Vikings preparing for 2018 football season

ster Banner/Dave Ryan Cambridge-South Dorchester High School’s football players are practicing in the summer heat in preparation for the regular season, set to begin Aug. 31.

ster Banner/Dave Ryan
Cambridge-South Dorchester High School’s football players are practicing in the summer heat in preparation for the regular season, set to begin Aug. 31.

CAMBRIDGE — Cool fall evenings, the home crowd, the band and cheerleaders – try to keep those cool evenings in mind, boys, it won’t be long.

Players on Cambridge-South Dorchester High School’s football team are sweating through summer practices, getting ready for those fall contests. They aim to continue the school’s winning tradition, though this season, there will be a difference.

Gaven Parker has taken over head coaching duties from Jake Coleman. Coach Parker led the offense in previous seasons, so he knows his way around.

Still, the view is always different from the top. “Everybody looks to you for the answer,” he said on Friday as players arrived for practice.
Coach Parker’s goal is to keep things moving in pretty much the same direction. “I’m not looking to re-write anything,” he said, while adding that he would like to change team culture a bit, to “get more from players on the field.”

Those players will be led by a core group of seniors. Tight end and defensive lineman Tranell Clanton, at 6’4” and 250 pounds, is literally one of the big men on campus. Cornerback and running back Shamar Young is another veteran who has influence in the locker room.

“They are going to be our senior leadership,” Coach Parker said. That’s an important asset for a team that will be young this season, with many sophomores on the roster.

He will also be supported by a stout coaching staff. Along with former Head Coach Coleman, who remains with the team, the Vikings have returning coaches and a couple of additions — Al Waters and Matt Phillips, previously of the Queen Anne’s County staff.

Coach Waters has 15 years as defensive coordinator for the Lions under his belt.

“I’ve been able to tap into that,” Coach Parker said. “He’s going to run a very aggressive, fast-paced defense.”

The Vikings will travel to Kent Island High School for their first scrimmage, at 11 a.m. on Aug. 18. Then they will face Parkside at home on Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. for another scrimmage.

The regular season will begin Aug. 31, with a home game against Queen Anne’s County, at 6:30 p.m.

Coach Parker is fired up for his first campaign at the helm. He said, “I’m extremely excited and feel very privileged to be part of a historic program.”

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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