No team in the 7-A West has endeavored to find its footing quite like the Rogers Heritage War Eagles. Heritage struggled to an 0-10 record last season and a change was made at the head coaching position. Steve Hoofkin takes over for Tony Travis this season. His job is not to win the 7-A West in 2019 but to demonstrate improvement in the War Eagle camp that the team can build on in the future.
Hoofkin has a bit of a quarterback competition to manage as he takes the reigns for the War Eagles. Hoofkin will have three quarterbacks to choose from going into fall camp. Jeb Brown, Dreagon Blackwell, and Brady Laird will all see snaps early in the season. Brown has some experience playing at signal caller, but he will need to demonstrate that he can sustain drives and finish with points being put on the board.
The War Eagles rushing attack has several solid options that can take some of the heat off of the quarterback position. Isaiah Tibbs, Jaheim Webb, Ethan Farris, and Daris Wiley will all see carries at the running back spot. Tibbs has a very direct running style and is quick to get north and south. Jaheim Webb is the speedster at the running back position and caused Fayetteville problems last season. Webb rushed for a little under 50 yards and a touchdown against the Purple Dogs last season. Farris and Wiley will both see time at the running back spot and split out wide at the wide receiver position.
Rogers Heritage has some impressive players at the wide receiver position. Ricky Perez makes for a tall target at 6'3", which means he is a threat in the red zone and a big play threat at any time. From a possession receiver standpoint Nick Winter will help keep drives alive and get the ball down the field. The wide receivers' position is a bright spot for the War Eagles and should be a unit that continues to improve throughout the season.
An area that must improve for the War Eagles is on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive end positions has two disruptive players manning each spot. Nicholas Martin and Carter Talley each both have the speed to cause problems for opposing offensive linemen. Both Martin and Carter have the ability to force the quarterback to make bad decisions while under pressure.
Linebacker is another position for the War Eagles that appears to be pretty strong on paper. Garrett Murdock impressed many observers during the spring and will be a player that can cause some problems in the 7-A West. Griffin Brown will have three years of experience this season and will provide leadership for the linebacking corps.
The secondary will lean heavily on safety Isaiah Tibbs. Tibbs has four interceptions throughout the course of his career and was impact player on the defensive side of the ball. Tommy Boyer will man one of the corner spots and he has the talent to cause problems for opposing wide receivers.
Any improvement that the War Eagles display may not be seen in the win total in the 2019 season. However, keeping the games competitive until the final whistle blows will be a step in the right direction for Rogers Heritage. War Eagles' fans should expect the team to pick up a few wins. The War Eagles may be a year away from a playoff appearance, but improvement will happen this season.