'Round the county in 30 days: Cambridge

By Keith Niebuhr
Published May 8, 2007

A team-by-team look at Hillsborough County spring football:

Coach: Rick Shears (third season, 16-14)

2006 record: 5-5

District opponents: Bishop McLaughlin, Bradenton Prep, Calvary Christian, Keswick Christian, Sarasota Out-of-Door, Tampa Baptist

Jamboree date/opponent: May 17 at Shorecrest

Who's gone: DT David Bain, OL Trevor Moore, LB Nick Mercado

Who's back: RB/DB Will Bakos, RB/DB Taylor Cabral, DB Josh Lockwood, LB Erik Shears

What's new: The Lancers, under first-year defensive coordinator Dale Gore, have switched things up. In the past, Cambridge used a five-man defensive front. Now it is playing with four. The change was made so the Lancers can play more zone, something coaches hope will greatly improve the team's pass defense. The squad's top defensive player is Erik Shears, the coach's son. A four-year starter, he is a 5-foot-11, 230-pound middle linebacker who runs well and hits hard. The top junior-to-be might be quarterback Etienne Turner, a 6-1, 180-pound run-pass threat who played wide receiver in 2006. Now in its fifth season, the Cambridge program appears to be heading in the right direction. The Lancers have 15 rising seniors, all of whom are four-year players. By comparison, the squad had five seniors last season and four the year before. Another positive sign: Of the school's 182 students, 45 signed up to play football this spring.

Audibles: "Our motto this year is, 'Glorify God by playing in Week 12.' And I think that's very realistic." - Rick Shears

Did you know?: Turner's father, John, once climbed Mount Everest

Schedule: Aug. 24: at Winter Haven All Saints' (kickoff classic); Aug. 31: at Bradenton St. Stephen's; Sept. 7: at Winter Haven All Saints'; Sept. 14: Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic; Sept. 21: Bradenton Prep; Sept. 28: at Keswick Christian; Oct. 5: Sarasota Out-of-Door; Oct. 12: Bishop McLaughlin; Oct. 18: at Tampa Baptist; Oct. 26: at Calvary Christian; Nov. 2: Open; Nov. 9: at Bradenton Christian