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Eagles travel to Ariton

The Goshen Eagles open up the 2019 football season on the road against the Ariton Purple Cats on Friday night.

The Eagles, along with Kinston, knocked off Wicksburg in a jamboree last Friday night.

“We learned that we are a little further along than what we thought we would be, but we have a lot of areas we have to work at to become the team we think we can be,” Snyder said.

After a wet week of practice last week in advance of the jamboree, the Eagles were once again forced to alter their practice schedule this week due to the soggy conditions.

“Monday and Tuesday were extremely wet,” Snyder said. “The field was just drenched. Very hard to move and get around out there. We’re trying to maximize what we have when we have it.”

The Eagles returned quarterback Bryan Galloway from last year’s team. Along with an improved offensive line, Snyder believes his offense has plenty of potential.

“It can be pretty balanced,” Snyder said. “If we can connect and make proper reads and not just at quarterback, but when you’re running the football and running routes, that will give us an opportunity to be successful. That goes for every program, but for us it’s even bigger because we do have running backs with good speed. We have a good line, but we can’t accept being good. We have to be better.”

To do that, Snyder believes it starts with practice.

“We have to be more effective when we practice by listening and learning and retaining what we are supposed to be doing both offensively and defensively.”

The Eagles have good numbers on the defensive side of the ball, but have little experience.

“Everybody likes to play defense,” Snyder said. “We are inexperienced on both sides of the ball. We are kind of in the process of rebuilding, but we have kids that can play. If they become students of the game and be where the coaches tell them to be, they can make this game a lot more fun.”

The Eagles travel to Ariton to take on Coach Steven Kilcrease’s Purple Cats.

“They are very disciplined and fundamentally sound,” Snyder said. “They are well-coached. You just don’t open a season with someone that is as sound as what coach Kilcrease’s group will be. They don’t make mistakes.”

The game will officially begin at 7 p.m. The Eagles fell to Ariton 29-6 in a driving rain storm last season.

“We just started back (playing them),”Snyder said. “Ariton has always had a great program. Anytime you are this close to one another, regardless of what people say, there is a rivalry.”