By Chris Cox
Entering his second year, Shawnee sophomore quarterback Zyron Campbell is looking to take that next step as a player. As a freshman, Campbell showed some impressive tools with good athleticism and the ability to make some very difficult throws. But he also had some growing pains with plenty of turnovers. While that can shake a lot of players, new Shawnee head coach Jason Madonna says Campbell’s confidence seems high.
“I don’t think last year wrecked his confidence,” Madonna says. “I think he understands his ability and has that mentality of ‘what’s next?’ I don’t think his confidence was shaken at all and I think he’s got a good understanding of what he can be and the amount of work that it’ll take to get there.”
Going into this year, Campbell has not been guaranteed a starting role. He and junior Jamir Owens have been battling for that starting quarterback spot. While he obviously wants to start, Campbell will also be ready for whatever role he is asked to play.
“I’m just waiting for my opportunity to come,” he says. “We’ve (he and Owens) been competing in practice. I just hope, whatever happens, Jamir does well.” When asked about the competition, Madonna seemed to be most impressed with the maturity that Campbell has shown.
“He’s really matured over the summer and made a lot of strides this fall camp to hone his craft,” Madonna says. “Right now, he’s just trying to get a better command of the offense and once he commands that, his potential is through the roof.”
One thing that did not help Campbell’s cause was an injury he suffered during a basketball game over the summer. That, plus a slower recovery than anticipated, has forced Zyron to play a bit of catchup this offseason.
“I sprained my ankle and broke my big toe,” he says. “I was playing basketball and grabbed a board and came down weird. At first, the recovery wasn’t good. To be honest, I didn’t listen to the doctors and didn’t stay in my boot long enough. Because of that, they put me in a cast. Since I got that off, I’ve been good.” No matter if he starts, or what position he plays, Campbell is excited for the upcoming season for Shawnee.
“We have a chip on our shoulder and are ready to go out there and prove we are not an 0-10 team.”