‘Rebuilding’ Eagles prepare for new challenges
According to head coach Tim Shipman, the Heritage Eagles’ varsity football team finds itself in the second year of a two-year rebuilding program.
“We are getting five freshmen and two upper classmen who didn’t play last year,” he said, adding that he’s expecting the return of Parker Given who sat out last season due to an injury.
The Eagles finished the 2015 campaign with a lackluster 6-6 record before being knocked out of the second round of the state playoffs by district rival San Marcos Hill Country Christian School.
For a program that’s used to winning state titles (as it did in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014), the Heritage system wasn’t too pleased with a “two and done” scenario in last year’s post-season action.
But Shipman and Company are looking for better things in the coming year.
“All I can say is the second year of rebuilding is better than the first year,” he said. “We are in a position to make a good run.”
The Eagles’ mentor, now entering his 14th season at the Heritage six-man football helm, has reason to feel a guarded optimism. “We return the majority of our starters from last year and have some players who will contribute greatly,” he explained, including a plethora of talent in the upperclassmen department.
“We have a great group of seniors and juniors,” Shipman said, adding that “experience is definitely on our side.”
He mentioned that 12th graders Given, Blake Ashley, Jacob Huser and Elijah Farmer will be providing leadership for the Eagles’ contingent this season, with Dillon Roberts, True Stephens, Jackson Abel and Lane Sawtelle ready to step in from their junior grade level status to bolster the team in the form of additional leadership.
“They (the junior class members of the team) will have enough experience and are tested to play like seniors,” Shipman said.
Another player being looked at to contribute large loads of talent this year to the Eagles’ effort is sophomore Jonathan Hoermann. According to Shipman, Hoermann “was thrown in the fire last year as a freshman and that will pay dividends this year as he is coming into this year with his eyes wide open and prepared to make huge strides.”
Shipman and the rest of the Heritage coaching staff are also excited about the rising freshmen who will be in excellent position to receive valuable experience in the right situations.
“Their potential is great and they have time on their side,” Shipman commented. “Nonetheless, each one of them has their motors running.”
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