By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Brighton Cardinals have put the 2014 football season in the past.
But before leaving the 2-8 campaign in the review mirror, incoming Cardinal seniors wanted to keep a few souvenirs.
“We learned how to fight through adversity and stay in the game and compete and finish,” Brighton senior Austin Kelly said.
Head Coach Robin Jacobs feels 2015 will be a better season for Brighton holding on to those lessons.
The Cardinals will enter a new league taking on teams like Memphis Central, Kirby, Wooddale, Overton, Munford, Bolton and Southwind.
Brighton senior Zack Camp said if the Cardinals can stay healthy they will have a chance in every game. Last season Camp and several of his teammates missed time because of injuries.
“The main thing, everybody says, ‘Play like it’s going to be your last play,’” Camp said. “I learned sometimes it can be your last play. You have to give it your all.”
Camp will be one of the Cardinals giving on both sides of the ball as a linebacker and running back.
Kelly will be featured on offense and defense as well. In 2014, he entered the season as the quarterback. After suffering some bumps and bruises, Kelly was moved to receiver and linebacker.
“I can be more of a threat on both sides of the field just instead on offense,” he said. “I can be more diverse on both sides of the field.
“Everyday we have to grind,” Kelly added. “It’s all going to pay off in the end as long as we do what we’re supposed to do.”
Defense for Brighton will feature a mixture of younger players and the experienced seniors. The Cardinals dropped several games in 2014 holding opponents under 24 points and by one possession.
“Our defense looks pretty stout,” Kelly said. “We’ve been working in some younger players and they’re likely to get in there. But we (seniors/juniors) are going to be doing most of it. We’ll have speed on defense.”
Brighton will have speed on offense as well.
“Coach David is our new O-coordinator,” Camp said. “He came from St. Benedict with a record of 131-30, something like that. We like what he’s doing. We’re pretty balanced now. Both our passing and our running look very good.”
With plans of a more balanced attack and stronger defense, the Cardinals plan to be a treat in their new league.
“This year everybody is on the same page,” Camp concluded. “I’ve been here all four years and by far this is the best offseason we’ve had.”