MILTON — Cambridge enters its eighth season in school history in 2019, and head coach Craig Bennett doesn’t remember having this small of a senior class since the school’s first year. The Bears had four seniors in their inaugural year of play, and that number is not much higher in year eight with just seven seniors suiting up for Cambridge this season. It is far less than the usual 20 or so in years prior.
There’s no specific reason for the lack of seniors. Bennett pointed out that a few would-be seniors decided not to play this year, along with injuries preventing a few others from playing. It’s an unfortunate situation, but there’s not much to do about it.
“It’s just one of those unique years,” Bennett said. “We got a lot of kids playing and starting for us that played a little bit last year. But the kids have really bought in to what we’re doing and have a great attitude.”
They might be young, but the Bears they return a large number of starters and key contributors from 2018.
Sophomore Zach Harris will start at quarterback and junior Phillip Michael Collins will start at running back.
“[Harris] finished the season last year starting the last six games and did really well as a freshman, which is tough to do in Georgia,” Bennett said. “[Collins] was a starter for us last year as a sophomore and rushed for 1,000 yards.”
On defense, Cambridge has two senior linebackers returning in Mike Hudson and T.J. Mowery along with senior lineman Charlie Goodell. Luke Kramer, who started as a sophomore, returns at safety.
“A lot of them started for us as sophomores,” Bennett said. “They’re still young but they got a decent amount of experience. We’re just looking for them to grow.”
The Bears finished 3-7 last year and 4-6 the season before that, and their last trip to the playoffs came in 2016. They open their season with non-region games against Creekview and Woodstock, and then comes region play with opponents such as Centennial, Johns Creek and Alpharetta.
With a team full of young players, Bennett has tempered his expectations. Not because they aren’t talented enough or because he doesn’t think they can accomplish their goals. He just doesn’t believe setting goals is a good idea. At least not this year.
“I know that’s the norm and what people talk about,” Bennett said, “but what I’ve found over the years is if that goal gets derailed early in the year it’s hard to keep high school kids focused. We don’t talk about goals. We just try to get better every single day and try to get better at what we do.”