BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -- The Hearne Eagles rebounded from a tough start to the season to reach the playoffs for the third year in a row. Hearne dropped games to Franklin and Groesbeck, then saw games against Houston Legacy and Lexington get cancelled by bad weather.
Head coach Ricky Sargent said, “It was a challenge keeping our players focused after missing those two games.” After dropping their district opener, Hearne rallied to win four of their last five games to reach the postseason. Shiner knocked the Eagles out in the second round but Sargent said, “Getting to see what it was like to face the number two ranked team in the state was good for our team.”
Hearne has high hopes entering the season once again, and this time they plan on living up to high expectations. A year ago many pegged the Eagles as a team that would make a deep playoff run in their first year in Class 2A.
While that did not happen in football, basketball is a different story as the Eagles reached the state tournament for the second time in school history, many players are back from a team that did help Hearne reach the area playoffs for the second straight season. The offense welcomes back eight starters, including district offensive MVP Micah Smith at quarterback.
Justin Camper and Raymond Serna lead a group of four returning offensive linemen and Smith will have a pair of all-district wide receivers coming back in Jalen Gonzales and Damion Dunn. Eight starters are also back on in the Eagles 4-2-5 defense.
Quinston Owens moves to defensive end this year after two all-district seasons at linebacker and will team up with Steven Craft-Mitchell, the 12-2A Division I defensive newcomer of the year, on the line. Alijah Miles and Milton Redmon are the two starting linebackers, while Dunn and Gonzalez are back in the secondary.
The Eagles will face another very tough non-district schedule starting with trips to Franklin and 3A Groesbeck before home games against Houston Legacy and powerful Lexington. District games against Holland and Thorndale should go a long way in determining the eventual champion.
Sargent obviously hopes for wins, but boils down his expectations to the little things. “My expectations are for our team to show up and play with great sportsmanship, attitude and effort each play.”