After a long offseason and three-plus weeks of practice, Vista del Lago finally opens its 2018 football season at home on Friday night.
The Eagles play host to Cordova, a team they beat twice on their home field a year ago, including in the opening round of the playoffs. The Lancers have a couple of key returning players who did damage against the Eagles a year ago in quarterback Johnele Sanders, who might have moved to receiver this year alongside Alvin Banks, who made several big plays against the Eagles a year ago.
“They are a familiar opponent, but they’ve got a new head coach this year,” Vista coach Mike Struebing said. “There will be some differences, but at the end of the day, they’re going to let their quarterback run, and try to get the ball to Alvin. We’re going to have our hands full.”
The Eagles will be without their projected starting running back Jaxson Hansen, who suffered a broken leg in their scrimmage against Oak Ridge. For a team that’s already low on numbers, the loss of Hansen hurts. Struebing said Ethan Menezes and Garet Homer would take over the running back position.
Despite the loss of Hansen, the scrimmage went well.
“The kids did a good job and battled against Oak Ridge, who had some big kids,” Struebing said. “We executed well in the second half. Our kids didn’t back down and I was glad to see that.”
With the opening weeks of practice and the scrimmage out of the way, the season is here and the Eagles are ready.
“The kids have done a good job,” Struebing said. “They’ve focused on what we’ve wanted them to focus on. They’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”