site

Spartans ready to rebound after two sub-par seasons

Posted: August 29, 2018 2:09 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

TAILBACK CANYON HOHN TAKES a handoff from quarterback Zequan Seward during a Camden Military Academy practice on Monday. The Spartans host the S.C. Titans Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Who could blame Will Rice if he would like to forget the past two forgettable Camden Military Academy football seasons?

The Spartans finished last fall with a 1-7 record for the second time in as many years in a campaign in which Rice and his coaching staff had to rebuild from the ground up with many players who were playing football for the first time. On Saturday, after two weeks of practice, which opened with a preseason camp, Rice and company will be  looking to put the past behind them and get back to the business of winning.

Bolstered by the return of several starters on both lines, the Spartans were able to hit the ground running when they returned to the east Camden campus on Aug. 20.

“I think we’re probably a little farther along, right now, than we were at this time last year,” Rice said. “We have more experienced guys and guys with football smarts. That makes it easier to teach technique and assignments.”

The cooler weather of two weeks ago made that teaching a bit easier as CMA practiced more than once a day in conditions not usually seen in this area in mid-August. 

“It was amazing. It was nice,” Rice said. “There was just one afternoon that it was hot. We were able to get two or three days of three-a-days and the rest of them we had two-a-days. It worked out well for us.”

Having two weeks to prepare for Saturday’s season opener, when the S.C. Titans out of Hartwell, Ga., come to Spartan Field for a 2:30 p.m. start, allowed Rice and his staff to put in basic packages and schemes on both sides of the football. The CMA boss said more will be added to the playbook as the season goes along and according to what the opposition presents on both sides of the football.

Offensively, CMA expects to be under center more this season after having operated out of the shotgun in the recent past. The Spartans will rely on the running game while utilizing the play-action pass.

Returning starting linemen Gage Noel, Sir Green and Davis Long has allowed the offense to get in gear fairly quickly. The Spartans did lose both quarterbacks from a season ago leaving the job wide-open with Delaware native Zequan Seward having the leg up in practice with freshman Hunter Keltner and Hunter Thompson in the mix for playing time.

Rice said the running back posts will be by committee with Garhett Koethke and Noah Edwards lining up at wide receiver while Justin Wilson and Malcolm Hyppolite can both play either wide out or, line up in the backfield. 

“We’ll see who steps up in the games,” Rice said as to who will be playing where as the season goes along.

CMA will continue to line up in a four-man defensive front which is anchored by returning starters James Oridhabor and Christian Perpignand. “There’s a nice group of core linemen coming back. Hopefully, that’s going to be our strength,” Rice said of his defensive unit.

The Spartans will jump right into battle without the aid of a preseason scrimmage against another program. The Titans already have a game under their belt as they fell to Cherokee Christian, 26-6, a week ago in Georgia.

“They have some good athletes,” Rice said of the visitors. “We’ll have to know where certain key players for them are on the field. They’re going to try and get wide on us so, we’ll have to contain them. They do some unpredictable things on offense so we have to be ready to adjust on the fly.”

The visitors employ a 3-4 defensive scheme which has plenty of movement included in it as defenders will swith positions and move to different spots on the field.

As luck would have it, the weather turned warmer and humid this week and that trend looks to continue into Saturday which will be an added element for the Spartans to have to overcome.

“If we have a hot day on Saturday,” Rice said, “we could get the monkey on our back pretty quick. It is what it is and, we’ll have to adjust. We’ll probably play a lot of people; subbing in and out and getting some guys rest.

“We’re in game week, now, though. It’s time to buckle up the chin straps and go.”


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

Contents of this site are © Copyright 2018 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...