By Adam Cavalier
Carson-Newman football tied an orange and blue bow around its 2015 fall camp and entered game week preparations for the University of the Cumberlands with its third and final scrimmage.
“We had an awful lot of people watching from the sidelines,” Carson-Newman head football coach Ken Sparks said. “We had a bunch of people who were out this camp because of injuries. The flip of that is that we had a lot of opportunities for young players to get better. Some of them took advantage of those opportunities and some didn’t.
“Overall, I thought we had a productive camp. I don’t think we had an outstanding camp. But I thought it was productive. But ultimately we won’t be able to truly determine how we grew until we truly get into live game action Thursday.”
Among the biggest questions heading into camp was the status of defensive line. The Eagles returned just Lakin Smith, CT Leavell and Evan Brown, all three reserves from a year ago. However, the influx of freshmen plus veterans stepping up has Sparks a bit more optimistic about the position.
“Even though people were hurt, this camp helped us answer some questions defensively,” Sparks said. “I’m excited about our potential up front and I think we’ll be a bit better than I thought we were going to be.”
Carson-Newman has its attention on the University of the Cumberlands. The Eagles open with the Patriots on Sept. 3 under the lights of Burke-Tarr at 7 p.m. Coverage will be available on the Eagle Sports Network on Joy 620 (WRJZ-AM, Knoxville), Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.