PIERCE CITY, MO - There's a new sheriff in Pierce City...figuratively. Matt Holt takes over Mac Whitehead as the Eagles head coach after 6 seasons as defensive coordinator at Monett.
HEAD COACH - Matt Holt, 1st season
2011 RECORD - 4-6
RETURNING STARTERS - 6 offense, 6 defense
PLAYERS TO WATCH - Cedric O'Hara (Sr. RB/LB), Garron Cantrell (Sr. LB/G), Jake Smith (Sr. DE, OT)
The Eagles are looking to restore their winning tradition. And Holt believes this group has what it takes.
"They bought in right away," said Holt. "They want to win. There's a tradition here. And they want to keep it going. They want to be good and they'll do anything we ask them to do."
Numbers are good, but experience is limited. The Eagles feature only 4 seniors and 6 juniors.
Speed isn't an issue, on both the line and in the skill positions. Senior Cedric O'Hara finished 5th in the 200 meter run at state last year and owns the school record. This year, O'Hara will have a different role however.
"He played quarterback in the past, but we put him at tailback. We're going to hand him the ball and let him to what he does best, run."
Garron Cantrell and Jake Smith are 2 more seniors that will go both ways this season. Their leadership will also be important for a young team in need of leaders.
"We're going to play harder than anyone, and we're going to have fun. We're going to run to the ball for 48 minutes."
And while coach Holt is relatively unfamiliar with the Spring River Valley Conference, he knows they'll need that max effort.
"We're going to bring our A-game every week."
The Eagles open the season August 24th at Jasper. The home opener is the following Friday against Greenfield.