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Double the trouble

The good things in life always come in pairs.

That’s the case for the Eagles of Goshen High School thanks to two of the players who line up in the backfield.

Running backs Reginald Foster and Marcus Jackson were two of the biggest reasons why the Eagles finished with a regular season record of 7-3 and found themselves in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Now, the dynamic duo is back and looking for a repeat of last year’s events.

It was a season ago when both backs averaged over six yards per carry, and finished with over 1,000 yards on the ground.

While head coach Bart Snyder said he expects the same kind of productivity out of his two running backs, there is another aspect of the game he would like to see both players thrive in – leadership roles.

“Reginald and Marcus were both great for us last year,” the coach said. “And both helped us get where we wanted to be.

“But with this season, both know that they are going to have bigger roles with the team. They know they are going to have the rest of the team look up to them – they have to be rule models.

“And that’s something I think they want to be,” Snyder added.

Thanks to region realignment, the Eagles will now be a part of Class 2A Region 2.

But even with the change in scenery, thanks to the kind of production the two Eagles combined for in 2009, its no mystery why Snyder said Goshen’s offense will be a primarily run first oriented team.

“I think a lot teams are going to know what’s coming when they play us,” Snyder said.

“But they have got to find a way to stop both guys. If they find a way to stop us, we will figure something out, but if they don’t we are going to keep coming at them.”

With another season under each of the player’s belts, both said they are setting their sights on bigger and better things.

“We have a chance to do a lot of good things this season,” Jackson said. “We have a chance to be better.

“I know that I have to step up and do my best – no matter what. There may be a little bit of pressure on me and the team to do well but I think we can all handle that, I think we are ready.”

Along with handling the pressure, the senior said there is something else he wants to do this season, or better yet, get to.

“I want to rush for 2,200 yards,” he said. “It’s something that I think I can get to because of the teammates around me.

“I want to do better than what I did last year, and that’s where it all starts.”

While Foster didn’t have a specific number in mind for the season, all he wants is to help the team win.

“It’s all about going hard this season,” the junior said.

“We have a good bunch of players and coaches and everyone is working hard together to be the best we can be.

“We are all trying our best,” Foster added.

Along with his performance on the field, the coaches also take note about what Foster is able to do off the field as well, and in this case, in the weight room.

Last week, Foster squatted 450 pounds in his set.

“I want to be good at everything I try and do,” he said.

“I want to be a leader for this team. I want the other kids to look up to me – it’s a privilege to be a leader.”

While the two running backs get along on the field, they get along off the field just as well.

“We hang out a lot,” Jackson said.

“If one of us ever needs help in anything, we do what we can for the other.”

Even with all the accolades the two backs get thanks to their performances on the field, in their coach’s eyes, they are special for another reason.

“At any level of football, it’s always nice to have a pair of good running backs,” Snyder said.

“But these two are not only good players, but they are extremely good kids.

“They have great practice habits, set a good example for the rest of the team and do whatever the can to help the team out.”