Shut-down corner a key to Hawk defense

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In Pleasant Grove’s championship season, Cameron Wells made dozens of great plays that no one ever saw, and that’s how you know he made them.

Cameron Wells

He never never ran the ball, never caught a pass, was 11th in tackles, but he did lead the team in passes broken up with 19. If there was a way to measure how many times quarterbacks looked downfield to see their best receiver covered like moss blanketing the northern side of a tree, well, he might be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

That’s how one gets to be a second-team, all-state defensive back and a unanimous pick as first-team all-district pick by the coaches who knew him best.

“Cam put in a lot of work to become the best cover cornerback in the area,” said his position coach, Dwight McCowan. “He’s coachable, smart and has a great personality. You can tell he comes from a very good family.”

The son of Maranda and Stacy Wells, Cameron on Tuesday signed to play for Southern Nazarene University.

From the press box at AT&T Stadium during the state championship game, it was obvious West Orange-Stark had underestimated the capabilities of the Texarkana team’s smallish, but oh-so-quick secondary. In some ways the game turned on that.

Because the cornerbacks, Wells and Tyler Kelly, shut down the passing game with single coverage, PG was able to crowd the box and negate the Mustangs running game. A week earlier, quarterback Chaka Watson ran for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Against PG, he had 13 carries for five yards.

He completed 13 passes, but was picked off three times, once by Wells, who drew all the joy he can from his senior campaign.

“It was great, a dream come true,” he said. “Coach McCowan had a lot of confidence in me and that pushed me even harder.”

Another Cam Wells fan is head coach Josh Gibson.

“I think Cam is the best cornerback in our district,” said Gibson. “He’s one of the best leaders on our football team. He’s a hard worker, vocal and real key to team chemistry. He treats everybody in the locker room like they matter.”

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A veteran journalist and educator, Bill Owney is a 1980 graduate of the University of Florida. Writing awards include APME honors for investigative reporting, the Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Award for public service reporting and numerous awards for editorial, column and news writing. He served as publisher of the Atlanta Citizens Journal and Pittsburg Gazette when each paper won sweepstakes awards from the Texas Press and North and East Texas Press Associations. He spent 15 years as a public school teacher and is an adjunct professor of English at Texarkana College.

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