“The worst thing that can happen,” said new SoBoCo assistant, “is that you get offside on this kickoff,” he told Eagles special teams players as they lined up for a quick sprint downfield as kicker Parker Boyce boomed a kick 50-plus yards through the practice field uprights.

QB Seth Mueller

With that, the Eagles 2017 football season began on Monday with a boom.

“This first week we will lift weights each day from 8:30-10 a.m. and practice from 5:30-7:30 or 8 p.m. in the evening,” said Eagles football coach Trent Tracy. “Part of that is because MSHSAA has rules for adapting to the heat – the first two days in helmets only, the next three days in helmets and pads. Then next week we can be in full pads. We are lucking out with the cooler weather this week – that’s huge when you’re getting into the season.”

The Eagles have high expectations starting the new season, coming off a 9-3 record in 2016 and returning 8 starters on defense, a strong stable of running backs and three of their five returning offensive linemen. In summer camp, they pushed around the Helias Crusaders and on Monday they came to their first weight lifting sessions in a new weight room and practice with plenty of spirit.

Tracy said that this year’s early start is due to a calendar that moved Thanksgiving up, but next year MSHSAA would start fall sports a week later and the state championship games would be a week later than the traditional Thanksgiving weekend.

After a strong summer of work in camps and weight lifting, the Eagles will play three games before they start school – and Tracy is worried as much about the fourth game of the season the first week of schools.

~ Find out more in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace