LINDALE, Texas (KETK) – High school football was back in East Texas Monday.
Schools 1A to 4A got to start their fall camp on time per the UIL’s decision on July 21.
Since they dropped down from 5A to 4A in February’s realignment, the Lindale Eagles are one program that began preparing for its 2020 campaign, albeit with a very different type of first day.
Lindale is a group with high expectations this fall that is also very serious about staying safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel like everybody feels blessed to get to be out here. You know, because several weeks ago, we didn’t know. It didn’t look great for us. Very thankful,” said fourth-year Eagles head coach Chris Cochran.
“If we don’t stay safe, and something shuts down in the next two weeks, then five-A schools, and six-A schools won’t to have football because of us,” said Lindale senior defensive back and receiver Airik Williams.
“We ask them, you know if you want a senior football season you’ve got to do a good job in number-one of setting the example, yourself, and then you gotta make sure that you are holding everyone else accountable. We talk about one of our core values, unwavering accountability,” adds Cochran.
Which they understand, is more important when they are off-campus on their own.
“As they leave, you know we just gotta remind them every single day, like we’ve done all summer. Hey, you’ve gotta do a good job and do your part to staying safe when you’re not with us,” said Cochran.
“Off the field, they don’t have that reminder of us and the teammates and coaches, so we need to try to stick together as much as we can,” said Eagles senior running back Jordan Jenkins.
On the field, Lindale is one of the favorites to win the new district of doom, with the return of Jenkins, a Baylor commit and last year’s District 9-5A D2 offensive player of the year.
Cochran like the fact that he’s taking his vocal leadership to another level.
“Him being more vocal, you know, people are gonna listen to what he has to say. It’s just been, just something that he’s had to grow into, just because he wasn’t very vocal as a youngster,” said Cochran.
“Sometimes, even though they may hate me, I want the best for the team. And the team comes first out of everything. And I’ve been more comfortable at being uncomfortable in that sense,” Jenkins explained.
But he’s by far not the only weapon for the Eagles offensively, junior quarterback Sam Peterson is back after he took over as the starter late last season, and earned honorable mention All-District honors.
“Everybody will be keying on 22. There’s no doubt about that. So, Sam will have to continue to develop. Just show up every single day, get better,” said Cochran.
“I’ve known since day one. I played pee-wee football with him. I knew he was gonna be something special. He’s gonna have a bright future, said Williams.”
The Eagles have a scrimmage scheduled against Atlanta for Thursday August 20 with a site and time to be determined.
Lindale opens the season at Kaufman on Friday August 28 at 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles updated 2020 schedule is below:
|8/20||Scrimmage: Atlanta Rabbits||TBA||TBA|
|9/4||Midlothian Heritage Jaguars||Away||7:30|
|9/25||# *Mabank Panthers||Home||7:30|
|10/2||*Chapel Hill Bulldogs||Away||7:30|
|* DISTRICT GAMES|
$ SENIOR NIGHT