It’s go time
Eudora hopes to follow up successful 2006 with equally impressive season
You wouldn't be able to tell by the thermometer -- it repeatedly pushed into the triple digits -- but the Eudora football team's summer came to a close Monday.
As teams all around Kansas begin their fall practices Monday, the Cardinals began preparations for what they're hoping will be another solid season. Coming off a highly successful 11-1 season which included a Frontier League Championship, undefeated regular season and a run in the state playoffs, Eudora, under the direction of coach Gregg Webb, is anxious to get things going.
"The first day is just really trying to see how much your kids remember from camp because you put so much stuff in at camp," Webb said. "Then you fine tune that stuff the first week of practice. The first day is just kind of a refresher.
"It went alright. We found out some things, but we didn't find out everything."
Although Webb admits his team may not be returning as many players as he would like, there are a few key components from last year's squad that should make his job a little easier.
"Right now we have 11 seniors, and we are hoping there might be 12 before it's done," Webb said. "It's a special group. It's a good group because I've kind of been taking an interest in them because they are in my kids' class. So, athletically, I've been watching them.
"Actually, 11 or 12 isn't a great number. We need to be around 15 to 20 a class, but they are all good kids. They bring certain attributes to the situation -- they need to because we lost so many good people."
The offense will return a pair of solid performers in seniors wide out Matthew Abel and running back Travis Clarke.
"He's got a lot of gifted abilities," Webb said of Abel. "He will have to touch the ball 15 times a game. Somehow, we have got to find out how we can get him the ball 15 times a game from a wide out spot. We are going to move him around and do a lot of things with him.
"Travis Clarke was a 1,600-yard rusher last year. He is back in the tailback position. He is good. He's tough and he can get a lot of extra yards for being 150 pounds. He had a pretty solid offensive line and they were a bunch of real strong guys. Travis will have to earn a couple more of his yards this year to begin with, and he won't get as many touches this year."
The only other returning player on offense is senior offensive lineman Mike Sledd. Along with a cast of younger player, Sledd will be called upon to anchor an otherwise inexperienced line.
"It's just reverse this year from last year," Webb said. "Last year, we had a big strong offensive line and they kind of manhandled some people up front. This year, we've lost a bunch of those kids. We've only got one returner on our offensive line."
The defense will return five players with a senior anchoring down nearly each position.
"On defense, we've got five kids back," Webb said. "Morgan Abel is back on our defense and Evan Meyers is back on our defensive line and they are good kids. Morgan has been an all-league kid and a two-year starter. Evan Meyers started for us last year. They are both about 210-215. They are tough kids.
"Then Chad Krutz is our inside linebacker. He's had a great preseason and he's going to be solid. Then Brynnen Webb is back at safety. He has had a good camp. So we've kind of got a senior leader at every defensive position and that helps."
The Cardinals will open up their season on Aug. 31 with a trip to Osawatomie before traveling to Central Heights a week later. Eudora will open its home slate on homecoming night as the team hosts Wellsville on Sept. 14.
2007 EHS football schedule
(Games are at 7 p.m.)
Aug. 31 @ Osawatomie
Sept. 7 @ Central Heights
Sept. 14 vs. Wellsville (Homecoming)
Sept. 21 @ Prairie View
Sept. 28 vs. Gardner
Oct. 5 @ Anderson County
Oct. 12 vs. Spring Hill
Oct. 19 vs. De Soto
Oct. 25 @ Baldwin