|Eagles want more than individual honors|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Sept. 24, 2004 - COMO - In 2003, seniors Justin Cameron and J.J. Robinson saw the highs and lows of a football season at Como-Pickton High School.
Justin was honored with an honorable mention offensive tackle award for his play during a 1-6 district season, while J.J. earned the defensive lineman MVP award.
"This year I am working harder, and I would like to get All-District at either defensive end or offensive tackle, and I am trying to just help my team out," Cameron said.
"I am just trying to strive for better this year because I want to be more than what I was last year. I want to try and go beyond that award that I got last year," Robinson said.
Both players said this is a season to get respect back as a football team after a disappointing 1-9 record last year.
"Last year we went 1-9 during the season and now we are 4-0. We are trying to show every team in district that this is a different year, and we are out to achieve our goal, which is to make the playoffs," Cameron said. "This is probably the best thing that a senior could ever ask for. Your last year in high school and you go from a 1-9 season to a 4-0 season," Robinson said.
Robinson believes the team needs to bring the momentum they have experienced in the second half of their games against Harmony, when C-P outscored them 13-0 in the second half for a 33-25 win, and against Collinsville, outscoring them 28-0 in the second half for a 35-20 win.
"One thing we have got to do is bring over our momentum from the last two games like we played the last two halves, and we have got to put that effort into every single quarter now that we are in district," Robinson said.
Both players said every player knows his role on the team this year, and if they are to go into the playoffs and past the first round they must work as a unit and help each other out when situations occur during the game and at practices.
"It is great because now we are an evenly-matched team because we have the backs and we have our lineman. Once you have two dominant forces and you put them together, it makes one dominant force," Robinson said.
This season, Cameron and Robinson have played on both sides of the ball for coach Joe Ryzman and have seen the success that their offense has shown this year.
"It makes me feel good knowing that we can come from behind and I can rely on the defense and know we can rely on the offense as well this season," Robinson said.
On offense, the duo has helped open up holes all year for running backs Tyrin Porter, who has nearly 800 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns, and Ray Hayden, who has 313 yards and five touchdowns.
"We just try to come out and see what we are doing wrong and fix it," Cameron said. "We are trying to stop our mistakes and stop the other team every week."
On the defensive side of the ball, Cameron and Robinson have helped the Eagles hold teams to under three yards-per-carry rushing and five rushing touchdowns in four games, while recovering 11 turnovers during the non-district schedule.
"The leaders have to make sure that we don't make mistakes on both sides of the ball the remainder of the year so that we can get past the first round, and if we were to get a state championship, that would be awesome," Cameron said.
With teammates Ronnie Hightower, Josh Biggerstaff, Porter, Jonathan and Justin Cameron, and Robinson the senior class would like to leave a lasting impression on the success of the team this season and to give their fellow athletes a goal to strive for during their remaining years at CPHS.
"You can call every one of these seniors on this team 'Trailblazers,' because the leadership on this team is so great, and as long as everybody follows and they keep picking up, it would just be great for the years to come," Robinson said.