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Eagles full of experience and expect to improve on 5-4 finish in 2017 season……..

The 2018 edition of Allen Eagle football will be in search of returning to the playoff picture for a third consecutive year following a 5-4 overall record in 2017. The Eagles will be returning five offensive starters and five defensive starters. The team totals 26 currently in number.

The Eagles, although returning five starters on both sides of the football, along with several others, who played, and will be called upon to show leadership. Jelling as a unit will be paramount for the team to be successful. Staying healthy the entire season will be important to develop continuity. What the Eagles lack in physical size, they will compensate with speed and aggressive play.

Lost to graduation from the 2017 season were, Blake McCorkindale, Jacob Williams, Luis Rivera and Levi Woodward. McCorkindale and Williams were all district performers in 2017, but the cupboard is not bare.

Again, a limited amount of (six) seniors will be on the roster, and youth will dominate the team, but forced playing time in the last two seasons, will lend immense experience to a group that have seen success and should be ready to accept the challenge of a very tough schedule during the 2018 fall.

Seniors, Kyle Smith and Isaac Verzani return as the most experienced seniors. Smith has played extensively his first three years, and accumulated over 1,900 yards of offense in 2017. Verzani, a stalwart on the offensive line, will be poised to become a four year starter. Verzani was all district along with Smith in 2017. Devin Twohig returns also as the leading receiver, and a starter who was all district in 2017. Oscar Roth, is a return specialist and flanker/defensive back, and Wyatt Keil will be asked to give depth to the team on the defensive and offensive lines. Cesar Sandoval, a transfer last season from Iowa, offers tackling skills, and running back prowess.

The junior class is headed by letter winners, Brogan Jones, Joshua Grone, Noah Carr and Steven Cooks. Jones, Grone and Carr are returning starters either offensively, and or defensively. Carr is a backfield / defensive back player, while Steven Cooks will be a force on the defensive line. Austin Gregerson will be called on to build depth on the defensive line, and Lukas Oswald may see some time in the backfield or at end.

Sophomores, Kobe Kumm and Anthony Isom head the youth movement. Kumm got valuable experience in 2017 at the quarterback position and will compete for playing time there along with defensive back time. Anthony Isom was a starter on defense in 2017, but an injury curtailed his playing time until the first round playoff game. Isom is a strong tackler, and good ball carrier. Devin Hoesing has shown signs of being a real asset on the defensive side of the ball with the energy and intensity level that he brings to the team. Other sophomores who could see the field at some point are Steven Sullivan (end), Reed Hingst (back), Wyatt Verzani (back) and Cole Woodward (line) round out the class.

Freshmen impact players are seen as a real possibility, as Josh Olesen (offensive line/defense) stood out in summer camp. Others could contribute, when seen in practice, Ryan Anderson, Ty Krommenhoek, Nathan Oswald, Gabe Reinert, and Chase Kallsen. Generally, a freshmen is awarded a starting spot for their fall camp efforts on special teams. The competition could be very good for that assignment.

Preseason practices will help better determine who is going to play where on both sides of the ball, and at this point, things are not definite, but surely some are assumable. The preseason will sort out and set the squad in a more definite mold as time unfolds. Athletes are going to have to be willing to be molded into position and role players, as the Eagle talents are relatively even across the board.

The Eagles will be under the direction of head coach, Dave Uldrich, and assistants will be Marc Bathke and Josh Batenhorst. Jason Olesen will be a volunteer assistant as well.

The Eagles open non-district play with an away game against at Cedar Bluffs on Friday, August 24th, at 7:00 p.m. The Eagles have beaten the Wildcats two consecutive years by a cumulative score of 122-20. The final two non-district opponents are Emerson-Hubbard and Winside.

Arguably, the district schedule is the most demanding of all D2 districts. Bloomfield, Hartington-Newcastle, Randolph, Wausa and Wynot create a highly competitive slate, as all five were state playoff teams in 2017, and all have the same potential for the 2018 season. Any one of the six, including the Eagles, could win the district. Time and on the field competition will sort the winner out.

Coaches Comments: “We look to get better with each practice. We, without a doubt are a work in progress, even with the experience we bring back, and will need to get things to get done in camp. Hopefully, we will jell quickly, play hard and smart, and have a very enjoyable season. We have the ability to be a highly competitive squad, but what we do with those opportunities will be up to the team to accomplish. The old saying, “You are as good as your seniors”, will be the challenge to our squad leadership. We had a very positive summer football camp experience and hope to keep that momentum alive. If we play hard, we could be a darn good squad, and if we do not, it will be frustrating and not be pretty to watch. We hope to be playing as a confident team in November as a goal.

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Allen Consolidated Schools126 East 5th StreetBox 190Allen, NE  68710

Phone: 402-635-2484Fax: 402-635-2331

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