Last ride: Former East Lincoln star Dollar ready for his final season with Charlotte 49ers
By Richard Walker
Now a redshirt senior wide receiver for the Charlotte 49ers, former East Lincoln High standout Cam Dollar said he had a revelation one day before the first practice to get ready for the 2021 season.
“It was the night before camp and I was out here and I was walking around and I was like, ‘Wow! I’m about to go through my last one,'” Dollar said. “So it really makes me want to take advantage of every opportunity I’m given.”
Dollar is expected to be given the chance to be one of the 49ers’ top offensive weapons this season after catching 53 passes for 786 yards and six touchdowns in 30 games (14 starts) in his first three seasons.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder also hopes that will translate into a future in professional football.
“That’s the No. 1 dream for sure,” Dollar said. “I know it’s tough. Everybody knows its tough. I think I’m capable of it. I’ve just got to have a really good year and need to get a little bit faster.”
Ever since Dollar broke onto the local sports scene, many have forecasted greatness for him.
At East Lincoln, he was on one of the best two-sport teams in state history.
With future NFL players Chazz Surratt and Sage Surratt and Dollar leading the way, the Mustangs won one state football title and played in two state basketball championship games.
At the time, Dollar had aspirations of playing professional in the “other” sport – basketball.
“If you would’ve asked me after my junior year in high school, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be here playing football,” he said. “I would’ve thought I’d have been playing basketball. Basketball was my love.
“And the team we had in high school made it easy for me to think I’d realize those dreams. But, then again, the team I had in high school in football made it easy to think about those dreams as well.”
Those East Lincoln teams were not only successful, they had college recruiters watching games and film clips of the Mustangs’ many star athletes.
“You know, it makes it a lot easier to get some looks when you have the success we had,” Dollar said. “Playing with Chazz and Sage, you’re going to get a lot of looks from a lot of schools. All you have to do is get them through the door.”
At Charlotte, Dollar has slowly but surely evolved into a game-breaking offensive threat.
After redshirting in the 2017 season, he caught two passes for nine yards and one touchdown in 11 games a reserve in 2018.
In the 2019 season that saw the 49ers make the school’s first postseason appearance, Dollar caught 41 passes for 599 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games (six starts).
And last year when COVID-19 issues altered or cancelled nine Charlotte games, Dollar caught 10 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns in six games (thres starts).
East Lincoln’s senior class president and a Conference USA academic honoree, Dollar received his undergraduate degree in communications and public relations in December 2020 and is currently working on a MBA with a projected May 2022 graduation.
“This year has been different,” Dollar said. “My studies have been a little bit more demanding. I’m just trying to figure out to not take that away from my football aspect.
“It’s a little bit harder and a little bit more demanding. Combined with my goals and aspirations, that might it a little bit tough. But the amount of support I have from home and from here is what’s going to get me through.”