The Cannon County Lions are gearing up to begin the 2009 football season. Following weeks of muddy practice and rainy scrimmage games, the first regular season game will be held at CCHS on Friday, August 21 against Spring Hill at 7:00 p.m.
However well they practice and however capable the Lions are this season they still have some hurdles to overcome.
The 22 returning players will be adapting to fresh leadership -- new Head Coach Joel Schrenk. Schrenk comes to CCHS with years of experience both as an assistant coach and head coach. He brings an amiable air and a determination for excellence to the Lions’ leadership where he is joined by assistant coaches Don Berninger, Eddie Cunningham, TJ Daniel, Joe Patterson, and Chris Robinson.
One of the challenges facing the Lions is a less-than-ideal body count, which makes them particularly vulnerable to player injury and fatigue.
“We’ve got to grow the program,” Schrenk explained. “There are four of us [coaches] teaching in the building all day this year, so we’ve got a lot of opportunity to build rapport with students and bring them into the program.”
Projected starters and buckups for the 2009 Lions Offense are quarterbacks (QB) Andrew Wooden and Lee Cooper, fullbacks (FB) Daniel Wooden and Bryant Hare, halfbacks (HB) Gabe Walkup and Dylan Light, wide receivers (WR) Lee Cooper and Andy Agee, tight ends (TE) Dillion Collette and Heath Simons, additional wide receivers (WR) Damon Collette and Brandon James, left tackles (LT) Emby Mills and Paul Oneil, left guards (LG) Cesar Wilson and Devin Sauls, centers (C) Jared Melton and Sawyer Henderson, right guards (RG) Meliton Cancino and Patrick Gerdes, and (RT) right tackles Thomas Stone and Daniel Northcutt. The only returning offensive starter is (LT) Emby Mills.
Defensive starters and backups for 2009 are defensive ends (DE) Dilllion Collette and Tyler Jacobs, defensive tackles (DT) Thomas Stone and Jared Melton, nose guards (NG) Emby Mills and Daniel Northcutt, additional defensive ends (DE) Cesar Wilson and Paul Oneil, outside linebackers (OLB) Gabe Walkup and Patrick Gerdes, middle linebackers (MLB) Bryant Hare and LJ Lulo, additional outside linebackers (OLB) Damon Collette and Lee Cooper, cornerbacks (CB) Dylan Light and Brandon James, free safeties (FS) Lee Cooper and Andy Agee, strong safeties (SS) Andrew Wooden and Charles Steelman, and additional cornerbacks (CB) Daniel Wooden and Heath Simons.
Six starters return on the Lions defense: Emby Mills (DL), Bryant Hare (LB), Dylan Light (CB), Andrew Wooden (SS), Lee Cooper (FS), Daniel Wooden (CB).
“We’re strong defensively,” Coach Schrenk said after a Thursday practice “not so much on offense... but all of our problems are fixable.” With Emby Mills as the only returning
offensive starter, there is certainly some restructuring of Cannon County’s offense happening. The Lions have five upcoming games at CCHS and five on the road.