By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
LYNN CAMP — Lynn Camp head football coach Phil Russell has summed up what he wants to do on the offensive side of the football in five words – the fastest pass on grass.
Russell said he hopes the Wildcats can keep opposing defenses guessing with a two-quarterback style, which includes a newcomer to the team in sophomore Austin Maijer, and 1,000-yard passer from a season ago in Aaron Mills.
“We’re going to do some things different here this year and we want to be known as the fastest pass on grass,” Russell said. “We want to try and keep the defense off-balance and keep them from figuring out what we’re going to do from play to play.
“I think it’s going to be fun to watch for our fans and I think we’re going to score some points,” he added. “With that said, hopefully we can win some games as a result.”
Despite the fact Maijer has never played a down of high school football, Russell said his shear athletic ability gives him plenty of reason to believe he can run the style of offense the Wildcats want to run.
“I know Austin (Maijer) has never played a down of varsity football, but we think he has the ability to step in and get the job done,” he added. “We’re going to try and keep it wide open because we think we can do well.
“In addition to Austin (Maijer), we have Aaron Mills who can step in and go a different route when we want to,” he added. “Aaron is also going to be out there at wide receiver when he’s not at quarterback because we really need him on the field as much as possible.”
The weak spot of the Wildcats’ offense this season may be the inexperience of the offensive line. After last year’s senior dominated crew said goodbye after graduation, Russell has had to fill in the blanks up front.
“We’re going to be young up front, but that is what it is and you have to work with what you have,” Russell said. “Our line was senior dominated last season, but hopefully these younger kids learned something from last year’s guys whether it was in practice or watching during the games.
“The good news is that we have a few good backs in Tommy Hatfield and Keanu Nolen, who are really going to control the tempo for us,” he added. “Aaron is going to be able to make some plays for us, so hopefully those guys can take some pressure off of Austin in the early stages of the season.”
Lynn Camp has historically been a power-run team, which means some of the old-school fans and supporters may balk at Russell’s newly designed offensive scheme. The idea of changing things up worries the second-year coach to a point, but he was quick to point out that there’s always a remedy when it comes to people rejecting change.
“I know people will wonder what we’re trying to do, but if we can go out and win some games early, it will change the way people think,” Russell added. “We want to go out and make the best use of the guys we have on the team and this is the best way to do it.
“The way that this offense is designed is to do what the defense gives you, so if we can establish the short passing game, that means the running game and the long passing game will open up a bit more for us,” he added. “Hopefully we can come out and have fun early and win some football games.”