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The hardest part of season begins for Charlotte 49ers football
End of spring game opens preparation for summer
 
Published Saturday, April 21, 2018 8:32 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

Football’s hardest phase has begun for the Charlotte 49ers.


Saturday’s sixth annual Green-White game ended 31-7 Green, but playing yourself is one thing. Validating a program after its worst season in school history (1-11) is another matter.

“We just have to continue to get better, that’s phase three, as we go into the summer,” coach Brad Lambert said. “Now the guys know the offense, know the defense. They’ll be able to lead us through summer and summer workouts, and continue to get better as we move into phase four, which is our August camp.”

Quarterback has been a place of perennial change for the 49ers since their transition to FBS in 2015. While redshirt freshman Chris Reynolds went 8-of-11 passing for 73 yards for Green, redshirt junior Hasaan Klugh completed 5-of-6 for 75 yards. Neither team passed for a touchdown. Lambert emphasized the position is still up for grabs.

“That’s going to be an open competition through August,” he said. “I like the progress the guys are making.”

Said Reynolds: “It was a higher speed than the last time I was on a game field. I missed a couple reads, and I still have a lot of learning to do.”

Lambert emphasized running backs catching the ball out of the backfield this spring, especially primary targets sophomore Benny LeMay redshirt freshman Calvin Camp. Both rushed for two touchdowns for the Green squad. Camp finished with 13 carries for 126 yards, while LeMay finished with seven carries for 55 yards. Green outrushed White 208 yards to minus-2.  

“He’s got really good hands,” Lambert said of Camp. “He’s a really athletic guy. We’ve been really pleased with him. We had moved him to wide receiver. I made him move back to running back because I think he can be a big contributor there. All of our running backs have done a nice job this spring catching the ball out of the back field. Benny has some of the best hands on the team. It really gives us a good dimension.”

Said Camp: “I’m around a good group of guys with Benny, and I’ve been learning so much from him and Aaron [McAllister, a redshirt freshman].”
LeMay noted getting up at 4 a.m. at the start of spring drills to prepare for the fall, a habit which will help when it comes to training in the summer.

“There’s no easy way to do it,” Lambert said. “It’s probably the hardest phase in football for your year —that phase three in the summer. You just have to put yourself out in the heat and run, and put yourself in a position to give yourself an opportunity to be productive in August. Summer conditioning is hard, but it has to be done. Hopefully, it can keep you from getting injured. Spending time in the weight room and conditioning hopefully keep you out of the training room.”

Said LeMay: “It’s going to be hard regardless. You have to come in with the mindset that you’ve come to work.”


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