Eagles host Ariton

Published 7:10 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Goshen Eagles will be the final team in Pike County to play a game when they take on rival Ariton this evening inside Eagles Stadium.

The Eagles elected not to play last week. Instead, they will open up their season against an Ariton team that dropped their first game of the year to Dale County

“The team is very excited,” said head coach Bart Snyder. “The seniors are ready to start their new identity as to who they are and what their team is going to be. We have a lot of new faces out here and a lot of new people in new positions. They came in and they knew what was expected of them and they come in and do their work.”

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Despite the extra time to get ready, the Eagles had a lot of their practices over the last two weeks indoors due to poor weather.

“The practices haven’t been exactly where we have wanted them to be,” Snyder said. “A lot of that has had to do with the weather. We have had four to five days where we had to go inside for film work and be in the gym because we couldn’t get out onto the field because of lightning. I think some of that has kind of put us behind where we want to be right now.”

Both teams come into tonight’s game without watching much film on each other. Ariton did play in a spring game and the Eagles, unlike the Purple Cats, did not play last week.

During their off week, however, the Eagles were able to study up on the Purple Cats by watching them in action against Dale County.

“We were able to see them play and see how good they are,” Snyder said. “They played a mighty fine Dale County team. Ariton is big and very well-coached.”

Snyder believes Ariton has the advantage of learning from their mistakes from game one during their preparations for this week’s game.

“They are able to have that extra time to analyze what they did on the field,” Snyder said. “They can break it down and do some adjustments. That is always part of the building part of what we do in small-time football to be able to make adjustments. Playing that one game gives you the (advantage) on that.”

The Eagles will have a new quarterback under center in Bryan Galloway after former quarterback Brock Snyder graduated. Snyder believes that Galloway brings an exciting dynamic to the Eagle offense.
“Bryan will do a great job,” Snyder said. “He has worked at it for years. He has seen playing time. He is the leader and the go-to guy. He has to show the composure and the leadership that is needed at that position. There will be a few things a little different than what we did the last three years, but Bryan brings things to the table that could add excitement to our game.”

The Eagles bring some quality pieces to the defensive side of the ball including Dante and Caleb Dawson

“We have a lot of guys that had a lot of playing time,” Snyder said. “We are a little more experienced in that area. You have the Dawson brothers that will be back and being the core of the team. You have several others that will contribute like Will Little and Caleb Gamble.”

The Eagles have won the last two games against the Purple Cats 28-10 and 35-13. The two schools have become competitive rivals in all sports over the last few years and Snyder credits that to good fan support from the two communities.

“It’s a great little rivalry,” Snyder said. “Great competition with great people. You know they are going to bring a big crowd when they come to your place and you know you’re going to bring a big crowd when you go to their place. It’s exciting to be able to do that and know that you are going to play in front of a lot of people.”

Kickoff between the Purple Cats and Eagles is scheduled for 7 p.m.