There was some doubt surrounding the South Cameron football team coming into the season. The Tarpons were without a coach at the start of August and many worried about the player count. But in stepped former Johnson Bayou athletic director, Darryl Lee.
"First day I was here we only had 11 show up," said Lee. "Then, we got to 16."
And now the Tarpons will dress out 21.
Lee, with the help of assistant coaches, Kerry Morrison and Brendan Trahan, has South Cam back on track.
"One of the first ones I met here was Coach Trahan. I noticed that he had taken the bull by the horns and he had the kids coming up here working out. I couldn't ask for two better assistant coaches. I don't even consider them assistant coaches, the three of us work together hand-in-hand as much as possible."
Despite just a few weeks on the job, Lee said the knowledge and desire of the players, has stood out.
"We went through the offense and these kids, all 16 of them, still remembered the offensive play, the blocking assignments and where they're supposed to be at," said Lee. "I was impressed with that. They love football and they love to compete. That's what I'm counting on."
Offensively, the Tarpons will miss the running from Tyler LaBove and the playmaking ability from former quarterback Jakin Morales. Caleb Little steps in to take over the QB duties and should make his own stamp behind center.
"Jakin did great the last few years and I just try to keep the team together," Little said, "and keep us moving forward."
"[Little] is a playmaker. He sees a lot of things on the field that most kids you have to coach. It just comes natural to him. He sees things and he knows the receivers routes and where everything is supposed to be at," said Lee. "He does a good job of reading the defense."
Little and running back Seth Jinks will help continue the South Cam tradition of a hard-nosed running attack.
"That's South Cameron football right there. We run it up the middle and we tire people out," linebacker Brayden Richard said. "We just make them quit and we don't stop."
Despite the problems facing this feisty bunch of Tarpons, South Cameron is focused on keeping the program moving forward.
"Definitely, [a goal] for us this year is to make the playoffs and just surprise a couple two or three people," Lee said. "I think we are able to do that."
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