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Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Though he still could be classified as a new face, North Augusta High School head coach Brian Thomas is looking forward to some fresh faces this coming year.
One of the big ones will be Cam Matthews, who could see the lion’s share of carries out of the backfield. He will have to carry the Jacket tradition, which has featured many great backs over the past few years following last year’s graduation of Willie McCloud and Dashawn Barnes.
“No doubt he has big shoes to fill,” Thomas said. “The rushing game the last few years has been real good, and it goes back to Reggie Merriwether; a lot of good running backs have come through here. I feel like Cam is going to have an impact, and he’s going to leave his mark this year.”
Matthews said he was behind McCloud and Barnes last year, and mostly played safety. The senior said he worked out as a running back some last year, trying to get acclimated to the system. He said he was more of a speed back, but he is aiming to be balanced and is looking to fight for extra yards.
“I think I can fill the shoes,” he said. “I think we’ll do well this year.”
He also said he was looking forward to playing offense full-time during the first practice.
“I want to keep the ball on the offensive side the whole time,” he said. “It feels great to be out here, and I’m excited to get to work.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Thomas pointed out defensive end Jacob Bryant as someone who has worked hard every day since he arrived.
“I got here the last part of April, first part of May, and he’s the one who impressed me in the weight room, as far as work ethic,” Thomas said. “He was always there cheering on and pushing his teammates, and pushing himself. He’s not a leader by mouth, he’s a leader by example. I’m excited what he brings to the table for us this year.”
The rising senior said he was looking forward to taking on a starting role.
“It shows that I’ve been working hard,” he said. “I finally get to come out here and do what I want to do – that’s play football. I finally get to show what I’ve got.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheScottRodgers.