FAIRFIELD – The winning tradition has stuck to the Fairfield Eagles football team like a powerful magnet for more than a decade. The build-up for this season appears to be no different.
Coming off a 10-1 season last year in which Fairfield lost to eventual champion Eureka in the Class B playoffs, coach Les Meyer is reloading his Eagles team with another experienced group this year.
“Honestly, I think we’re looking pretty good as far as players. Because we have around 41 players on the team right now,” said senior running back and defensive back Libien Becker. “With those numbers, we can make it work with the two-a-days because right now we’re filling everybody into spots and seeing where they’ll work. I think all of us have a pretty good chance of filling in positions we need to, in order to be good.”
“You never know until you get that first game under your belt. The one thing that I would say is this group is doing a good job of playing with some enthusiasm,” said Meyer. “They do come out and they seem to want to work, learn and be good teammates with one another. So in the end of it all, that’s probably as important as anything.”
The Eagles’ sideline will be a little bigger this year, too. Augusta didn’t have enough athletes to field a 6-Man team this year, so they were granted an emergency co-op with Fairfield. Around four or five Augusta players will join the Eagles this season. It takes a lot to wake up earlier to make the 45-minute drive to Fairfield every morning and switch from playing 6-Man to 11-man football.
“It’s really crazy. I’m kind of discombobulated running all over the place,” said Augusta senior Kolton Scherrer. “I’ve played 11-man football before, which makes it a little easier, but learning the plays has been nice. Coach has been teaching me all the basics and I’m starting to get the hang of it.”
“I think there’s more angst about going into it. Then once (the Augusta players) are here and the kids are all together, then you’re going fast pace, you’re in the drills and before you know it, they’re just a part of the fabric, just a part of the team,” said Meyer. “I think it’s a great experience for our kids and I hope in the end of it all it’ll be a good experience for the Augusta kids.”
The recurring theme from the early parts of camp about this Fairfield team, is that a lot of these guys have some wheels on them.
“I think we’re going to be a really fast team. I think we’ve got some players that can do a good job for our team in that aspect,” said junior receiver and linebacker Keeley Bake. “Coaches are going to put us in the right positions for our skill sets and we’ll see how it goes.”
“I would have to say speed probably. We’re pretty quick,” said Becker. “We may not all be the biggest guys, tall-wise or size-wise, but with speed I think we can get the job done because of just the mentality of knowing the game of football, gives us the advantage of getting somewhere.”
Fairfield will open the season at home on Aug. 31 against Deer Lodge at 7 p.m.