We’ve all heard the term freak before. Most of us try to avoid it, but Camp Point Central has used it as motivation to get to the state semifinals for just the third time in program history after Saturday’s 38-14 win over Triopia.
It’s high time to take a deeper look at what being a freak really means to the Panthers.
Head coach Brad Dixon said, “Finish on empty. Relentless effort. Embrace competition. Always accountable and know for discipline. We want our guys to be abnormal. We don’t want them to be the normal high school kid walking the halls. We want them to be a freak, be a cut above everybody else.”
That’s what the word freak means for Camp Point, a term the Panthers coined during 2014, their last trip to the state semifinal and it extends beyond the gridiron.
Senior fullback and linebacker Noah Strohkirch said, “It’s a way of life for us so it’s more than just a Twitter hashtag. It’s not just on the football field, it’s in life, in the classroom.”
The Panthers have had some freaky bad luck with their post season draws. They always say it’s difficult to beat a team twice in one season. Camp Point has had to do that three times.
Dixon added, “Oh it’s not what we drew up obviously. Not what we hoped for. We hope to get away from our conference to play some other people. It says a lot about our guys, how focused they are. they never for a second thought these games are going to be easy.”
And while the Panthers have fought their way to some shared history, next they’ll try and do something no Camp Point team has ever done.
Senior running back and defensive back Cole Williams added, “We had one goal at the beginning of the season, every season. To make it to a state championship.”
Strohkirch said that, “To make it to Champaign, that would mean a lot. I think getting there would be special, but the real thing is we want to win it.”
There’s still work to be done, but the Panthers are enjoying the moment just as much as they’re looking forward to the potential of what’s next.
Williams said, “I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The freaks totaled 407 yards in yesterday’s win including 297 on the ground. If the Panthers can keep that up, top seeded Agrenta-Oreana is in trouble come next Saturday.