The last five football seasons on the East Bank at Station Camp have not gone according to plan.
With just a 17-34 record over that span, coach Shaun Hollinsworth is hopeful that 2019 will yield much different results.
Only five returning starters are back from last year’s team that went 3-7, but a senior class of 24 will be counted upon to lead the Bison back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
“This team has great chemistry and works extremely hard,” head coach Shaun Hollinsworth said. “It is still way too early to lay out the season because there are just so many uncontrollable things that can happen.”
Injuries decimated the Bison in 2018 and if they rear their head again it could make for a long season with just 58 players on the roster.
“We just never had any continuity last season due to so many injuries,” Hollinsworth said. “That being said, we have to take care of the football better than we did last year and that is something we do have control over.”
A lot of the Bison success will be on the shoulders of senior quarterback Max Barnett. He is returning from a knee injury that kept him out all of last season.
“A lot of our success will depend on how well Max plays,” Hollinsworth said. “I am not trying to put a heavy burden on him but he needs to make good decisions and move our offense. Last year we struggled to put points on the board.”
In 2018 the Bison averaged just 16.6 points-per-game, which include a 52-point outburst against Hunters Lane, so despite how well the defense played, it was hard to win football games.
“This year we have to have a better mix of our offense,” Hollinsworth said. “Last year we had a running quarterback, and when you have that and don’t do both it is hard to overcome and it just doesn’t work at the 6A level.
“I thought our defense was solid last year and I expect it to be good this year,” Hollinsworth continued. “Discipline has to be our key. We can’t beat ourselves by jumping offsides and giving up cheap scores.”
Up front on the offensive line this season for Station Camp will be Keldon Moore, Sam Sreffler and Josiah Lopez with the other two spots up for grabs.
Terry Bradley and Landon Rowe will split carries at running back while Keyshawn Johnson will play full back.
Shreffler, Moore, Lopez and Zion Jackson will all be counted on to play quality minutes on the defensive line while Jackson will patrol the linebacker position. Joining him will be Zane Cooke and John Wilson, along with Tate Milliken and Walker Helms.
In the secondary Terry Bradley, Jack Lewis, Tate Milliken and Zach Morrison will all have to play key minutes for the Bison.
“We want to get back to the playoffs,” Hollinsworth said of team goals. “We just need to win a region game first though. Two years without a region win is a long time. We must stop beating ourselves and get out there and make things happen. At some point the boys need to take over and do the little things.”