Eagle backfield taking off
By L. SCOTT HAINLINE
Cy Falls defenders are being tested on a daily basis during practice by a Golden Eagles offense that features senior wide out Dean Johnson, junior quarterback Troy Mitchell and junior running back Tre' Clark, and they're becoming better players in the process.
I was a wide receiver last season, so I know how good Dean Johnson is," said Adam McGuire, who has moved to outside linebacker for his senior season. He makes our cornerbacks and safeties work even harder, and that improves the entire secondary.
You also have to be impressed by Troy Mitchell, who has really matured since last season, and Tre' Clark, who is probably the hardest worker on our team."
Johnson is primed to break all of the team's career receiving records this season after hauling in 57 receptions for 1,013 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, and 14 for 302 yards and four scores as a sophomore (that's 71 total for 1,315 yards and 16 touchdowns with at least 10 games, and probably more, to go).
Mitchell took a large number of snaps as a sophomore last year and completed 53 of 91 for 496 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, and he ran for 313 yards and three touchdowns on 57 tries.
He's a very talented young quarterback, and a deceptive runner," Cy Falls eighth-year coach David Raffield said.
Clark, who inspires his teammates with an outstanding work ethic, rushed for 441 steps and four touchdowns on only 61 attempts last season, and looks like he's one of several Golden Eagles ready to break out in 2010.
Cy Falls, which has advanced to the postseason five times in seven years under Raffield, also brings back wide out Gratian G" Gladney (47 receptions, 465 yards, three touchdowns in 2009), and offensive line returning starters Matty Hochstrasser and Hunter Logback.
Several veterans join McGuire on defense including safeties Jaryd Johnson and Justice Eke, linebackers Jake Twardowski, Matt Schmidt and Caleb Schonacher, cornerbacks Brice Christian and Tyler Sibley, and linemen Dave Blacklock and Kevon Hunter, and Christian also returns as the team's top kicker.
I really like the change from offense to defense, and I've played (defense) before, so it's not totally new," McGuire said. I feel like we can have a dominating season, and my favorite part will be when we make opposing offenses look stupid."
Cy Falls is picked in most preseason polls to be one of 17-5A's four playoff representatives, and after another solid spring and summer, Raffield is confident his Golden Eagles can make it happen.
We had a great turnout in the summer, and during the early workouts, we've been going back and revisiting everything we did in the spring, and working hard on special teams," he said. The good thing about our program, and having spring ball and a stable coaching staff, is we do what we do year after year, and always feel like we come into the fall with a mindset that's ready to go.
We could probably play a game, as far as knowledge goes, after only one week of workouts, and I don't know how good we would be with only a week of training and conditioning, but we could be ready to play if needed."
The Golden Eagles host Klein Oak in their only scrimmage at 7 p.m. Friday at Cy Falls High School, and after being open during Zero Week (Aug. 27), they begin the regular season against Morton Ranch at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3 at the Berry Center.
That's followed by nine straight weeks of district outings starting with Cy Woods at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at Berry.
With only one scrimmage and one game before district, there will be a lot of emphasis on Friday's scrimmage, and the season opener," Raffield said. The district is going to be very balanced, so you have to be as prepared as possible every week, and especially for those early district games."
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