BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -- The recent playoff tradition at Milano continued as the Eagles made it to the postseason for the sixth year in a row and eighth time in the past nine years.
The Eagles’ season had a set pattern: two losses, two wins, two losses, two wins and finally two losses. The final defeat came at the hands of eventual state champion Mason in the bi-district playoffs.
Head coach Chad LaGrone said, “Getting to the playoffs was the best part of the season. Dealing with injuries was our biggest challenge.”
The Eagles welcome back eight players with starting experience as they look to put together another run to the playoffs. Milano will turn to Noah Benavides at quarterback and a trio of running backs to carry the load on offense.
Kameron Funburg, Danny Cloud and Marquise Jones will all get carries, and when the Eagles go to the air watch for junior receiver Drew Demeritt.
Alex Hernandez and Jeremy Reyes return as starters on the offensive line, making that group, along with overall depth, as the areas LaGrone lists as his team’s biggest strengths this season.
Despite the talent on the line, LaGrone says, “We must improve in running the football this season to be successful.” On defense, linebacker looks to be the position of strength with three returning starters in Cloud, Reyes and Funburg. Darius West anchors the line, while Demeritt and Jones return as starters in the secondary.
Milano opens the year with four tough non-district games, including the opener against a Grapeland squad that went three rounds deep in the playoffs and a Burton team that went four rounds deep last season. Thrall is the district opener on September 27, and matchups against Hearne, Thorndale and Holland will go a long way in deciding playoff positioning in 13-2A Division I.