With spring football practices in full swing for the Charlotte 49ers, I want to kick off a series that will dive into different angles surrounding the football team. We’ll start with a look at each of the opponents on the 2013 schedule, which opens with the Campbell Fighting Camels on August 31.
Campbell Fighting Camels
August 31, 2013
Last year: 1-10
Head Coach: Mike Minter (1st season)
Campbell is in the midst of a transitory period. They hired a new coach, Mike Minter–the former Panther who joins the team after three successful seasons at Concord First Assembly (where he won state titles two out of his three years) and stints at Johnson C. Smith and Liberty. Minter, as you’ll recall, was interested in the Charlotte job before Brad Lambert was hired away from Wake Forest.
The Fighting Camels don’t really have anywhere to go but up at this point. After a 6-5 season (5-3 Pioneer League) in 2011, they fell to 1-10 (0-8) in 2012, averaging only 14.2 point per game and just 282.6 yards per contest. Part of that was due to an injury to senior QB Braden Smith, which meant a quick learning curve for junior Dakota Wolf, a strong dual threat signal-caller who looks to take the next step in 2013 as a senior after being thrown into the fire in 2012. Minter did bring in two QBs in his first recruiting class–Brian Hudson from Brooke Point (VA) and David Salmon from Middle Creek (NC)–and will also have sophomore Cory Benedetto, redshirt sophomore Luke Sirgo, redshirt junior Jordan Hildreth and redshirt senior Nick Potts at his disposal.
The receiving corps for the Camels aren’t the best. Campbell’s leading receiver were freshman Ben Bolling (18 catches, 210 yards) and junior running back Kurt Odom (24 catches, 189 yards, TD). Another weakness: a very young offensive line (ten freshmen, only one senior), as Camels QBs were sacked 31 times. Five OLs will be entering the fold this season. Defense also needs to take some big strides as the team allowed 38.4 points/game and over 500 yards a contest.
Will Minter’s success in high school mixed with his NFL experience make for success on the college sidelines? Time will tell. But he’s likely to experience some growing pains before fully taking off.