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Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Football Two-A-Days: Brandon, Riverview

Brandon COACH: Dean Eychner
DISTRICT: 7A-8 (Durant, East Bay, Plant City, Strawberry Crest)
2012 RECORD: 1-9
KEY LOSSES: DL/OL Ronnie Dennison, OL/DL Fanel Duprevil, S/WR Tyler Clark, LB Joe Lauer, K Willie Burkhart, WR Will Plachta
KEY RETURNERS: QB Brandon Jones, FB/LB John Gianino, RB Jon Jones, OL/DL Darren Lester, OL Jake Duffell, DE Joe Tkacs
SPRING FOCUS: The Eagles lost two games by three points and another by six in overtime last year. Eychner was pleased with the way his team stuck with it and battled in his first season, while a foundation was built for the future. “We spent a lot of time fixing the program and I believe we have,” Eychner said. “There's structure, a process and a level of expectations that are understood. … We're in a better place.” The Eagles will work on fundamentals and toughness. “We want to be good at the ABC's of football and be known as a working-class program,” Eychner said.
Brandon lost some key performers, but the Eagles have several players with experience who could add pages to the playbook. Brandon Jones has shown progress at quarterback and the Eagles have at least four options at running back. “I think we'll be a little more versatile on offense,” Eychner said, “and we're going to change some things philosophically with the defense.”
JAMBOREE: May 23 vs. Bloomingdale (at Newsome)
Aug. 23 – Kickoff Classic, TBA
Aug. 30 – at Blake
Sept. 6 – Bloomingdale
Sept. 12 – at Riverview
Sept. 20 – at Strawberry Crest
Sept. 27 – Chamberlain
Oct. 4 – Middleton
Oct. 11 – Bye
Oct. 18 – at Durant
Oct. 25 – East Bay
Nov. 1 – Plant City
Nov. 8 – at Berkeley Prep
Mark Pukalo

COACH: Mike Thornton
DISTRICT: 8A-6 (Alonso, Bloomingdale, Newsome, Plant, Wharton)
2012 RECORD: 2-8
KEY LOSSES: DL Antonio Brown, RB Chase McCoy, DL Michael McGuire, RB Lasander Washington, LB Greg Williams
KEY RETURNERS: LB Jeff Shapiro, RB Jaylin Vereen, DB Corey Whitt
SPRING FOCUS: Riverview has won an average of two games a year since the last winning record in 2007. Last season, new coach Thornton notched that many wins in his first two games. The momentum abruptly ended a week later with two early turnovers near the Plant City goal line that contributed to the first of eight consecutive losses. Undaunted, Thornton is patiently grooming a young crop that includes rising sophomores such as linebackers A.J. Evans and Mason Washington and fullback Fred McCoy. The coaches have worked during the offseason to boost morale through team-bonding activities. One thing hasn't changed — their commitment to the triple option. The question now is who will lead an inexperienced backfield at quarterback. The options are rising senior Chase Freeman and Isaiah Alexander, coming off his freshman year on the junior varsity. Defensively, the Sharks are somewhat thin up front and there are questions deep in the Cover 3. Between them, however, is a solid corps of linebackers led by Shapiro. “The talent level may not quite be there across the board,” said Thornton, “but they're definitely excited about the challenge.”
JAMBOREE: May 23 at Lennard
Aug. 23 – Kickoff Classic, TBA
Aug. 30 – Bye
Sept. 6 – East Bay
Sept. 12 – Brandon
Sept. 20 – at Wharton
Sept. 27 – at Middleton
Oct. 4 – Plant
Oct. 11 – at Strawberry Crest
Oct. 18 – Bloomingdale
Oct. 25 – at Alonso
Nov. 1 – at Newsome
Nov. 8 – Freedom
Bob Bellone
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