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Connors hopes Blazers can spread their wings in '08

September 05, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

CLEAR SPRING -- Jon Connors is a junior in his second season of football at Clear Spring, yet he is being touted as a team leader for the Blazers in the 2008 prep football season.

At 6-foot-1 and a sturdy 190 pounds, Connors will lead his teammates into battle as the Blazers hope to crack the victory column following an 0-10 record last year.

"I think six or seven wins is doable if we continue to learn more in practice and practice harder," said Connors. "There is a stronger feeling around and more guys wanting to play this year."

There are 26 players on the roster, nine more than Clear Spring finished with last year, and Connors is envisioning his role as one who can do more than put numbers in the stats box.

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"I try to help the other players make the right moves, especially some of the newer players," said Connors. "Just the basics. I want to help us become more aggressive."

Second-year coach Craig Bathgate likes what he sees in Connors.

"He gives it his all and puts his body on the line," said Bathgate. "He's got a crazy-good football mentality and leads by example.

"He's one of the reasons we're switching to the wing-T offense to take advantage of his ability."

Connors hopes to get 'mad' when playing defense, where's he's slotted at an inside linebacker position.

"When I get mad, it just makes me want to hit people," he said.

Clear Spring has been a punching bag over the last four years, but Connors is confident that won't be the case this year.

Bathgate has as much confidence as Connors has heading into the season.

"We face long, long odds, but I'm confident we can get some non-conference wins," said Bathgate, a former assistant at North Hagerstown. "We're trying to change and improve the football image with people like Connors. There's a lot of feeling here that we can make a strong showing in the county."

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