Curtains set to come up on ‘11 season for Conner, BC Tigers

COLUMBIA – Saturday (Sept. 3), the curtains come up on the (2011) season for Stan Conner and his Benedict College (BC) Tigers.

The dress rehearsal practices are all but over and done with.

Preseason competition has given way to the players who have been tabbed offensive, defensive and special team starters for a BC squad that will obviously be trying to improve upon a 5-6, 4-5 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) record fashioned in the 2010 campaign.

In less than 72 hours from this publication date (Thurs, Sept. 1), it’ll be gametime!

To kickoff the ‘11 slate, the host Tigers are scheduled to vie against the Virginia Union Panthers in the featured attraction of the 10th annual Palmetto Capital City Classic (PCCC). Action in this event is slated to get underway at 3:30 p.m. at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

Although beset with an issue at quarterback, due to projected starter Michael Adams being lost for the season because of a knee injury suffered near the end of preseason drills, Connor nonetheless remains optimistic about the offensive chances of his team going forward.

With Adams out, the starter at the signal-calling post for the Tigers is expected to result from the accepted services of either sophomore Johnny Carson or redshirt freshman Harlon Samuel.

“We obviously hate that Adams won’t be able to play for us (this season), but we still feel good about the talent we have at quarterback,” said the BC coach, who added that erstwhile Irmo standout LeAnder Barney has a chance to play, as well. Barney transferred in from Georgia Southern.

While further assessing his team, the former assistant at Alabama A&M, who is beginning his fifth year at the helm of the BC grid program, heaped praises on his defensive participants. Nevertheless, he admitted that he’s somewhat concerned about the overall youthfulness of the Tigers, who’re loaded with a number of freshmen and sophomores.

“Yes, we do have a lot of young players. But, I feel really good about our defense,” declared Conner. “On this side of the ball, we have a lot of talented players who know how to play this game. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them help us to be a much improved team this season.

“With our first game coming up real soon, we’re looking forward to the season. Like every season, we want to win them all… that’s the goal. But the main thing is just trying to get better as a team from week-to-week. If we do this, good things will happen for us.”