Eagles embrace expectations

Eagles embrace expectations


Eagles embrace expectations


Eaton High School Football players Josh Bulach, left, Austin Hartzler and Damon Willard.

Eaton High School Football players Josh Bulach, left, Austin Hartzler and Damon Willard.

Brad Davis played under head coach Ron Neanen and served as an assistant for the recently-retired Eaton Eagles coach since 2004.

Davis knows as well as anyone what expectations his new role brings, regardless of the fact that the Eagles went 3-7 with a last-place finish in the SWBL Southwestern Division last season.

A 1997 graduate of Eaton, Davis takes over as head coach as the Fighting Eagles kick off the season Friday at home opposite Greenville.

“To be honest, we haven’t talked about it too much,” Davis said of last season’s record. “Trying to get past last year, used it a little bit during camp to let guys know, unless they want to finish like we did last year, we need to work harder.”

The past the Eagles are trying to get back to is the success they had in seasons such as 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The Eagles qualified for the Ohio playoffs those years, including an unbeaten regular season in 2010, and Davis was an assistant every year.

Davis joined Neanen’s coaching staff in 2004 and moved to defensive coordinator in 2009.

He’s hoping the success defensively can carry over for the Eagles, but he has spent much of the offseason getting reacquainted with the offense.

Returning seniors include quarterback Austin Hartzler and running back Damon Willard.

Three-year starter Willard was an all-SWBL selection after finishing second in the league and first in the Southwestern Division with his 1,424 rushing yards.

He also scored 16 of the team’s 18 touchdowns on the ground while adding 19 receptions for 158 yards and a score.

Hartzler was second in the Southwestern Division with 1,467 passing yards and seven touchdowns, but also threw 12 interceptions.

“Damon’s been pretty good for us over those years trying to find those tough yards. We’re trying to get him focused on getting that one cut,” Davis said.

“… (Hartzler’s) arms strength is really one of this strengths. We’re trying to get him to anticipate routes a little bit more, start throwing to some guys before they are open instead of waiting ’till they are open.”

Tyrell David returns after making 15 catches for 217 yards and a score and Shelby Ward had 10 catches for 111 yards.

Davis said he hopes the Eagle offense can establish a run game and allow the passing to be a product of that run game.

The Eagles will lean on returning senior Josh Bulach to lead the offensive line at center.

Defensively, Davis hopes the Eagles can pressure other teams, which they did in the form of three sacks each from Darius Spears and Kevin Melling.

Donnie Nicodemus had one and returns at defensive end, while Ghye Wilson, David, Ward and Bowser are expected to see time in the secondary.

Eaton’s home opener is Sept. 4 opposite St. Henry and the Eagles host Talawanda Sept. 11 in its final non-conference tuneup.

They then travel Sept. 18 to Franklin to open SWBL Southwestern Division play.

Other conference games are Sept. 25 at Bellbrook, Oct. 2 at home against Monroe, Oct. 9 at home against Oakwood, Oct. 16 at Brookville and Oct. 30 at home vs. Valley View, while the Eagles also travel to Carlisle of the Buckeye Division Oct. 23.

Zach Blaylock, Brian Conard, Jared Dunn, Drew Moore, Jonah Rohr and Matt Todd are also seniors.

“Essentially, all the seniors we’re expecting to play the best football of their careers,” Davis said. “We need all of them to contribute, the team’s going to follow the seniors and our season will go as the seniors will go.”



Head Coach: Brad Davis, 0-0 in 1st year

Assistants: Sam Watson, Scott Burnett, Chad Lee, Austin Fudge, Nathan Islamovsky, Don Houser, Cullen Zellchowski

Key Losses: Brandon George, Zavier Spears, Seth Reynolds, Garrett Eiler

Key Returnees: Damon Willard, Austin Hartzler, Josh Bulach

2015 Schedule

Friday: at Greenville

Sep. 4: St. Henry

Sep. 11: Talawanda

Sep. 18: at Franklin*

Sep. 25: at Bellbrook*

Oct. 2: Monroe*

Oct. 9: Oakwood*

Oct. 16: at Brookville*

Oct. 23: at Carlisle

Oct. 30: Valley View*

* — SWBL Southwestern Division Game



Zach Blaylock 5-10, 246, DL/OL

Josh Bulach 6-2, 237, DL/OL

Brian Conard 5-6, 156, DB/WR

Tyrell David 5-9, 162, DB/WR

Jared Dunn 5-8, 270, DL/OL

Austin Hartzler 6-0, 180, DB/QB

Drew Moore 6-2, 180, DL/TE

Jonah Rohr 6-2, 140, DB/WR

Darius Spears 5-10, 200, LB/RB

Matt Todd 5-9, 217, DL/OL

Shelby Ward 5-11, 175, DL/OL

Damon Willard 5-7, 180, DB/RB


Lew Bowser 5-9, 175, DB/WR

Brett Fewell 6-0, 242, DL/OL

Trey Gregory 5-11, 160, DB/WR

Jacob Jenkins 6-2, 241, DL/OL

Kevin Melling 6-0, 210, LB/TE

Donnie Nicodemus 6-1, 200, DL/TE

Braydon Shanefelt 5-7, 151, DB/WR

Vaughn Welcome 5-7, 185, LB/OL

Ghye Wilson 5-8, 157, DB/WR


Alex Almeyda-Roe 5-7, 150, DB/WR

Zach Box 5-9, 152, DB/RB

Aaron Chelgren 5-9, 148, LB/WR

Logan Cohorn 5-10, 150, DB/WR

Jordan Lewis 5-11, 168, DB/QB

Christian Michael 5-10, 210, DL/OL

Spencer Reynolds 5-8, 195, DL/OL

Tyler Schmidt 5-7, 155, DB/WR

Chase Smith 5-11, 180, LB/TE

Aaron Tolliver 5-10, 172, DB/RB

Michael Watkins 6-0, 150, DB/WR

Kaleb Wilson 5-9, 210, DL/OL

Logan Wysocki 5-10, 210, DL/OL


Jonathan Bronson 6-0, 190, DL/OL

Jared Emrick 5-9, 167, DL/OL

Tyler Ford 5-0, 100, DB/WR

Noah Foust 5-10, 170, LB/RB

Nick Imhoff 5-5, 185, DL/OL

Noah James 5-8, 150, DB/RB

Adam Minton 5-7, 215, DL/OL

Caleb Puckett 5-9, 157, LB/RB

Logan Sizemore 5-10, 130, DB/WR

Peyton Sutton 5-8, 150, DB/RB

Ryan Venable 5-6, 120, DB/QB

Chris Weadick 5-7, 125, LB/WR


3-7, 1-5 in SWBL Southwestern Division (7th place)

Greenville 34-28 W

at St. Henry 41-14 L

at Talawanda 27-10 L

Franklin 28-20 L

Bellbrook 31-28 L

at Monroe 42-16 L

at Oakwood 30-7 L

Brookville 14-7 W

at Carlisle 48-35 W

at Valley View 40-23 L


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