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Eagles look to take flight on Friday

The 2009-10 season has not started pretty for the Eagles of Goshen High School.

After dropping three games this past weekend, the team’s record is now 0-6 and things are not about to get any easier.

“We have improved a little here and there,” GHS head coach Jonathan Deveridge said Tuesday afternoon during the team’s practice.

“But this is the first group of kids I have ever coached that is hard to get motivated – once we get to that point, we play pretty well though.”

The coach said one of the biggest reasons for lack of motivation is the team’s youth.

“You hate to make youth an excuse, but it is something that has hurt us so far this season.”

Deveridge used the Eagles’ 64-34 loss to Straughn High School in the Straughn Christmas Shootout last week as an example.

In the game, the team had almost the same amount of points as turnovers with 33.

“We have been playing tough opponents, and I think that will help give our kids experience,” the coach said.

“I knew coming into the season we were going to be young and get our bumps and bruises but I hope we are able to straighten everything out for Area play.”

The Eagles will only have two days to prepare for what Area play might be like as the team will play host to Reeltown on Friday.

“We have a very competitive region this season,” Deveridge said.

“Reeltown has everyone coming back from last season and so does Highland Home. Both those teams are going to be hungry [to win the Area] – but to be honest, I think [the Area] is wide open.”

Deveridge said as long as his team is able to correct little mistakes, he believes the Eagles will be right in the thick of things as the season progress.

“A win Friday night [against Reeltown] would be huge for us,” he said. “It would put us in the driver’s seat for the rest of the season.”

One of the little things the coach was referring to has been a big problem this season for the Eagles.

“We have a tendency to have mental lapse throughout games – we always have one really bad quarter. We are working towards fixing that mistake. I am still waiting for us to play a complete game,” he added.

Deveridge said to fix this problem, the team has been running a lot of situational drills in practice to get the players in the right state of mind for games.

As for how the team is preparing for the challenge of defeating Reeltown and in the process getting its first win of the season, Deveridge has begun working on a new defensive strategy to contain a Rebel team that lives from behind the arc.

“[Reeltown] is one of the better 3-point shooting teams we will face this season, so we have started working on a 3-2 zone that would hopefully take that advantage way from there.

“If they are hitting their shots, any team is in for a long night – and hopefully this will stop that from happening,” he said.