The Arlington football team is back on the gridiron and looking to come back even stronger this season.
Last year the Eagles finished as one of the top three teams in the division with a record of 4-2, and an overall record of 7-3. After closing out the regular season on a four-game win streak, Arlington lost to the Bethel Braves, 50-15, in the first game of the postseason. There will be a lot of changes this season as the Eagles graduated 16 seniors including most of their receiving corps, entire backfield and First Team All-League Quarterback Anthony Whitis.
“Right now we’re just focusing on conditioning and getting everyone back in shape for the season. The most important thing right now is to keep things simple and give our playmakers space to do what they do. We’re just seeing how we grow right now but it’s a promising start,” said Arlington Head Coach Greg Dailer.
One of the biggest constants for the Arlington offense this season will be their offensive line as they return key seniors in Josh Harbeck, Addison Edwards and William Shoemaker. Harbeck is back for his third straight year as the starting center, while Edwards is back starting his second year on the line. Shoemaker is coming off a strong junior season finishing as a Second Team All-League lineman.
With the majority of the offensive positions graduating, there will be a lot of pressure on new starters to step up into those spots. Chase Petersen, senior receiver, will be a big piece as he is the Eagles' only skill position player that earned Second Team All-League honors last season. As for the new starting quarterback, there is currently a battle between two options, junior Cole Cramer and sophomore Trent Nobach.
The defense will be built around last season's leading tacklers Michael Tsoukalas and Quintin Yon-Wagner. Tsoukalas, junior linebacker, finished last season with 92 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery from the middle of the defense. Yon-Wagner, sophomore linebacker, had an incredible freshman campaign with 104 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss, one interception and a spot on the Second Team All-League team.
“Before the season gets underway, we just want to get our young talent up to speed and increase their knowledge base. At this point it’s all about the fundamentals, because once those are solid we can work in the more advanced parts of our playbook as we go,” said Coach Dailer.
If you want to come out and support the Eagles, their first home game will be against the Mariner Marauders on Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m.