After fielding a few generic questions regarding the upcoming football season, Evangel quarterback Connor Curry was asked about the players at his disposal at the Eagles’ skill positions.
Like the scoreboard often does on the very field he was standing, Connor lit up.
“I can throw to anyone,” the sophomore said with confidence.
Although the Eagles lost the area’s top receiver Jared Cornelius (82 catches, 1,189 yards, 16 TDs) to the University of Arkansas, Curry said he’s excited about the Eagles’ depth at receiver.
The names Orlando Puryear, Corey Henderson, Mac Meyer, Woo Kershaw and Caleb Laboy rolled off Curry’s tongue in a matter of seconds.
“It’s going to be fun when this gets going,” Curry said.
Meyer, who can play inside or outside, is the leading returning receiver. He hauled in 36 catches for 594 yards and seven touchdowns in the Eagles’ 10-2 campaign last year.
Curry’s freshman season was a success. He threw for 2,586 yards with 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He says lessons learned from Cornelius will power him through his next three years on Broadacres Road.
“He would stay after practice and work with me,” Curry said. “Getting to throw to a guy like that — with the routes like he runs and the speed he has … I’m getting more comfortable in the system.”
Evangel head coach Byron Dawson believes Curry has taken major strides since leading the Eagles onto the field as a freshman.
“He’s gotten stronger – physically and mentally,” said Dawson, who enters his second year as head coach. “That’s the key for a quarterback – to be able to make the decisions under fire and throw the deep ball late in the game.”
The Eagles have some power on defense, too.
Evangel is led by 6-foot-7, 310 defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, a Notre Dame commit.
“We (the defense) put the team on our back and we carry them,” Dawson said. “(Defense) is so special to me because look at the Super Bowl if you want to see the importance of defense.
“If you have a sound defense, even the most prolific offense will quit – that’s what happened in the Super Bowl.”
Although the Eagles will participate in District 1-3A, they will be part of the Division I postseason. Given the opportunity to play at the highest Select level, Evangel continued its tradition of doing just that.
“What’s winning a championship if you’re not playing the best?” Curry said.
Said Dawson: “We’re excited to have an opportunity to play in a league that has so much tradition on this campus. From the time we were pushed down (in class), we wanted to get back.”
Coach: Byron Dawson
2013 record: 10-2, loss in Division II in semis
Sept. 5 Riverside Acad.
Sept. 12 Ouachita
Sept. 19 at Northside
Sept. 26 at St. Thomas More
Oct. 10 at Green Oaks
Oct. 17 North Webster
Oct. 24 at Bossier
Oct. 31 at BTW
Nov. 7 Mansfield