Which team will win the District 8-AA championship in 2010 is open to debate as the league race should be tight with several contenders vying for the crown.
Two things are certain as the six football teams comprising District 8-AA enter their second full week of preseason practice: Cannon County is the defending champion and because of this fact it also will not be sneaking up on anyone during the 2010 campaign.
“We won’t catch anyone by surprise this year,” Cannon County Head Football Coach Joel Schrenk said. “Last year we rolled off several region wins, but I think some people still were not sure. There will be some people looking to get even so we have to be ready. It’s not going to happen this year because it happened last year. That was last year. This is a new season. If it’s going to happen then it is because of what we will accomplish this season.”
The Lions concluded their first full week of preseason camp last Friday and will enter this week looking to continue fine-tuning aspects of the offense and defense. The first preseason scrimmage is at White County Tuesday.
“We are making progress and getting things accomplished,” junior Damon Collette said. “I think we are ahead of schedule because we are more familiar with everything this year and so we have kind of picked up where we left off.”
Cannon County’s defense should be a strong suit; however, the Lions do have to replace their entire starting secondary and that’s no easy task considering the unit’s worth to the team’s championship drive in 2009.
“We like to hit and we take pride in it,” Paul O’Neel said. “We have experience up front and we have to work hard up there to get some pressure on the quarterback and help our defensive backs. We also have to be strong against the run and we have made that a focus during our practices.”
Schrenk said the Lions also need to become a more physical offensive unit, particularly up front.
“We have to develop some physicality because we have to be able to run the ball,” Schrenk said. “We are asking some young guys to lead the way on the offensive line but they are all capable, they just have to get on-the-job training.”
CCHS opens the 2010 season at Spring Hill Aug. 20.