By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
These are exciting times if you’re a Lynn Camp Wildcat football fan.
Second-year coach Phillip Russell installed confidence and enthusiasm into the football program in 2012 while guiding Lynn Camp to three wins and stopping a 13-game losing skid in the process.
A lot of changes were made last season, but the one that stood out the most was Russell installing a pass-first offense, replacing the ground-and-pound running game that the Wildcats were known for the past 30 years.
And, at times, the passing game led to a lot of points.
Lynn Camp scored 40 points against East Ridge to open the season, its biggest point output since scoring 41 points against Harlan on Sept. 17, 2010.
The Wildcats offense improved from the season before, averaging 13.8 points per game in 2012 compared to 2011’s average of 9.5
And now, things are about to get a bit more interesting, according to Russell.
Wildcat fans will be welcomed to a new type of offense Russell likes to call, “fast on grass.”
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he admitted. “We’re not going to huddle up. I believe everyone will like it. There are three different speeds to it, though and we’re working on that right now.”
Russell has some new faces on the coaching staff that will help the new offense immediately.
“We’ve got two guys from South Laurel that will be a big help for us,” Russell said. “They know all about the passing game from their days at South Laurel. We’ve got Richie Baxter taking over as our line coach and Russ Jones, who will be our quarterback’s coach and help out with our offense.
“I’m very excited about their additions,” he added. “Not only are those guys good coaches, but they are quality men, too.”
There will be a new face under center this season, too.
Austin Maier will take over at the quarterback position while last year’s quarterback, Aaron Mills, will move to the wide receiver position.
“Austin will be a big plus for us at the quarterback spot and Aaron will be a big threat catching the ball,” Russell said. “We will also go with a two quarterback system for a while — especially early on.”
Russell said installing a new weight lifting program has made his team stronger and better during the off-season and he’s encouraged by the number of kids coming out to play.
“We’ve had around 20 to 25 so far and that’s big and I expect us to end up having around 30,” he said. “We’ve got some new kids out and a couple of transfers that have came in.
“I’ll tell you right now, on paper, we look good, but just like a lot of other coaches, I don’t want to blow anything up either,” Russell added. “I believe we can surprise, but right now we just want to fly under the radar.”