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Team Preview: Eldorado Eagles
The Skinny: The Eldorado Eagles went 6-6 during the 2012 season losing to Las Cruces 55-28 in the 5A Semifinals. The Eagles started the season 3-1, but midseason losses against Rio Rancho, Volcano Vista, La Cueva, and Sandia nearly knocked the Eagles out of the play-offs, until their 32-27 victory over Manzano in a pivotal must win district game. They don't return many, just four on the offense and three on the defense, they also lose their Defensive Coordinator Chris Howe. Danny Harmon along with Jim Cleary will call the defense in 2013, but all eyes should be on the Eagle's offense led by National Recruit Zach Gentry, the Eagles prized 6-foot-6, 228 Class of 2015 Quarterback.
Offensive Outlook: The offense starts with Zach Gentry who threw for over 1,500-yards last season as a sophomore despite missing more than four games with nagging growth plate issues. This year, Gentry has bulked up entering summer camp at 228 pounds and while he was absent a the Eagle's practice on Monday, Coach Dotson did not seem to mind being he is college camping at Florida and Arkansas. "Lot of hype, going to a lot of camps this summer, and as coaches it's our job to keep him healthy this year. Great leader and we'll see what he does.
He had a decent year last year, but not as good as he would of liked. He is going to see eight guys in coverage all season long, so let's see just how good of a quarterback he really is. Hopefully he'll get some support and I think he will, really like the attitude of this group," Commented Head Coach Charlie Dotson on Gentry.
The big question for concern for the Eagles heading into the season on offense is the offensive line support. They return just one starter from the 2012 season. New names like Anthony Schluter at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, 6-foot-4, 212 pound Chase Crawford, along with Cole Babcock who is their center at 6-foot-0, 240 pounds are projected starters. The skill positions are above average, no 6-foot-6 Tyler McCulloch (Eldorado Grad/Three Year Starter At Colorado) at receiver, but they have some very solid route runners that just have to catch the football.
Leading off with play-maker Jonah Mestas who is a three year starter. Solid routes, maybe the best route runner in New Mexico, Alek Martinez who has great hands, Manny Garcia who is a 6-foot-1, 170 pound possession receiver, and Ambrose Romero at 5-foot-7, 180 pounds at the slot position. In the backfield, look for Sophomore Jayce Jackson to continue to emerge as their featured back. Jackson started multiple games as a freshmen last season.
Defensive Outlook: On defense last year, the Eagles allowed 27.75 points per game, which is good and bad considering the schedule they played. They suffer some major losses on the defensive side of the football losing linebacker Patrick Garcia, Defensive End Dez Ravenell, and Defensive Tackle Austin French.
The good is they return a healthy 6-foot-6, 230 pound Matthew Clark who honestly looks like an NFL Football Player practicing with high school kids. Clark who battled some nagging injuries last season had surgery on both knees and is finally inching close to 100%.
Others to watch on the defensive side of the football include: Sean O'Hea at 185 pounds, Josh Ludwigsen at 230 pounds, and Anthony Schluter their 230 pound two-way linemen.
Their linebackers are new names like Travis Rutherford, Tim Baca, and Dominic Fascitelli. Baca looks to be one who can pair up with slot receivers and Rutherford is more of a hybrid linebacker/defensive end, maybe he can fill voids left by some very talented 2013 graduates.
Their secondary will be led by Jonah Mestas, their best overall two-way player. Expect Manuel Garcia to be one of their top defensive coverage backs, and we are also expecting big things from Ambrose Romero at the safety position. There is no question their their defense has a long ways to go, especially with their loaded 2013 season schedule.
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