Jackson Christian’s football team enters its second season with head coach Todd Roland this fall.
The final results in 2014 weren’t what the Eagles and their fans hoped for, but late-season wins over Class 4A team McNairy and competing better against 2A power Adamsville in Week 10 provided somewhat of a spark of positive momentum heading into the offseason.
“It’s been good,” Roland said. “The effort, the energy, the motivation – everything a coach wants during the offseason conditioning work is there.
“We just have to make all of that translate onto the field.”
One of the biggest hindrances to the Eagles’ efforts for success in recent years has been the fact they are usually the smaller team – in size and in number of players – when they take the field against another team on most Friday nights. But Roland said while that does have an effect, the team shouldn’t let that be an excuse.
“Would things be easier if we were 6-6 and 300 pounds across the line instead of a foot shorter and 150 pounds lighter? Yeah I think so,” Roland said with a look of someone stating the obvious. “But just because we’re not doesn’t mean we can’t be successful.
“Don’t you think Trinity Christian or Adamsville or even teams like Milan or Peabody coming off a state championship – don’t you think they would like to be a little bigger or stronger or even faster? I’m not going to dwell on that, and neither are our players. We’re going to play to what we do best and try to win with that.”
While the Eagles will have a lot of inexperienced youth at different places, there are some key components coming back with a lot of experience.
Miles Humphreys has been one of the more consistent players – particularly on defense – the last couple of years. Clay Lewis has been the main ball-carrier the last two years as well and hopes to have a big senior year.
Will Buehler returns as the starting quarterback as a junior.
“The key for us is to put the guys who can do things well – the best – in position to succeed the most to help this team the most, if you understand what I’m saying,” Roland said. “A lot of that is still yet to be determined until we get done with scrimmages and 7-on-7s and all of that stuff. We’ll get it worked out.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751