1A Billingsley features veteran offense, defense

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 31, 2001

Sports Editor

While Goshen will open the 2001 season against a team which remains virtually intact from last year, head coach Joe Thornton and Eagles will field a number of new faces on Friday night.

The Eagles host the Billingsley Bears tonight at Eagle Stadium in Goshen. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

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The Bears, under head coach James Carter, return the majority of a 2-8 team that was blitzed by Goshen last year 54-0.

GHS, however, does not.

Last year’s starting quarterback, top two receivers and top tailback is gone, as is four starters on the offensive line. Making matters worse for Thornton is that the Eagles enter the season with little depth behind his starters. Goshen will field a roster of just over 20 varsity players.

"We’re not going to be as strong as we were last season," said Thornton. "But I think we’re ready to get this year started."

The Class 1A Bears return starting quarterback Chris Brown, top rusher Ronald Huffman (1,310 yards in 2000) and a big, big offensive line. Eight starters return on both sides of the ball for Billingsley.

Injury-wise, starting Eagles’ center Amos Wilcoxson dislocated a finger in practice on Wednesday and Thornton was unsure if he would be available for tonight’s game. Also back-up tailback and cornerback Clarence Bean had offseason knee surgery and is being held out this week to insure complete recovery in time for next week’s game against Luverne.

Freshman Tyrone Crawford will get the nod at tailback behind fullback Quez Burden.

"Tyrone’s just going to get better," said Thornton. "Plus he’s a strong kid."