It wasn’t that long ago that Canton-Galva’s football team was forced to forfeit a game due to a lack of players.
And it plays 8-man football.
But since the arrival of coach Shelby Hoppes in 2017, the Eagles are flying high.
On Saturday, the Eagles — along with Moundridge, St. John and Macksville — took part in a one-day camp at McPherson College, hosted by new Bulldog head coach Jeremiah Fiscus. The teams took turns going through the paces and it was a chance for the Eagles to stay sharp after having been through team camp a couple of weeks ago.
Canton-Galva is coming off a memorable 10-2 season, which included a deep postseason run as it lost in the state semifinals to Solomon. Considering the Eagles didn’t have a senior on their team, expectations for the 2019 season are off the chart as few schools have as ardent of a fan base.
“First off, I really appreciate coach Fiscus letting us come out on the turf and compete against other teams,” Hoppes said. “Small schools don't get to compete at facilities like that very often and it was really cool for our kids. The camp went really well for us Saturday. Like most teams’ mid-summer camps, our execution wasn't always great, but I was very happy with the amount of physicality we played with on both sides of the ball.”
What Hoppes believes has a chance to separate his team from some of the others this season is the line play.
“All of our guys had a really good camp, but like usual it all starts up front for us,” he said. “Our offensive line and defensive line executed very well. From an offensive perspective, the O-line had multiple fronts thrown at them from each team. I thought we communicated and adjusted to each front very well. And then on the other side of the ball, the D-Line did a great job of staying discipline and physically dominating the line of scrimmage.”
The Eagles will continue work in the weight room and then have another one-day camp on July 11 at C-GHS. It has a 9 a.m. start and there will be six teams in all.