The Sherwood Academy Eagles are ready to put a turbulent summer behind them and play some football. After an abrupt coaching change, an influx of transfers and the associated turmoil the Eagles were prepare to open their 2009 season last weekend with Lyman Ward Military Academy.
Then new coach Reginald Mitchell’s opening night opponent canceled because half the team was suffering swine flu. Now sitting at 1-0 without having taken a snap, the Eagles want to bust the anticipation bubble and hit somebody else. They want to put all the accusations of recruiting and scholarships behind them and focus on Brookwood Academy who lost their opening night contest by a score of 41-14 to First Presbyterian Day School last week.
The Warriors are also breaking in a new coach. Robert East is looking at a tough first year at the helm. Brookwood was bumped up a classification to AAA despite only dressing 26 players.
Last season, the Warriors annihilated Sherwood in 61-29 track meet, but that was several transfers ago for both squads. Over the summer, the Warriors lost their starting quarterback, running back and receiver as all three transferred out for academic or personal reasons. They also adopted the wing-T offense and dropped its high-octane spread.
Meanwhile, out on Old Pretoria Road, the roster was going from 30 to 36 players to include a possible Division 1 running back in Dontavius Brown, who is getting looks from South Florida, Central Florida and Georgia Tech. Immediately, Sherwood went from being a program in decline to being discussed as a possible contender for a GISA AA Title.
“Our guys are really intense right now. They are ready to go out and compete on the field. They have worked hard and are really focused on playing football against somebody else. Now it is time for the fun to start,” said Mitchell in anticipation of kickoff.
Mitchell will deploy junior speedster Philip English at fullback and work Pete McSwain into the mix to change the tempo. The Eagle attack will be led by junior quarterback Terrance Burnette.
Defensively, Mitchelll has installed a 4-3 and will count on Derinique Daniel to anchor the unit from middle linebacker. McSwain will start at defensive tackle.
Kickoff is set for 7:30.
Written by Mike Flynn.