FFN Countdown Day 21: Union Christian Eagles
Coach: Chris Smith
2012: 2-8, 2-6
Returning Starters: 8 OFF/8 DEF
Sept. 6 at Cutter Morning Star
Sept. 13 Mountainburg
Sept. 20 Johnson Co. Westside
Sept. 27 at Magazine
Oct. 4 OPEN
Oct. 11 at Hackett
Oct. 18 at Hector
Oct. 25 Hartford
Nov. 1 Decatur
Nov. 8 at Western Yell Co.
If it could go wrong, it did for Union Christian in 2012. The Eagles lost three starters in the first three weeks to season ending injuries.
Chris Smith enters his second year as head coach at Union Christian and has not only lofty expectations but about a dozen more players at this point that last season.
Quarterback Braxton Smith returns after throwing for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, most of which came in the final six weeks of the season.
“Really stay in shape because we are going to have to play both ways up and down the field. It`s just a mindset going in before,” Braxton Smith said. “If you know you`re going to play both ways, and we`re in shape to do it, so I think we`re good.”
Will Callaway was the team’s biggest threat in the passing game last season as he had 34 catches for 410 yards and five scores but the senior knows playing both ways is going to take a toll on the team.
“We’re just going to have to put in extra work just because it’s very few numbers and so we’re just going to push extra hard,” Callaway said.
Depth is always an issue for 2A schools and Union Christian is no different.
“We’re going to have to have some kids step in and fill some key spots and we’re going to have to have some kids step up and make a commitment,” coach Chris Smith said.
The Eagles kick off the 2013 season on Sept. 6 at Cutter Morning Star