After an 0-5 start, the Cambridge Bears won four of the next five games to finish the season at 4-6 overall (4-4 Region 7AAAAAA). The season included victories over region rivals Johns Creek and Northview.
The Cambridge offense averaged just over 20 points per game. The offense loses many skill players such as Hogan Dykes (QB), Matt McCree (RB), Christian Lail (WR), and Evan Kuykendall (RB/WR). New players will need to step up and fill these rolls next year.
Despite their lack of size, the Cambridge offensive line battled every game. Offensive lines get the least credit for any unit in football, but they are the reason an offense is able to score points. Kasra Bojnordi (Jr), Mason Stanley (Sr), Walker Peed (Sr), Billy Judge (So), Hunter Dean (Sr), Andrew Chisholm (Jr), and Jack McCann (Sr) held down the line. The Bears lose four of these seven, but the remaining three leave a strong foundation for next year. Kasra Bojnordi capped off a great season with an invitation to the Georgia Elite Classic.
Ridge Polk asserted himself as the standout player of the year from the very first game. The junior wide receiver opened up the season with three touchdowns and over 190 yards receiving. Polk never looked back, tallying up 62 receptions, 974 yards, and 14 touchdowns on the year. Polk also proved dynamic in the kick return game with 904 return yards and a punt return touchdown. Coach Bennett cited Ridge Polk as a standout player nearly every game, and teams found it difficult to matchup with the junior. The junior slot receiver paid visits to Furman, ETSU, GT, and UNC during the fall.
Hogan Dykes did a tremendous job commanding the team in his final season. Dykes threw for 1743 yards and 15 touchdowns while completing 54% of his passes. The year proved to be up and down for the senior, but he hung in there to be one of the most talented passing quarterbacks Cambridge has seen.
Senior running back Matt McCree fought through a two-game injury to finish as the top rusher for the Bears. McCree finished the season with 4.7 yards per carry, 628 total yards, and 4 touchdowns. The more elusive McCree brought a change of pace to the power running of Kaelin Byrd the year before.
Evan Kuykendall emerged as an effective runner later in the year. The senior racked up the second most rushing and receiving yards for the team. Kuykendall reeled in 32 catches for 309 yards receiving as well as 201 yards on the ground. The team will miss not only the yards, but the vocal leadership Kuykendall brought each week.
The Cambridge defense improved each and every game. Of the 11 starters, the Bear defense loses five senior players. The defense will lose the most seniors at linebacker as Will Covington, Tyler Wald, and James Poinsette all graduate. However, this group is full of young players, and the future is bright on the defensive side of the ball.
Will Covington is the clear leader with 80 total tackles on the season. Covington served as the play caller and heart of the defense. The senior recorded snaps on offense as well, showing his versatility.
Senior cornerback Zach Furr finished second with 50 total tackles. Furr led the secondary with the most experience. Returning every other player in the secondary, the Bears hope to make this one of their strengths next year.
Matthew Briesemeister graduates from defensive line after a fantastic season. Briesemeister started for the first time this season, and the senior made the most of his opportunities with two sacks and 38 total tackles on the year. Coach Bennett showed high regard towards the improvements Briesemeister made in the offseason.
Victor Valentine will be a huge loss to the kicking game. Valentine hit 22/24 PAT attempts and 7/9 field goal attempts, including an impressive long of 42 yards. On top of this, the senior kicker took on punting and kickoff duties. Throughout his years, Valentine recorded numerous touchbacks and got away punts under extreme pressure or poor snaps.
The Bears feature a young core group eager to prove themselves. This brings an exciting future for the program in the coming years. Keep a lookout for updates on offseason workouts and football events. I enjoyed covering the team this season, and I cannot wait to see the coming results for Cambridge football.
article by Jack Sadighian