In a small town that sits about thirty minutes northeast of
Some will say it has that eerie feeling because of the fog that may rise up from behind the stands. And off in the distance sits the Cornwallis House from the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site. Some say that it is haunted because of all the great players that have played between the walls at Zemp Stadium. And others just say that it is the fact that the stadiums is on "Hallow Grounds".
What ever they think there is one thing that is for sure, and that is Camden Football has a tradition that not many other schools have. Aside of the renovations of one of the best places to watch or play a high school football game, it is also the second oldest stadium in the state behind Gaffney. It is also home of seven State Championships and gunning or an eighth one in 2002.
The 2002 Camden Bulldogs are gunning for another state championship to add to the list of seven. Head Coach Jimmy Neal has come in and done an outstanding job with a program that he also played for. He took over the helms of one of the greatest coach's in
Coach Neal took over in 1998 and it only took one year of getting comfortable with his position. Now he is coaching in his third straight Lower State Championship and has an overall 53-11 record up through last week. Six of the eleven in the loss column came in his first year as the Boss. Coach Neal has a great supporting staff beside him as well. The other coach's are: Ron Duncan, Accie Collins, Richard Bonneville, Marc Jones, Guy Eckenroth, Denny Beckley, Justin Files, Scotty Dean, Brian Kirsey, and Robbie Speaks.
This team has done wonders this year. Some said coming in that they did not know how they would do with the loss of some key players. But as usual the coaches did a great job of getting the right players
In the right position or you could say the right athlete in the right position. I think two very important aspects of
It really was not the defense it was more of the whole team just not playing a good game overall. Since then the defense has hunkered down and have been playing great defense. I think one thing that people would say that this defense is known for is adjusting after the first series or so and then hold most offenses at bay.
The Camden Offense is what people are talking about these days. Man first off the offensive line has to get most of the credit. They do a great job and are led by North/South selection Jermaine Thomas (G) and Shrine Bowl pick (TE) Tremaine Mitchell who also has great hands when the ball comes his way. The line does a great job and boasts a RB who has over 1,000 yards on the season. Everyone seems to look at Shrine Bowl Pick (QB) Eric McCollom. What they don't know is how good he is at spreading the ball around to different WR's. Most people know about Camden's WR's and how good they are. What they don't know is that one is already over 1,000 yards and two more are right there at it, one needing 38 yards to hit 1,000 and the other needs 75 yards to hit 1,000. I can't remember the last
On special teams there are athletes all over the board for Camden. The one that stands out though is kicker Jake Broom. He has turned out to be a great kicker and is getting some looks for what he has done. The one thing that I think people notice about Broom is that on FG's and PAT's he gets the ball up very fast and very high and has a very strong leg. He has what a college kicker needs on FG's. In high school you don't see many people jump from behind the line and block a kick from over the top of the line. In college you do and he gets the ball up high very fast and still has the leg to get it there with the height.
Now for this week's Lower State Title game. This one is going to be a great game between to awesome teams. Dillon comes in to the game with a very tough and strong defense that can play with the best of them. Their offense is right there in stride with the defense. They have a great QB who plays DB also and is very athletic. Their RB is going to be one of the best Camden has faced this year. I think this game will be a battle in the trenches on the run or pass.
The line of scrimmage could be where this game is won or lost. For Camden to have the edge in the one they must get on top early as they have done in the past two weeks. The Bulldogs must take the crowd at Dillon out of the game early. This game will not be like the previous two years in the playoffs when the two teams have clashed. I think it will be a very close game. Camden must also stop not just a good RB but also a good QB. I think overall the best threat of a RB and QB together that can run very well that the Dog defense has faced all year. This game could very well come down to special teams and it may very well be a FG that wins this one for either team.
This game will be a great game at a great stadium over in Dillon. People from all over the Pee Dee will be there to take this one in. So until 8:00pm Friday night we can only think what might happen. Come Friday it will be