The pads are back on in Beckley, as the Flying Eagles are into their second week of fall camp. The season is still a few weeks away, but the team’s energy level is in mid-season form.
“It feels pretty good to be out here with my teammates again,” said senior wide receiver Bryant Jones. “You know, we’re getting better each and every day. It just feels good.”
The 2018 season started as planned for the program with back-to-back wins over Riverside and Greenbrier East. But, seven losses in their last eight games forced a 3-7 finish to the year.
“Just minor details lost us games that were very close,” senior lineman Tristan Stiffler explained. “I mean, having people that were injured, having to play both ways, just having a depth chart that’s not that deep…”
“You know, some of these guys we just didn’t learn how to finish and think towards the end they were learning how to finish,” said head coach Chad Sarrett. “So I look for it to carry over into this season and into some games.”
The offseason has allowed the group to get smarter, as well as faster and stronger — particularly in the trenches.
“I mean, this is our fourth year together — just pushing hard,” Stiffler said. “We all wrestle. Both ways football. I think it’s going to be great this year.”
“Our team is tough,” added senior running back Aiden Shehan. “We’ve got a lot of strong players and people aren’t ready for us, I feel like.”
There’s still a whole season to play, but Sarrett knows his guys aren’t just talking the talk.
“You know, I think they can back it up a little bit. They’re just wanting to make the playoffs. When we make the playoffs, then everybody’s 0-0 and anything can happen.”
The Flying Eagles begin their season against Riverside on Friday, August 30.