OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Hines

Cameron Hines of SHS
Staff Writer

Not many people pinned Starkville wide receiver Cameron Hines to be the breakout star of the passing game this season.

That is everyone except him, his family, his teammates and his coaches who all knew the work that he put in to get to this point.

Hines recorded stats in five games last year as the Yellowjackets struggled to pass the football and they missed the playoffs. Most of his 146 yards came in a 103-yard night at Madison Central, but he didn’t have more than 23 yards in a game all year.

Now, Hines is the go-to target on the field and has emerged as a potential All-State player when the season comes to a close. He never questioned his ability, but just wanted a chance to show it.

“It was the grace of God," Hines said. "It’s a big blessing as well as coach (Chris) Jones just giving me a chance. It all starts with the Man upstairs giving me this talent. My main offseason goal was to become a team leader and a big asset to the offense. I’ve been doing that ever since.”

This year, Hines is closing in on 1,000 yards receiving. He leads the team with 64 catches, 870 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the last two games, Hines has eclipsed 100 yards, including last week’s huge performance against Horn Lake as the Jackets moved on in the playoffs.

It was a five-catch, 161-yard night with two touchdown passes and another touchdown was wiped off the board on a phantom block in the back penalty.

Jones said that the game proved just how dangerous Hines can be in the offense and people are just now getting to bear witness to it.

“I’ve got to find a way to get him the ball whether it’s screens, short passes or deep ball,” Jones said. “ A lot of it is just opportunity. I don’t think he was given many chances last year to make plays. This year he’s been given the opportunity and made the best of it.”

Of the big catches Hines made in the game, the first might have been the biggest because it set the tone. Without Hines’ discretion earlier in the day, it might not have even happened.

Hines came to his coach prior to the game to find out what play the team would run first. After Jones answered, Hines respectfully disagreed and asked for a screen pass. When the time came, he broke off a 64-yard run to put the Jackets up 7-0 before the Eagles could blink.

“A lot of times as coaches we’ve got to listen to our guys because they’re the ones that execute the plays no matter what we call,” Jones said. “Anytime I feel like they feel good about a certain play, I’d rather run that. Hopefully we can get some more out of other guys that run plays.

“He’s a guy that shows every day that he wants to make plays to help his team.”

Late in the game, Hines broke the score open with a 60-yard touchdown reception to make it 28-7 in the fourth quarter and make sure that Horn Lake wouldn’t be making any last ditch efforts.

The 35-7 blowout was a return to normalcy for an SHS offense that has been struggling. It put the rest of Class 6A on notice that the North State championship will run through Starkville this Friday night against Madison Central.

“It was a huge momentum shifter," Hines said. "We know that we can put up points against anybody when we come together and do our jobs and that’s what happened. Our mindset is to go 1-0 every week and when we go 1-0, that’s all that matters.”