“The Name of the Game”: Bears Improve Midway Through Season

Despite record at season midpoint, the team hopes to make gains in the second half.


Whit Whittall

Senior Jake McIlvain is denied a pass by two Woodstock players.

With the halfway point in the season coming up, Cambridge varsity football currently sits 1-2 in the region and 1-4 overall.

Despite falling short in games against Creekview and Woodstock with scores of 42-7 and 37-17, the Bears won their first game this season against Dunwoody on Sept.7 with a score of 16-14.

All three games had standout performances on the team and individual levels.

“We think we’re really improving with each week. We focus on our mistakes from the last week at practice and it’s showing,” said kicker Jack Tindle, senior

Against Dunwoody, wide receiver Jake McIlvain, senior, and quarterback Stratton Tripp, sophomore, each scored a touchdown and combined their points with several field goals to beat the Wildcats 16-14.

The Bears’ defense also stood out as their opponent only managed to score twice.

“The win against Dunwoody was definitely a morale booster,” said defensive lineman Jordan Winnet, senior. “We felt great after and carried that attitude into the next week.”

Whit Whittall
Anticipation on both sides as Cambridge sets up for the third down in the Woodstock game.

In one of the more significant losses of the season, Cambridge fell to a strong Centennial 69-35 on Sep. 14th.

However, the Bears had their best performance yet, matching the Knights in the first and second quarter. It was not until the latter half of the second and third quarter when Centennial pulled away.

In fact, had Cambridge scored this many points in the other matches, each would have been safely won.

Whit Whittall
The crowd is energetic as the game against Woodstock gets underway.

“I think we were all disappointed that we lost but the effort from everyone was there. We want to bring that same energy to Chattahoochee,” said Tindle, referring to Friday’s game.  

Against North Atlanta, Cambridge lost after the home team made a vital interception in the fourth quarter.

Still, the Bears showed their ability to keep up with the top-tier team as they matched North Atlanta’s points throughout the first three-quarters of the game until they eventually took the lead.

Apart from the team’s great performance in Friday’s away game, freshman quarterback Zach Harris had an ideal debut for his high school career, as he contributed two touchdowns and over 200 yards for passing.

Whit Whittall
Cambridge players bring down Woodstock’s runner.

Cambridge will play its third home game of the season Friday against Chattahoochee. Last year’s game against the same opponent was another close game, as the Bears only conceded 21 points.

“Along with Pope, Chattahoochee is a strong region opponent,” said Varsity Head Coach Craig Bennett. “They are both on our sights this season.”

If Cambridge steps up against Chattahoochee on Friday, the team will be leveled in the region and 2-4 overall.

There is still potential for the team to pull ahead in the second half of the season like last year, Bennet said.

At the halfway point in the 2017 season, the Cambridge sat 0-5 but produced performances in the latter half to finish 4-6.

“We know we’ve got in us, we just have to capitalize and work on fixing our mistakes in games,” said Winnett on what the team plans on doing within the second half of the season.