Memorial looks for improvement in Jennings’ first year

Sports
Campbell Memorial Red Devils High School Football

In Campbell, the Red Devils have suffered through 5 straight losing seasons where they’ve been able to only accumulate a 15-35 mark (30.0%). This off-season, Memorial hired Butch Jennings to take over as the head football coach of the program. “These young men are buying into my coaching philosophy,” states Jennings. “They’re starting to recognize what it takes to become a ‘champion’. Secondly, our players are starting to comprehend that being a member of the Campbell Memorial football program is much more than football. It is about getting better as individuals and standing taller together within our community. This is a very small community where its’ members take pride in being a part of ‘Campbell’.  The players are starting realize that their expectation must rise to match the community members’ pride factor. The kids are working hard to embrace the new vision that puts a major emphasis on player development, leadership, and becoming a true ‘brotherhood’. With that in mind, our team is determined to change the culture of what was and right some wrongs by demonstrating a commitment

to the A, B, C’s of our program – (A) academic achievement, (B) behavior modification, (C) commitment to personal growth, (D) development of football skills and (E)excellence in completion.” 

2018 Campbell Memorial Red Devils’ Football Preview

Head Coach: Butch Jennings, 1st season at Memorial

Record:  3-7 (2-4), 5th place in AAC Blue Tier

What you need to know about the Memorial Offense

Gone from last year’s group is their quarterback Darion Jones and playmaker Antwaan McMeans. Jones threw for 802 yards and 8 scores while completing 45.4% of his passes (44-97). McMeans led the team in receptions (15) and rushing yards (374) while scoring 7 touchdowns from the line of scrimmage (5 rushing, 2 receiving). Nikita Klimis and Malachi Barnann each had productive seasons a year ago as underclassmen. Klimis caught a team-high 316 yards and 4 scores through the air. Barnann hauled in 11 passes for 203 yards as a sophomore. The Red Devils were only able to muster 224.2 yards of total offense last year per game. Memorial has been unable to average 24 points per game in a season since 2012 (25.9).

Key to the Memorial Offense

As coach Jennings notes, “the key for the offense is for coaches and players to be patient in the process of teaching and learning a new spread offensive system – that will be multi-dimensional in approach. We plan to ensure a successful implementation through staying very focused on the details and teaching fundamental football principles that build upon one another.”

 

What you need to know about the Memorial Defense

The defensive unit lost three key figures from last year’s group in Darion Jones (37 tackles), Gerald Brown (22 tackles, 1 INT), and Antwaan McMeans. The team does returns eight of their top twelve tacklers from a year ago including Malachi Barnann – who led the team in tackles with 59 as well as Raysean Hicks – who posted a team-best 10 tackles for a loss. Despite last year’s 29.5 points allowed average, the Red Devils have been quite stingy as of late to permitting opponents ability to score the football. In 6 of the past 9 seasons, the Devils have held the opposition to 23-points or less per contest.

 

Key to the Memorial Defense

“We’re teaching and learning a new 3-4 defensive system that will be aggressive in approach,” points out Jennings. 

 

Offensive player to watch for

Senior/OL-HB-TE, Raysean Hicks

…Hick has been named to the All-AAC team in each of the last two seasons. “Raysean will be a key factor to our offense this year,” says coach Jennings. “He’ll be the heart and soul of what we do.  I think people look at Ray’s unquestionable size (6-3 265 lbs) and assume he’s the lineman type.  Although he has incredible power and strength which gives him the ability to block, I recognize the true athlete he is. Ray and I have built a strong bond in a short time which has allowed me to get to know the young man behind the mask. Ray is very similar to my little brother (Rashad Jennings of New York Giant fame) who I coached in in high school that moved from lineman to running back weighing in at – 6-1, 265 pounds – in high school.  Like Rashad, Ray is a very big-athletic kid that just needed a coach to see his massive potential and not pigeon hold him in a traditional sense. It’s Ray’s quick feet and agility that has captured my imagination going into this season.  I was fortunate to watch him during basketball season last year.  To watch a kid this size – move so swiftly and fluidly up and down the court without getting tired – was mesmerizing.  I mean this guy was a second-team all-conference basketball player. Additionally, Ray is a leader and has a work ethic that is second to none. With that being said, I am personally looking forward to developing and expanding Ray’s role on offense this season. Ray will continue block down on defenders on the line of scrimmage; however, we’ll use him to create mismatches with smaller defenders in our passing game playing him at our Hybrid H-Back/Tight-end position this season.”

 

Defensive player(s) to watch for

Junior/DB, Malachi Barnann

Sophomore/LB, James Shaffer

…Barnann led the team in tackles (59) a year ago and finished tied for second in tackles for a loss (8). Shaffer closed out his freshmen campaign with 35 tackles – first on the team in that category among freshmen. “It’s not what Malachi (Barnann) and James (Shaffer) do on the field that dictate the best of who they are,” indicates coach Jennings. “It’s the role and responsibility they’ll assume as leaders that will make a huge impact in turning this program into a contender in the next few years.  They both possess grit and a sheer determination to get better at their craft. I believe it’s their leadership by example that will truly separate them.” 

 

2018 Schedule

Aug. 25 – at Valley Christian, 7

Aug. 31 – Bexley, 7

Sept. 7 – at East Palestine, 7

Sept. 14 – at LaBrae, 7

Sept. 21 – Liberty, 7

Sept. 28 – at Girard, 7

Oct. 5 – Struthers, 7

Oct. 12 – Champion, 7

Oct. 19 – at Brookfield, 7

Oct. 26 – Newton Falls, 7

 

Key Game

Week one – Valley Christian welcomes Campbell Memorial. The Eagles’ former coach Butch Jennings is now leading the Red Devils. Enough said. Big game for both programs. 

 

2017 Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 17.1

Total Offense: 224.2

Passing Offense: 92.3

Rushing Offense: 131.9

Scoring Defense: 29.5

 
2017 Statistical Leaders

Passing: Darion Jones – 802 yards, 45.4% (44-97), 8 TDs*

Rushing: Antwaan McMeans – 374 yards, 4.6 avg, 5 TDs*

Receiving: Nikita Klimis – 12 catches, 316 yards, 4 TDs

Tackles: Malachi Barnann – 59

Interceptions: Gerald Brown – 1*

*-Graduated

 

Big 22 Recipients

2016: Yianni Koullias

2011: Je’les Hughes (2)

2010: Ja’les Hughes

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