CANTON — One thing is already different at Canton-Galva High School football practice.
The Eagles can actually line up 8-on-8.
The Eagles, who had to forfeit one game last year when the roster dwindled to seven healthy bodies, are up in numbers.
“We are at 17-18, which is less than we thought (going into the season) but still up from last year,” second-year C-G coach Dustin Patee said. “The team attitude is great. We are practicing very hard, have great attitudes towards tough drills and are being great teammates.”
There’s a lot of teaching going on. While the numbers are up, only six of the players have competed on a Friday night.
“A concern is our youth, that will not change this year,” said Patee, whose team was 1-8 last season. “We are young and have only six players with any high school football experience.”
A definite standout in the preseason has been sophomore Beck Hartman.
“He has been a huge boost to our competitiveness in practice,” Patee said. “He will help us on all sides of the ball.”
Hunter Pearson, a powerhouse no matter what position he plays, is the unquestioned force for the Eagles, but Jonah Sargent will provide some muscle as well.
“Jonah is playing very physical,” Patee said.
C-G will have a scrimmage Friday night, then open the season next Friday hosting Solomon, whose All-State quarterback from last year, Jake Tiernan, is now contending for a spot with McPherson College.