11 Aug 2010 MAYFLOWER: Eagles optimistic about 2010 season
“We struggled in a tough non-conference schedule, but it prepared us for competition in conference,” Coach Jed Davis said. “We played well, but we felt like we should have gone deeper into the playoffs.”
After starting 0-3, the Eagles were well on their way to moving to 0-4 in the conference opener against Riverview, but they found a way to turn it around.
“We had an early lead against Riverview,” Davis said. “But they came back and tied the game. We pushed through and won. That game really set the tone for the rest of our conference season.”
The Eagles will turn to a sophomore to lead the way at quarterback this fall. Daniel Gieber (5-5, 150) replaces all-state performer Jordan Dycus. Dycus threw for more than 2,500 yards last fall in his senior campaign.
“Gieber is as dangerous with his legs as he is with his arms,” Davis said.
Gieber isn’t the only one being asked to fill some big shoes – junior Taylor Mathis (5-8, 190) will be asked to replace Demetris Lasker’s 1,500 rushing yards at running back. But the Eagles shouldn’t have to worry about the offensive line.
“Everyone on the line has played there at least one year,” Davis said. “That’s one of our strengths, and we expect to see some big things from these guys.”
Chris Hale returns at receiver for the Eagles after recording almost 900 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last fall.
“Offensively, we just want to keep running the ball and scoring lots of points like we have been the last few years,” Davis said.
Mayflower returns three linebackers from last year’s squad. Murphy Bankston and Mathis recorded 54 and 48 tackles, respectively, last fall at linebacker. Sophomore Cody Funderburg (5-11, 175) also returns at linebacker.
“We are going to compete for the 2-3A championship like every year,” Davis said. “We are going to maintain that. It always comes down to us, Harding Academy and Barton for the conference championship.”
5 Players to Watch:
Chris Hale (Sr. WR/DB)
Murphey Bankston (Jr. LB)
Taylor Mathis (Jr. LB)
Jacob Raney (Sr. OL)
Kody Woodham (Sr. OL)
Sept. 3 at Dumas
Sept. 10 Greenbrier
Sept. 17 Glen Rose
Sept. 24 at Riverview*
Oct. 1 at Brinkley*
Oct. 8 Rose Bud*
Oct. 15 at Harding Academy*
Oct. 22 Benton*
Oct. 29 at Arkansas Baptist*
Nov. 5 at Episcopal*
* 2-3A conference game