2019 Football: Eureka Wildcats
One of the select few public schools that reloads every year, Eureka is a proud west county program who knows nothing but winning. Head coach, Jake Sumner is back for his fifth season at his alma mater and has compiled an exceptional 41-6 record. After taking a hit from losing current Michigan running back, Hassan Haskins the Wildcats saw a lot of players grow up last year and still performed well but fell short of a district championship. However, with several pieces returning on both sides of the ball while getting away from their traditional power I into the spread offense, the Wildcats are eyeing another big season.
Carter Davis (1,954 yards, 23 TDs, 4 INTs)
Jhalon Asher-Sanders (115 carries, 816 yards, 7 TDs)
Dax DuBroc (16 catches, 207 yards, 3 TDs)
Teddy Bielecki (9 catches, 158 yards, 1 TD)
Josh Baker ((6-3, 275 lbs)
Justin Watson (6-5, 245 lbs)
Nick Platner (6-0, 250 lbs)
Jake McCollum (118 tackles, 4 sacks)
Drew Holtz (19 tackles, 2 sacks)
With the Wildcats more inclined to air things out now that means we’ll see a lot out of Carter Davis who came onto the scene midway through last season and put up superb numbers. The junior quarterback is also no slouch with his legs and has already established himself as one of the best gunslingers in the area after completing 63% of his 200 passes. Arguably his favorite target will be Zach Valentine who had he not been saddled with injuries the past two years would likely be a three-year starter. Fortunately, he’s ready to go now along with DuBroc and Bielecki at wideout. Asher-Sanders is a quick h-back with devastating speed, and he’ll be key since he’ll keep defenses honest, and of course, it’ll be nice to have three returning starters blocking for you. One of those is Josh Baker, who will be heading off to Arizona in a year. He will lead a solid offensive line that completes this explosive offense. Defensively there are some holes to fill but look for Christian Sparks and Trace Ruckman to be impact defensive backs while Holtz and Jaylon Cannon will be nice pieces at linebacker. McCollum will lead the defense up front in the trenches but should have some depth alongside him like Eureka always does.
Diagnosis: For a long time it’s pretty much been the same tune for the Wildcats: Win 8-9 regular-season games, make a respectable playoff run and lose to the eventual state champion. Now I’m not downplaying that by any means. The Class 6 playoffs in Missouri is a gauntlet and one of the hardest trophies to win anywhere in the midwest. I think this is a season Eureka can seriously ambush one of the Society of Jesus members in CBC, De Smet, or Rockhurst. Or perhaps a Blue Springs or a Lee’s Summit school. Now looking at their team, I love their offense and believe they can rack up points on anybody if they’re on their A-game. It’s crucial how Davis got half a season last year to show what he can do, and he will take this team places. If Valentine, God willing can stay healthy, then the sky is the limit for him and the same goes for JAS, who has next-level athleticism. Defensively things might take a game or two to get their feet into the ground, but last year things were working well even as they exited the playoffs. Eureka typically starts slow, but once they get rolling good luck to you. You’ll need it.