VILONIA: Eagles ready to fly back into playoffs

Conference: 5A West
Coach: Michael Stout
’14 Record: 4-6 (3-4)

The Vilonia Eagles stayed in the hunt in the 5A West in 2014, but came up just shy of making the playoffs. Fourteen starters return for the Eagles this fall, making them a dangerous team for anyone on their schedule.

Michael Stout takes over as the Eagles’ interim coach after Jim Stanley resigned this summer.

Vilonia boasts a backfield full of seniors for its double wing offense — Shane Steward (fullback), Wade Richards (running back), Dylan Wimberly (fullback), Trevor Burkett (running back) and Blaine Norman (running back). Sophomore Danny Smith is a top newcomer at running back, and junior Luke Gordon takes over at quarterback for the Eagles. Senior Braxton Barber and junior Nick Gentry lead the offensive line at center and guard, respectively.

Senior defensive back Jeremiah Santiago.

Senior Darren McClusky starts at defensive end and is joined on the defensive line by Barber and Gentry along with seniors Christian Scott, Jaret Byrd, Ryan Pierce, Wren Alexander and Trent Rivers. Gentry and Wimberly man two of the linebacker positions in Vilonia’s 4-4 defense. Seniors Ben Payne and Wade Wyatt fill out the linebacker corps. Richards, Burkett and Norman give the Eagles depth in the secondary, along with seniors Kaleb Madden, Zac Cole, Trip Reed, Cameron Broach, Jeremiah Santiago and Gage Johnston.