Coming off its first undefeated regular season since 1974, the Comets are looking forward to another successful season this fall.
Eastern ended the year with 11 wins last year, setting the school record for most wins in a season and made it to its second-ever sectional championship in school history. With the majority of the starting players returning this year, Head Coach Josh Edwards said the Comets will be looking at another great year.
“We had some big accomplishments as far as our team last year … We returned 16 out of 22 starters this year. We’re very optimistic, and we’re hoping that last year’s huge success kind of springboards us to maybe go take a step or two further this season,” Edwards said.
With 60 players currently on the roster, the Comets are up eight players from last season. Both the senior and freshmen classes are large, adding to the higher numbers. So far, no major injuries have been sustained during practices, Edwards said. Last season, some players suffered injuries in the middle of the season that likely impacted the tournament run, according to Edwards. The hope this season is to remain healthy and continue to improve.
The players have not faced much change during practice due to the COVID-19 restriction guidelines, according to Edwards, other than maintaining distance when possible and wearing a mask indoors. The majority of adjustments that have been made were by coaches, Edwards said.
“I think the biggest thing is just coaches’ preparation as far as cleaning equipment post-practice, making sure we’re sanitizing and sterilizing the pads that we use, enforcing that the kids are taking their practice clothing home and washing it, and then making sure we’re sanitizing the footballs,” Edwards said.
The ultimate goal for this season would be to win the program’s first-ever sectional championship, said Edwards. Although the Comets have seen several talented football teams throughout the decades, a sectional championship still has not been achieved.
Keeping the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality, Edwards said there will not be many changes to Eastern’s gameplay.
“We’re going to stick with what we’ve been doing. It’s helped us get the program revamped and revitalized. We’re going to continue to be a spread offense, and we’ll be a 3-4 defense. And we’re going to continue with what we’ve been doing and try to just improve as we go,” Edwards said.
Eastern will host the scrimmage against Mississinewa this Saturday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m.