GC Sports Corsicana December 2018 - Page 14

DISTRICT 7-31A DII Mildred EAGLES Head Coach Cody Fagan 2018 record: 3-6 Last Playoff Appearance: 2017 2018 SCHEDULE Leon    at Kerens   at Scurry-Rosser  Gateway Charter  at Palmer *  Rice *    at Buffalo*  at Blooming Grove *  Edgewood *  L 35-33 W 43-6 W 37-21 W 33-20 L 39-6 L 45-22 L 54-0 L 36-26 L 63-19 *District Game 14 MILDRED – The 2018 football season at Mildred saw the careers of players such as Jacob Thomas, QT Turner and Bear Williams come to an end and the new faces of players such as Bishop Harris, Daniel Ayers and Cody Hayes bring new blood to the program. It was a season of new growth for the Eagles, who had one of their youngest teams, and had leaders like Thomas, Turner and Williams finish long careers at Mildred. Thomas, an outstanding, hard- hitting defensive back who made a remarkable 143 tackles, including six for losses, broke up six passes, had an interception, forced three fumbles and recovered a fumble. And he did all that and more in just eight games because of a broken hand. He was an all- district first-team player and a leader on and off the field and earned the Golden Circle’s Dick Gibbs Leader- ship Award. Turner has done it all at Mildred, where he ended a brilliant career, run- ning for 1,217 yards and 16 touch- downs and catching seven passes out of the backfield. He also made 82 tackles, including four for losses and a sack, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles on defense. He is a two-time all-district first team and two-time All-Golden Circle tailback. Williams was an anchor on Mil- dred’s line, and a two-time all-district and two-time All-Golden Circle player who was one of the top lineman in this part of the state on both sides of the line. Those three seniors led Mildred’s young Eagles. In a season of change there were constants, and as one former Mildred coach once said: “Mildred is Mildred.” There’s a toughness and resilience at Mildred and a pride that lives through- out the football program, and all those qualities were there during one of the toughest seasons in recent memory -- a season that will no doubt be a spring- board for the Eagles, who grew up this year. . Seven sophomores started for Mildred and by the end of the year three freshmen were playing, includ- ing Hayes who was sharing time at quarterback with Ayers, a sophomore who started the first six games. D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 | C O R S I C A N A DA I LY S U N |   G C F O OT B A L L 2 0 1 8 Those two will enter the 2019 season ready to battle for the starting job. The competition will be fierce all over the field next August because so many underclassmen not only played but were key members of the team. When Mildred was healthy the Eagles were a formidable team, but injuries were a big part of the 2018 season. By the end of the year six play- ers were starting, filling in for injured players. No one knows what kind of num- bers Harris, an electric sophomore who burst onto the scene, might have ended the season with if not for a foot injury that sidelined him for the final five games. You could easily project that he would have amassed between 1,200 and 1,500 total yards and after scoring 10 touchdowns in five games it’s easy to think Harris might have ended the year with 20 or more TDs. Harris played at tailback, wide re- ceiver and in the secondary on defense. He ran for 301 yards on just 25 carries for a remarkable 12 yards per carry av- erage, and rushed for five touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 326 yards, averaging 17 yards a reception and scoring five more touchdowns. He made 25 tackles, including two for losses and forced a fumble. He’s only a sophomore and will be a dangerous player for the next two seasons. So will the Eagles, who could have easily had a winning record this season. They lost their opener to Leon 35-33 and their second game of the season against Italy was canceled by a rain storm. They beat Kerens 43-6 the next week and won their first two district games. With any luck the Eagles could have been 5-0 to start the season. No one at Mildred is making any excuses, or playing could-a, would-a, should-a. Instead, they see it as a start to something big next season. Mildred coach Cody Fagan saw his young kids improve and go through growing pains that will pay off the next two years, and believes the Eagles can turn the corner in 2019.. “I think so,” he said. “It won’t be new to them next year, “We have a bright future.”