EAGLE FOOTBALL IS NOW THE TARGET
By William for CrossDove Writers / https://mcpherson-county-ks.com/
(SPONSORED BY CROSSDOVE WRITERS)
The stories have been told by many of how the mighty Canton/Galva football team missed by one victory of making the 2018 state championship game after having to forfeit games for lack of numbers just three seasons earlier.
But now, in 2019, the Eagles are the target as many polls have them listed as the number one team in Eight-Man Division I football, and everything they show on paper gives little doubt to those accolades.
Head Coach Shelby Hoppes had made a major turnaround with the program in just two seasons, going 4-5 in season one and then finishing 10-2 in 2018, including 5-1 in Wheat State League action.
Now the goal is to take the next step, something which seems possible as Canton/Galva did not graduate a single player from last season while returning five players who earned All-State honors in 2018.
“After having no seniors in 2018, we will have a large and very experienced senior class for 2019,” noted Coach Hoppes. “Having been through the grind of last year’s playoff run, those seniors got to experience what it takes to compete against high level competition week in and week out. We will need that experience and their leadership to compete at a high level again in 2019. For the first time in a long time, we will have over twenty kids out for football at Canton/Galva and with a roster of almost thirty players, we should have quality depth at all positions which is something we haven’t had since I’ve been here.”
The offense returns all eight starters and begins with senior quarterback Landon Everett who dominated all-state honors while also being a finalist for Kansas Player of the Year. Everett is surrounded by sophomore wide receiver Tyson Struber, a first-team all-stater, as well as senior linemen Nick Pearson and Jay Nightengale, a combined 490 pounds of honorable mention all-state honors. Rounding out the returning starters will be senior receiver Kinser Colgin, junior running back Brayden Collins and junior linemen Keaton Littrell and Tyler Rummel.
While Everett and Struber both earned All-State honors at defensive back as well, the real leader of the Eagle defense could be junior honorable mention all-state linebacker, Brandon Huff. Joining Huff at linebacker will be Collins, while Colgin will be the other defensive back. Up front, Pearson is joined on the line by senior Mason Reedy and junior Connor Koehn.
Coach Hoppes concluded his pre-season reflections by talking up his returnees, saying, “We return our top eight players on both sides of the ball and we also have a solid group of young guys who will create competition at multiple spots. Offensively, I believe we return one of the top offensive lines in our classification as they paved the way for a backfield that rushed for over 3,000 yards last season. Defensively, our secondary will be one of the toughest to throw against in eight-man as we return the same unit that tied the state record for interceptions with 27.”
The Eagles will begin their hopeful march to the state championship on Friday, September 6 when they host Little River.
2019 EAGLE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
Sept. 6 – host Little River
Sept. 13 – at Chase County
Sept. 20 – host Centre
Sept. 27 – at Bennington
Oct. 4 – at Peabody/Burn
Oct 11 – host Goessel
Oct. 18 – at Solomon
Oct. 25 – host Herington
Oct 31 – Bi-Districts, TBD
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