Sunday, August 13, 2017

Parker optimistic about Eagles upcoming season

Parker optimistic about 2017   Moe Murphy/CCS
BERRYVILLE, Va.- As the Clarke County Eagles prepare to start another football season head coach Chris Parker feels good about his team, even though several key players were lost to graduation.

"It's looking pretty good. Our guys had a great season and worked hard in the weight room," Parker said. "I was really happy they came in, in good shape. We had some pretty good players that graduated but that's the way it is. Some graduate and you have to reload, and I think we are able to do that."

The Eagles will have to overhaul a good part of their 2016 offense. Clarke all time leading rusher Hunter Rogers has moved on to play for Christopher Newport.

Quarterback Chris Davis and all purpose back Daniel Braithwaite along with recievers Brett McDonald and Mackie Martin have all moved on.

The Eagles move up Colby Childs from the freshman team along with Peyton Rutherford to help fill the void. Childs will run the Eagles wing offense and Rutherford will handle a bulk of the running duties.

Colby Childs will run offense             Moe Murphy/CCS

 The Eagles return Kyle Baylor and Cole Lawson who both saw plenty of action last year in the backfield, along with Baylor handling the return duties.

Lucas Rogers and Ed Buzalsky appear to be a leading candidates for the receiver position and the interior line will return the most starters from last year with all state lineman Bryan Wallace shoring up a line that also includes Jacob Peace, Pete McClean and Kyle Anderson.

Wallace, who has verbally committed to D1 UNC Charlotte will head up an Eagle defense that returns Rico Nappi, Rogers, Lawson, Baylor to name a few.

Nick "Baja" Bahamonde returns to handle the kicking and punting duties. Bahamonde has been one of the most productive kickers in recent years, was named the Unsung Hero on last years team.

The Eagles traveled to Shenandoah Junction last Saturday to scrimmage AAA Jefferson, and Parker was happy with his teams performance.

"I thought our guys played very well on both sides of the ball," Parker said. "For us we tell them, look it's a scrimmage, it's practice, but it's a practice you try to win. I was pretty happy we had some seasoned players but I thought our young guys played well."
Senior Bryan Wallace (60) leads the way on both sides of the ball                    Doug Aylestock  /  Photography Concepts

The team looks to make their 11th consecutive VHSL playoff appearance after falling to Gretna last year in the 2A East Regional playoffs and finishing the year with a 10-3 record.

Peyton Rutherford looks to help fill the void left by last years graduates          Doug Aylestock  /   Photography Concepts

The Eagles freshman team last year finished undefeated in the Bull Run District and posted a 7-2 record, falling to AAA Musselman (WV) and AAA Riverside (Loudoun Co).

The Eagles start the 2017 season August 25, at "the Felt" against the Dominion Titans from the Dulles District in Loudoun County. The Titans went deep into the VHSL 4A Playoffs last season.

"They [Dominion] are gonna be tough," Parker said. "I've heard a lot about them, but I haven't seen them on film yet, but I know they have a couple D1 players. Any team that makes the playoffs and has the caliber of players like that is going to be tough."

Coach Chris Parker talks to the Eagles during a summer practice   Doug Aylestock  /  Photography Concepts

*Editor's Note : Additional action photo's can be seen at Doug Aylestock's Photography Concepts Page:

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