SP Cameron Wagner

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2007

South Panola offensive lineman Cameron Wagner shows off the three state championship rings he earned. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

Wagner’s solid on the Tiger offense

By Myra Bean

The success of the South Panola football team this year could rest squarely on how smooth a transition takes place between one coach to another.

Senior offensive guard/defensive tackle Cameron Wagner sees that as his role, keeping everybody on the same page.

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“If coach Pogue asks me to do something, I do it,” Wagner said. “If I don’t like it, I will do it anyway. I don’t want anybody to have the wrong feelings that I don’t like the coach. Because if I don’t like the coach, everybody will try to follow me. I have to follow the rules and everybody else will fall into place.”

Tiger head coach Lance Pogue appreciates that quality in Wagner.

“Biggest thing about Cameron is that he is a really good player,” Pogue said. “I just asked him to take a leadership role  because he has good leadership qualities. He has done a great job so far.”

Wagner’s mother, Monique Sneed, had an opportunity to take a good paying job out of state and move her family, after her home-based human resource job with Hill-Rom, Inc. was eliminated in a major company downsizing. But she decided to let Wagner play his senior year at South Panola.

“I am a single mother. I was without a job and had a son who was a starting offensive guard on a state championship team,” Sneed said. “He was going into his 10th grade year.  I had quite a dilemma. The chances of me finding a job in this area with a comparable salary was nil.

“I made a decision based on my faith in God,” Sneed continued. “I decided that moving was not an option. Although it would have been easy, I felt that moving Cameron at such a crucial point in his development and athletic career was not the right thing to do. One of the reasons that I will always love Coach Woods is that he did all that he could to help me find employment during this time. He was really concerned because he did not want Cameron to leave the team.”

Sneed eventually applied for and was hired as the Director Human Resources at Mississippi Valley State in Itta Bena. She drives 156 miles round trip every day for her job.

“It is a long way from here and honestly I could not see how I could physically make it work,” Sneed said. “Again, I asked God to send me where he would have me to go. I have discovered that there a good number of Batesville residents that commute long distances each day.  I love my job and the people that I work with.  My son is entering his senior year at SP.  The new coach shares my vision for my son’s future.  All is well with our world.”

Pogue for one is “tickled to death” Wagner decided to stay for his senior year.

“For our program, it’s a big factor,” Pogue said. “He could have gone to another school and worked himself into position. The comfort zone he has here is good for him.”

Wagner did not play on the ninth grade team his freshman year immediately earning himself a spot on the varsity offensive line as a ninth grader. As a result, he now sports three state championship rings.

Wagner has begun preparation for his senior year and a possible college scholarship. He attended an LSU combine in April.

“It was pretty fun,” Wagner said. “They had a lot of competition. They were pretty shocked at how good we were. We were probably the best ones out there.”

Wagner attended the combine along with teammates Montez Austin and Quinn Sanford and North Panola players Bruce Wilbourn, Templeton Hardy and former Tiger now Cougar Jamarcus “Yoshi” Hardrick.

Wagner met two boys from Louisiana who were at the Miss. State spring game who attended the combine. According to Wagner, one of them committed to Ole Miss.

“Everybody was joking around, but when we got to competing it was real serious,” he said.

Wagner logged a 22-inch vertical leap and 5.2 40-yard dash. He said he was not surprised by his numbers.

“When I went down there, I knew how good I was. They didn’t,” Wagner said.

Wagner was also tested in the broad jump and other drills, but he did not remember the final numbers.

“It was pretty good for someone my size,” said Wagner, 5’10”, 320 pounds. “Quinn and Templeton did real good, too.”

Austin trained with the wide receivers and defensive backs at the combine.

“They looked at him because he was kind of short but he was doing the boys,” Wagner said. “The ones who will probably be dandy dozens this year, the top recruits, he was out there working out with them.”

Wagner said the spring scrimmages were good with Clinton and Provine in May and they got to see how their new offense works. According to Wagner, the new offense is a “pro-style offense.”

“We got to hit somebody else for a change,” he said. “We like the new offense. It works pretty good. At first I thought it was going to be pretty hard but as we kept on working it, it started to click.”

Wagner said the coach tried to explain the offense to them.

“Most important part is it is effective. It works,” he said. “We are starting to throw the ball a little bit more. We won’t have to, but just in case. We tried to throw it in the spring game a little bit, but then the coach said we might as well just run it. We handed the ball off and just kept on scoring. That will always work.”

This summer the team is going through the conditioning and strengthening program the coaches set up.

“It will be about the same just harder,” Wagner said. “It gets harder every year.”

The team will also go to camps, Wagner said, including Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

Wagner plans to go to individual camps at Bowling Green, Michigan, Ohio State and probably Auburn.

Wagner has one brother, Houston, who is 9.