FEATURE: From Not Finishing to Win and You're In!
HOUSTON - What a difference a year can make.
At this time last season, Fort Bend Christian Academy wasn't getting ready for its regular season finale against Westbury Christian.
Instead, the Eagles' season was already finished, having to forfeit the final two games because they couldn't field a football team.
A year later, new head coach and with it a new energy around the program - which went from 15 to 40-plus players on the roster - Fort Bend Christian Academy will play the regular season finale this Friday. And with a win over Westbury Christian, the Eagles head to the 2019 playoffs as a No. 4 seed.
"I think it's huge for this school, in all honestly, last year was the death penalty for us," Fort Bend Christian Academy coach Jordan Black said. "Just re-energizing the school, getting guys interested in football again, teaching the guys to compete, that's the hump we've got to get over. Once we do, I think we'll be a force in the district."
Heading into this season, Fort Bend Christian Academy was coming off a 1-7 season.
The first goal, of course was to finish the full 10-game slate this year and on top of that collect some more wins. The Eagles have done just that, matching their win total from a year ago with a 53-52 overtime victory against Brazos and then getting wins against Tomball Christian Homeschool, Village School and Cypress Christian to move to 4-4.
The school and community have taken notice.
"It was hard getting anybody in the stands last year and now we've got a student body that's excited about it," Black said. "We've got people at our games, which is great. Parents seemed to be excited, so the atmosphere at school has been a lot different than its been in the past. But at the same time we've got a long way to go."
JD Migl has stepped up this season at quarterback this season for Fort Bend Christian Academy.
The junior has gone 106 of 202 for 1,491 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, while rushing for another 699 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 12 points scored by the Eagles against Second Baptist School came thanks to Migl's legs.
Senior running back Claude Minkandi has carried the torch and is just 81 yards away from a 1,000-yard rushing campaign. Minkandi has 10 touchdown runs this season.
Defensively, Blaine Baird and Solomon Cole lead the way with 32 tackles apiece and Baird leads the team in interceptions with two, while Cole has a team-leading four pass deflections and two fumble recoveries. Jalon Zuber has a team-leading two sacks,
This Fort Bend Christian Academy has the pieces to make it into the playoffs. The only thing standing in the way is Westbury Christian, which is 1-8 this year.
"It's not just about our guys, it's not just about the coaches, it's about the environment," Black said about heading into Friday. "It's about having an electric atmosphere for the guys. Just knowing that we've got support is going to be important going into this game. So, I hope everybody is excited all week.
"I hope we have a big showing at our game at Westbury and hopefully our kids will feed off that, we will win the game and make it to the playoffs."