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Football: Erdely, Camara earn POY awards
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West Forsyth quarterback A.J. Erdely. - photo by File photo

Quarterback A.J. Erdely thinks it’s coaching. Linebacker Mohamed Camara believes it’s teamwork.

Both ingredients have been part of West Forsyth’s recipe for success.

Erdely and Camara served as leaders for the Wolverines football team on each side of the ball and helped guide the program to 21 victories over the past two seasons, including three state playoff wins.

The two standouts are quick to give credit to everyone except themselves, but their unselfish play and gaudy stats earned Erdely the Forsyth County News’ Offensive Player of the Year honors and Camara the Defensive Player of the Year award.

"I’ve got to give credit to [offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Adam Clack]," Erdely said. "He’s a great [coach], so West is going to be just fine after I leave. Those coaches aren’t going to let [the team] slip."

Erdely, a Middle Tennessee State commitment, finished the season with 3,243 offensive yards and 33 total touchdowns. He rattled off 2,355 passing yards and 18 touchdowns to go along with 888 rushing yards and 15 scores.

The senior’s effort didn’t go unnoticed outside Forsyth County. He racked up first-team All-Region 6-AAAAAA honors and was selected to play in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star game.

"It makes my job easier when I’m surrounded by all these weapons," Erdely said. "Jake [Wieczorek] is unstoppable [at wingback] and Ty [Anderson] can block and catch passes and do whatever [you need at tight end]."

Camara is just as humble. He doesn’t see the defensive player of the year award as an individual accolade, but rather a team award.

"I’m proud, but it’s not an individual [honor]; it’s a team thing," Camara said. "This shows how much [work] we put into the defense. I was just put in the position to make plays."

Despite being the central point of the opposing team’s blocking scheme, Camara still wreaked havoc.

The University of South Carolina commitment tallied 90 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Camara was named the defensive player of the year in Region 6-AAAAAA and also played in the GACA All-Star game.

Camara wasn’t limited to defense, though. He was a running back from seventh grade until his sophomore year until coaches moved him to defense to fill in for an injured player. Camara still found his way into the offensive huddle on 12 plays this season — scoring a touchdown seven times.

"I was doing what I could to help out, just trying to make big plays." Camara said. "I’ve got good, athletic teammates."

Wolverines head coach Frank Hepler thinks Erdely and Camara are so successful because of their desire to constantly improve.

"A.J. has the drive to be the best at his position," Hepler said. "He’d bug [Clack] to work with him and work with him. He had to get better all the time. He’d spend any extra time watching film.

"I could say the same thing about Momo. He’s a great player. He’s physically strong and fast and can run down just about anyone. He’s tough for [an offense] to stop."

Although Hepler will greatly miss the two, he is confident both will succeed at the next level.

"They both have this great ability to compete; they’re tremendous competitors," Hepler said. "I really think their best is yet to come. It’s going to be hard to replace them."