Digging Deep To Finish

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

TURNER, Ore.–  The Cascade gas tanks were on empty when Crater offensive coordinator David Douglas approached them about a few extra reps against the Comets at the end of Day 3 of the Cascade Football Camp.

It’s been a long week already.  Scrimmages the past few days, beneficial against teams that were there like the two meeting up, North Medford, McKay, Willamette, Woodburn and Milwaukie in the heat of the Willamette Valley summer were helpful entering Moratorium Week and August’s training.

“I think it’s pretty good.  I feel like we’re doing pretty good against all of these teams,” said Jacob Hage.  “They’re bigger than us like 5A and 6A, I’m feeling pretty well about the team.”

Hage enters his second-year as starting quarterback for the Cougars after taking over the job from Elijah Nolan a few games into his freshman year in 2018.

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Hage takes the snap during the final scrimmage of the day against Crater Wednesday afternoon (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Westin Nelson, who’s the smallest kid on the defensive and offensive line at five-foot-four, was challenged by the Comets and the Black Tornado from North Medford to close out the third day of camp, but it’s all in preparations for Cottage Grove on September 6 at home.

“We’ve been working harder, they’ve had multiple teams they could put out there and we only have one.  We have less than 20 guys  on our Varsity team and they have 50-plus guys they could just keep plugging in there,” said Nelson.  “It just shows that our conditioning is working harder than them, stay in the whole game.”

Cascade Head Coach Brandon Bennett gave his team kudos following the 16-play, eight-plays on offense and another on defense, against the 5A Crater team from Southern Oregon in stepping up their game entering the camps final day Thursday morning entering the week off in front of them that starts over the weekend.

“It’s definitely the mental game,” said Nelson.  “Our tanks are on the low, we don’t have that much energy left, but we’re telling ourselves that we could do it.  It’s how we practice, we tell ourselves that we could so we can finish.

“It’s crazy, I can’t wait to play Cottage Grove and get some revenge.”

The Lions defeated the Cougars 23-19 to kick off last season as Fall practice kicks off August 19.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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