For the past two years, Eagleville has reached the TSSAA Class 1A state quarterfinals. However, the postseason will have a different look this year for Eagleville if it is fortunate to advance to the postseason.
The Eagles, who finished 8-5 last season, were bumped up in classification for the postseason to Class 2A.
However, the pieces are in place for the Eagles to reach the playoffs.
Offensively, the Eagles return a four-year starting running back in Chris Hale, a rising senior who has accounted for 2,430 rushing yards during his Eagleville tenure. While also playing safety last year, Hale led the Eagles rushing with 797 yards scoring 12 touchdowns.
Eagles fans can expect similar type number in 2013, especially since coach Steve Carson will be working with a new receiving corps.
“With our tailback Chris Hale back, sure we would like to be balanced, but I feel like we will probably really lean heavily on the run early on until we get those receivers caught up to speed,” Carson said.
The Eagles are also still in search for the new group of receivers after graduation hit the Eagles hard at that position.
Sophomore AJ Garza, seniors Britt Roberts, Maison Vallance and Waylon Sedtal all will likely be expected to pick up after graduation losses.
“There are a few other guys too, they’re coming on. They’re not where they need to be, but they are getting there,” said Carson.
Carson, though, does return senior quarterback Ryan Jordan. Jordan threw for 2,090 yards in his first season at Eagleville.
“Ryan did a nice job for us last year,” Carson said. “It’s nice to have a returning quarterback where we don’t have to start from scratch again this year.
“It’s speeding up the process. It’s nice knowing you got a kid that’s gone through the battle of every Friday night back with you again.”
Only three starters from last year’s defense return for 2013.
Those returning include noseguard Alex Ware, and defensive tackle James Merritt. Playing behind Ware and Merritt will be a brand new set of linebackers.
Filling in the gaps for the Eagles look to be senior inside linebacker and two-year letter winner Isaac Haley, surrounded beside juniors Brandon Hall and Josiah Tuch.
The Eagles graduated both of their corners from a year ago. Hale is the only starter returning in the secondary.
Eagleville returns all-state freshman kicker Rudy Guerra. However, he has been competing for the job against senior Luke Duross. Duross is a soccer standout at Central Magnet and is playing at Eagleville through a co-op program.
Duross will have the kickoff duties for the Eagles.