BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– In 2018, the East Bladen Eagles once again proved to be the top team in the county with their 48-12 win over the West Bladen Knights. Headed into 2019 there will be a different look for both teams.
The East Bladen Eagles are coming off a season where they went 9-3 and finished second in the Three Rivers Conference, but Robbie Priest’s squad lost 11 major contributors to graduation. So, their focus this year is on staying healthy on both sides of the ball.
“Were not very deep at a lot of positions this season,”said East Bladen head coach Robbie Priest. “I think I’m going to make it a team rule this year, that everyone has to stay healthy.”
The Eagles do return some key pieces up front and in the backfield. They will be led by senior running back Lawson Hester. In 2018, Hester rushed for over 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. East Bladen knows what it takes to be successful come game day.
“We just need to continue getting in the weight room and come out here everyday getting ready to go on Friday nights,”said East Bladen senior Lawson Hester.
The Eagles will have to depend heavily on underclassman this season with only 32 players on this years roster and they know it will take everyone buying in to be successful in 2019.
“I feel like once they see us out there and once they’re out there themselves they will buy in and shake the nerves off, said senior Jordan Stanley.
East Bladen opens up their 2019 regular season on August 23rd against Wallace-Rose Hill.
The West Bladen Knights will have a new head coach leading the charge in Bladenboro for 2019. Jon Sherman takes over for Kris Williams after the Knights went 1-10 last season and their focus is solely on the here and now.
“Were not going to worry about last season, were just focused on the new situation,”said West Bladen head coach Jon Sherman. “The kids are excited, and I’m excited as well to build something here and hopefully it will be for a long long time.”
The Knights return quarterback Tyre Boykin for his senior season. In 2018, Boykin threw for over a 1,000 yards, while rushing for another 700. West Bladen will be looking for a big season out of him and he’s up for the task with a new found excitement surrounding the team.
“I love how everything is going so far,”said Boykin. “It just feels like we are all one now and working towards a common goal.”
West Bladen will open up their 2019 regular season on August 23rd against Mideastern Conference foe South Brunswick.
Stay tuned to WWAY this week at 11:00 p.m. for the rest of our season previews.