By Andrew Glover
PERRY, Okla. —
Cameron Bennett has spent his coaching career leading large schools in Florida and North Carolina. Now, he will be coaching one of the smallest in his career as he takes over the Perry Maroons football team.
“I’m excited. It’s a good opportunity,” Bennett said. “I’ve recieved good support.”
Bennett left Choctaw in Class 3A to join Perry in Class 2A last month. The new coach is looking forward to leading a smaller school especially in developing relationships with the kids.
“It’s a new opportunity,” Bennett said. “I get to reach more kids and have more one-on-one time. It’s not just about football, it’s also about building up character.”
Perry prinicipal Les Justus said Bennett will be a great addition to the Maroons coaching staff.
“He’s very knowledgeable and has a great attitude,” Justus said. “He also does a good job in the classroom.”
Bennett replaces Craig Hixon, who took the same position at Woodward. Hixon’s son Kale was the starting quarterback last season and will transfer with his dad. The Maroons graduated most of their linemen. Bennett said those players will be tough to replace but is excited about the talent he has returning.
“We have a lot of skill players returning,” Bennett said. “We got a great junior class and some young linemen.”
Bennett said one of his priorities will be finding a starting quarterback.
“It’s wide open,” Bennett said. “It will be fun building competition between the kids. Hopefully, I can put them in successful situations.”
The new Maroon coach said his previous teams were physical and will build a system that best suits Perry.
“When I was in Florida and North Carolina, we ran a spilt back veer,” Bennett said. “I’m definitely going to tailor the system to fit the kids.”
In the last two seasons, the Maroons made the playoffs and lost in the first round. Last season Perry finished 6-5, ending its season with a loss to Millwood in the first round. Bennett said he hopes to build on that success.
“We want to build on that momentum,” Bennett said. “We don’t want to just make the playoffs, we want to make it to the second round and beyond.”