CANTON— In 2017, Shelby Hoppes took over as head coach for the Canton-Galva High School football team that was surrounded by inexperienced freshmen and sophomores. In their first year, the Eagles went 4-5.
Now in his second year, the Eagles, with only one senior on the team, are young, but experienced and could continue to ascend during the reign of Coach Hoppes.
Landon Everett returns for his junior season. He does it all for the Eagles. At quarterback, he threw for 740 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 585 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also saw the field in the secondary as a cornerback, and on special teams as Eagles' return specialist, recording four touchdowns during kickoff.
Brandon Huff and Brayden Collins are the two sophomores that could make an impact at both running back and linebacker. Kinser Colgin could be Everett's No.1 target at receiver. Nick Pearson could also be another weapon for Canton-Galva at tight end and could be the Eagles' leading tackler at defensive end. Mason Reedy and Jay Nightingale will be the returning anchors on both the offensive line and defensive line. Hoppes is excited for his incoming freshmen to make an impact on the field as well, that includes their wide receiver Tyson Struber.
"With having to play so many freshman and sophomores in the 2017 season, we have a lot of guys coming back with varsity experience," Hoppes said. "With that being said and with no seniors on the team this year, we are still going to rely on a lot of younger guys playing big minutes for us."
This young Eagles team will be put to the test right away as they open their season at Little River High School. Good thing for Canton-Galva, three of the five district games are at home.
"Our goal, like every year, is to get better every week," Hoppes said. "If we do that we will give ourselves a good shot at making the playoffs which is something this program hasn’t accomplished since 2006."
Aug. 31 — at Little River
Sept. 7 — vs Chase County
Sept. 14 — at Centre
Sept. 21 — Bennington
Sept. 28 — Peabody
Oct. 5 — at Goessel
Oct. 12 — Solomon
Oct. 19 — at Herington
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports