Five seasons ago, Joe Teknipp took over as head coach and guided the Golden Eagles to the postseason for just the second time in school history. (The 1997 squad made the playoffs.)
“We have 17 seniors,” Teknipp said. “This is the most experienced we have been since my first year, which was a playoff team. So there are a lot of comparisons to that first team I had.
“If you look at the Eagle’s Landing record books through the years, unfortunately it seems like a five-to-seven year cycle,” Teknipp said. “We’re hoping this is the year we catch lightning in a bottle again.”
Not only did the 2008 club qualify for the postseason, but that team also matched the school’s record for wins.
“Trying to have a winning season and making the playoffs is definitely on our minds,” Teknipp said. “The most wins in the school’s history is six and we’d love to eclipse that. We have the talent. If we just stay away from injuries and that depth we’ve been working on comes through, I think we will be fine.”
Despite notching a 1-9 record for the second straight year, Eagle’s Landing has some talent with quarterback Bradley Dewberry, who is being recruited as a safety by Indiana, and Corey Holloway being joined in the backfield by Rivals.com three-star running back Sedrick Palmer, who transferred from Henry County.
Dewberry passed for 2,003 yards and 17 touchdowns, and rushed for 568 yards and nine TDs. Holloway also ran for nine scores but 1,370 yards.
“We put up points with anyone last year but we struggled on defense,” said Teknipp, whose team scored 21 or more points in eight of its 10 games. “All of our skilled guys were on offense and a couple on defense —you can’t hide eight or nine players.”
Specifically, a lot of the Golden Eagles’ problems on defense stemmed from their lack of size at linebacker. But Palmer will also join Holloway at that position and they both weigh more than 200 pounds.
“As much as Sedrick can give us in the backfield, his presence at linebacker just sets the table for us,” Teknipp said.
With a versatile quarterback, two proven running backs and more bodies to share the load, the football program could be on the verge of a makeover like the rest of the school.
“It can be an exciting time around here with the new construction around here,” Teknipp said. “We’re building a new foundation just like the school.”