Coach: Ethan Atchley (third year)
Last season: 8-5 (lost to Danville in region finals of the Class 2A playoffs)
Outlook: Last year, as one of the youngest teams in Class 2A, the Eagles won two playoff games before falling to Danville 56-14. They lost just eight seniors and will return 4,580 yards of offensive production — including workhorse running back Dillon Wheatley, receivers Drayden Burton and Ryan Stucky and quarterback Brayden Miller, all juniors. As a sophomore, Wheatley rushed for more than 2,100 yards and 32 touchdowns. LCA also returns three starting offensive linemen.
Other expected contributors: Caelan Lebryk (jr. WR/DB), Logan Nieves (jr. QB/DB), Brett Wilkins (sr. LB), Wade Drake (jr. LB), Jonathan Kaufmann (jr. DB), Hayden Kennedy (jr. OL), Ben Whitman (so. OL/DL), Wyatt Southall (jr. OL/DL), Jed Green (so. WR/DB), Clay Elliott (sr. LB/WR).
Elliott is one of just five seniors on the Eagles’ roster and is expected to split time between offense and defense. He had 94 tackles as a junior, third-best on the team. Though the senior class is small, Elliott says it will play a big role in bringing along the younger players.
“We’re just trying to lead by example and go hard every practice and help bring the younger guys along,” he said.
Elliott says the Eagles have what it takes to get past Danville this year.
“We have the potential to beat them, it’s just up to us if we want to perform. ... The two losses last year to them have been a real drive throughout the offseason so we’re gonna be prepared.”
Atchley: “It’s year three of this culture that we’ve been trying to build as a staff ... each and every day we take it a little more serious. We’re starting to bust our butts to do the little things right.
“The guys are really working hard. ... I think they feel, they believe in how good we can really be. That was there previously but it’s there even more this year with this group.”
Junior receiver Ryan Stucky: “The attitude of the team is that we’re looking for revenge. We came up short of the regional championship last year but this year we’re all out, nothing short of Bowling Green this year. Anything below that is probably a failure.”
(All times p.m.; home games in capital letters)
Aug. 19: at Williamsburg, 7:30
Aug. 26: KY. COUNTRY DAY, 7:30
Sept. 2: at Green Co., 7
Sept. 9: ESTILL CO., 7:30
Sept. 16: at Walton-Verona, 7:30
Sept. 23: FAIRVIEW, 7:30
Oct. 7: MIDDLESBORO, 7:30
Oct. 14: at Somerset, 7:30
Oct. 21: at Danville, 7:30
Oct. 28: POWELL CO., 7:30
2016 High school football preview