ECA Eagles preparing for region opener

Published 8:27 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012

After last week’s historic first win as an 11-man football program, the Ellwood Christian Academy Eagles are set to make more school history on Thursday.

The Eagles (1-0) will be home at Memorial Stadium to take on the Holy Spirit Titans (0-1) Thursday at 7 p.m. in their first Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A Region 3 game.

Coming off last week’s 38-0 home win against Francis Marion, Eagles head football coach Mike Stokes said the team’s confidence is sky high.

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“It’s just making them believe in themselves and the things that we’re teaching,” Stokes said.

As the Eagles prepare to enter a three-game stretch of region games — games that determine which teams will make the playoffs — Stokes said Thursday’s game could determine how the team plays for the rest of the season.

“It sets the tone for us. You go out and win the first one and the confidence will keep going up and up,” Stokes said. “It also gives you a sense of relief knowing that you can play with these guys.”

While the Eagles were able to rack up 38 points last week and keep their opponent off the scoreboard, Stokes said there’s still room for improvement on both sides of the football.

“We’ve got to get our offensive line better and get them to learn to pick up blocks here and there,” Stokes said. “Of course, the defense played well, but we’ve still got a few things on that side of the ball that we’ve got to get straight also.”

Stokes added the Eagles will have to play well in all phases of the game in order to get the W.

“We’ve got to play good defense. Special teams has got to play good, too,” Stokes said. “And, of course, the offensive line has just got to block and stay on their blocks. And I think if we do that we’ll be okay.”