Eagles forge brotherhood during 2015 season
Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 7, 2015
Ups and downs defined the 2015 season for the Goshen Eagles.
After starting the season 1-5, the Eagles rallied to win three of their last four games and secure a spot in the Class 2A playoffs. They lost to Washington County 39-0 on Thursday.
Throughout it all, the seniors led the say, said Goshen head coach Bart Snyder.
“This group of seniors was one of my first groups coming in as seventh-graders,” Snyder said. “I’ll never forget the leadership they gave starting at the beginning of the season.”
The goal at the beginning of the season was just to make it back to post season play, and for the seventh season in a row they did just that.
“The season started off a little rocky,” Snyder said. “Through the leadership and the adjustments that were made by the younger players, we were able to reach one of our goals and that is to be commended by our guys for the work that they did.”
The Eagles started the year with few returning players, and the lack of experience showed as the Eagles were outscored 204-30 in the first five games of the season.
“We lost a lot of people from a year ago that were able to run the football,” Snyder said. “This year we had a lot more younger guys that were taking a leading role and they had to grow up. We had to play some very good teams at the beginning of the year, and they began to trust in one another.”
During the first half the Eagles had to match up with Pike County, Luverne and New Brockton. Although it was tough, Snyder anticipates a day when they will be on the same level as the top teams in the region.
“Those games were our first few games,” Snyder said. “Having those teams at the beginning was a double-edged sword. Playing them at the beginning made us stronger and confident.”
The seniors’ performance in 2015 played an impact on the play of the younger players on the roster and that impact turned into wins later in the season.
“They learned to deal with adversity and that’s what they are going to deal with in life,” Snyder said. “That’s the good thing about football you’re going to have it and your going to have to get through it. The younger guys were able to be a part of something and eventually we got to be where we expected to be.”
Making the playoffs for the seventh straight season is a big accomplishment for the Eagles.
“A lot of people would say ‘you’re 4-6 and you made the playoffs?’,” Snyder said. “We made the playoffs. That is something that half of the 2A teams in the state weren’t able to do. We reached that for seven straight years and we are excited about that.”
Now, the players and coaches will spend the off-season preparing for the next year and new challenges.
“One thing our seniors have laid upon the team is to believe in the program,” Snyder said. “We hope those guys come out and buy into what we are doing and know the work we are going to have to put in to beat the Washington County’s or the Elba’s.”