To compete on Friday and Saturday afternoon at Hermann High School.
With its new home synthetic turf field being installed in the background, the St. James High School football team has been preparing for this weekend’s upcoming full-contact camp during the St. James High School Football Camp, which has been held this week at the Tigers’ practice facility.
The Tigers are scheduled to compete in the East Central College Full-Contact Camp Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon at Hermann High School.
St. James is to play three full-contact scrimmage games today, from 3-5:30 p.m. On Saturday the Tigers are slated to be on the field from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
This week’s St. James Camp is to help re-familiarize the Tiger players with schemes and plays in preparation for the full-contact event. In all, a total of 56 players checked out pads for the camp.
“Like anything else we started off slow, as players started to get familiar with the plays again,” said St. James football head coach Greg Harlan. “We’ve had good numbers and good participation. Everyone seems like they have a good attitude - and that’s half the battle.”
The Tigers are coming off a 4-7 campaign from 2013, including a 1-5 Four Rivers Conference mark.
From that squad St. James returns six offensive and six defensive starters.
St. James returns all but one of its offensive line starters, including all-conference senior Marcus Bradshaw. Among the other key offensive players back are junior quarterback Brett Karnes, senior wideout Jake Money and senior running back Garrett Ubben. In addition, sophomore running back Dawson Lynch figures to add some shiftiness and speed to the backfield.
Karnes hit on 121-of-235 passes for 1,387 yards, 10 TDs and 11 interceptions last season while rushing for 339 yards and three TDs. Ubben rushed for 107 yards and four touchdowns last season while Money is the top receiver back with 26 catches for 299 yards and a TD.
Defensively the Tigers return their leading tackler from last year in all-conference senior linebacker Cameron Orlando along with Ubben at LB as well as four key linemen in Bradshaw, junior Sam Williams, junior Cody Yamnitz and junior Alex Harrop and safeties Money and senior Danny McCarthy. St. James will have to replace its starting cornerbacks.
Orlando had 91 total tackles, including 62 solo, in 2013 while Ubben had 86 tackles, Money 72, Yamnitz 54, Bradshaw 45 and McCarthy 49.
TIGER NOTES - As of Thursday the players could look over at their home game facility and see that the new synthetic turf covers the entire field.
“The turf project got delayed some at the beginning because of the weather,” Harlan said. “But the further it goes it’s really starting to creat a lot of excitement for the kids.”
Harlan says the Tigers will still put their natural-turf practice field - located in front of the locker room - to good use.
“Most of our practices will be on the (synthetic) turf,” Harlan said. “But the practice field will be used for our blocking sleds and we’ll go over there and practice when other games are being held on the (synthetic) field.”
The Four Rivers Conference will have two new football head coaches this coming fall.
Clint Anderson takes over as the football head coach at Pacific after serving as an assistant coach there the past seven years. Anderson, age 40, replaces George Hinkle, who resigned.
Returning to the St. Clair football head coaching position is Brian Robbins, who had a successful stint there several years ago. Robbins, a Waynesville native, has been head coach at Poplar Bluff and Hillsboro since leaving St. Clair after the 2011 campaign. He replaces Cody McDowell, who resigned.