Eagles switch to 8-man Wheat State League

These seniors and returning letter-winners will form a solid core for the Canton-Galva football team this season: front row (from left) Devyn Elkins, Jonah Sargent, Dylan Wood; (back row) Jacob Smith, Marshall Reedy, Reed Wiens, Hunter Pearson. For the first time this year, the Canton-Galva football team will compete as members of the Wheat State League, joining Centre, Elyria Christian, Goessel, Hering­ton, Little River, Peabody-Burns, Rural Vista, Solomon and Wakefield.

Former members of the Heart of America league, the Eagles did not play any HOA schools as a result of competing in Class 8-Man, Divi­sion I. Last year, the Eagles faced four WSL opponents in a 1-8 season.

The Eagles lost five starters from last year’s squad: Travis Unruh, Clay­ton Sargent, Caleb Sovde, Garrett Romaine and Joseph Schroeder.

Second-year coach Dustin Patee will have 19 players on the roster, including five with starting experience on offense and six on defense.

Hunter Pearson leads the Eagles’ list of returners. The senior offensive and defensive lineman received honorable mention all-district accolades and second-team All-HOA recognition a year ago.

Two additional seniors return as starters: Reed Wiens at quarterback and defensive back, and Marshall Reedy on the offensive and defensive line.

Three juniors complete the Eagles’ returning starters: Dylan Wood at running back and linebacker; Jonah Sargent at tight end and defensive back; and Jacob Smith at linebacker.

Two newcomers to watch include freshmen Nick Pearson (running back and linebacker) and Landon Everett (defensive back).

“We have another tough schedule this year, but our work ethic has grown immensely this off-season,” Patee said. “We will be in ball games, it will just come down to how tough we want to be in the fourth quarter, if we can win the turnover margin, and the big-play battle.

“We must get young, inexperienced kids to buy in early and stay tough throughout the season.”

Canton-Galva will kick off its season by hosting Solomon Friday at 7 p.m.

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