From inconsistent gameplay to injuries meddling in the 2019 Udall High School varsity football season, Eagles coach Wyatt Williams is hoping those pains turn into gains for his team in 2020.
“We had a very inconsistent season last year, as we usually played well for a half, then poorly for the other half,” said Williams, who begins his 14th year as head coach of the Udall football team.
“We had a lot of injuries and played a lot of younger players.”
Senior Isaac Jirak, a two-way starter at tight end and linebacker, will provide the leadership for the team. Jirak, listed at 5’10” 175 lbs., is a third-year starter at Udall.
“(He) is a steady three-year starter (who) will be our team leader,” said the Eagles head coach.
Junior quarterback Trent Whiteman will handle the signal-calling duties in 2020 for Udall.
Whiteman, who recorded 282 yards passing and 77 yards rushing, took over the quarterback position late last season. Whiteman doubles on defense as a defensive back.
“We hope that he will build on the success that he had the final two games of the 2019 season,” said Williams.
Senior running back Dylan Bishop, 5’9″ 215 lbs., is expected to be inserted back into the backfield.
Bishop, who was also named 1st team All-SCBL, missed time last year due to an ACL tear. Bishop will be a factor at noseguard for the Eagles.
Junior Jayce Reith will be a factor in the secondary along with Whiteman and Otis. The 5’9 155lbs. junior specializes in the defensive back position.
Underclassmen production in 2020 is a factor for the Eagles.
A two-way starter that covers a lot of the field to watch is the 5’9″ 175 lbs. sophomore David Otis.
Otis will factor into playing at running back and wide receiver on offense and defensive back on defense.
Battling for a spot on the defensive and offensive line is 5’11” 220 lbs sophomore Jaxon Burley.
The talent is there, but we must get more consistent,” said Willaims.
“David Otis, Tylan Evans, Jayce Rieth, and Jaxon Burley are keys to our success, as they must continue to develop.”
Udall’s 2020 season schedule finds itself lop-sided towards the away side.
The Eagles open the football season at home against SCBL rival West Elk and finishes the season at home against Flinthills.
On the road, Udall will face Argonia-Attica, ,Madison, Central-Burden, and Chase County.
With much uncertainty to start the season, the Eagles are not letting it damper their hopes in 2020.
“This season has (many) unknowns, but we hope to return to the playoffs once again.”