Cameron Dragons look for cultural shift under Wallace
After years of toiling in the muck of the Midland Empire Conference, under new Coach Jeff Wallace, the Cameron Dragons hope to begin their rise to prominence in 2019.
Coming off a 3-7 campaign in 2018, with much of their starters returning despite fielding a team with only four seniors, Wallace will lead a youthful but experienced team coming into this season dedicated to improving in 2019 and demonstrating that dedication through participating in the summer strength and conditioning program, 7-on-7 drills and competitions, various team camps and joint practices.
“We had our entire defense in this summer and about 75 percent of our offense because we had a pretty good commitment with these kids through the summer,” Wallace said. “In many cases, with these kids, it’s just reviewing what we’ve done. We know what we’re doing and now it’s just getting better at what we’re doing and that’s huge ... Because we’re able to start on a whole different level, we’re able to get better much faster.”
Young starters have plenty of experience
Although young, Wallace will have a few experienced leaders in key positions. Leading his offense will be junior quarterback Ty Campbell - a second-year starter capable of stretching the field with his feet as much as his strong arm. When not testing the secondary via the Dragon’s spread offense, Campbell has the option of checking to sophomore running back Dominic Hurst.
During 7-on-7 drills at CHS and the National Guard 7-on-7 Tournament in Chillichothe, receivers Javier Marones, and brothers Bryson and Ty Speer proved they can be a threat deep.
Senior Nick Helmich will be the wildcard of the receiving corp. with the basketball player going out for football for the first time this year. Senior Zach Jones will lead a group of experienced offensive linemen, but will be outsized by many opponents.
“We’re really excited to show the fans the new Dragons,” Campbell said.
Defense shines under strong student leadership
One highlight throughout the offseason has been the development of the Cameron’s defense. Anchored by their strong secondary, the dragons held Chillicothe tournament opponents under 21 points and causing opponents fits during the 7-on-7 team drills Cameron hosted in June.
“Cam Hedepath (linebacker) has been huge. He’s been a great leader throughout the summer, especially on the field,” Wallace said. “He has been a great leader role all summer long. Zach Jones (defensive lineman) has also taken a leadership role. He stepped up.
“What we’ve seen from a leadership standpoint is not them yelling and expecting everyone to follow. They are outfront leading the pack and they’re helping the young guys learn as much as possible.”