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Talented Arlington Eagles plan on contending for Wesco North title
ARLINGTON — The Eagles saw what they were capable of at the end of 2009.
A dominating 29-7 performance over Cascade was for naught, as it was the result of a district cross-over consolation game, but it brought hope to Arlington football fans about 2010.
And now that hope has translated into potential, as the Eagles have the highest of expectations entering the season going into the first day of practice Aug. 18.
“I think we can compete for the conference title, if we stay healthy,” said Eagles coach Greg Dailer.
Such a feat is hard to do, as Arlington, which finished 5-5 (3-3 Wesco North) last season already suffered a season-ending injury to senior lineman Brady Quinton. Nevertheless, health is the central question for the Eagles, as they expect to bring in about 50 players this year, which Dailer noted is down from previous years.
“We were expecting about 55,” he said.
While the quantity might not be there, the talent on the Eagles’ team cannot be denied, especially on offense. Arlington is about to enter the Blake McPherson era, as the multi-talented junior will take the reins of Dailer’s spread offense this season.
McPherson is a mobile quarterback with a big arm, which he displayed at the district track meet in 2009, breaking the meet record with a 199-5 toss.
While Dailer acknowledged McPherson’s physical attributes, he preferred to comment on his signal-caller’s maturity.
“Normally (having a junior lead the offense) would be a concern, but he’s going to be a four-year letterman,” Dailer said. “He’s had no problem stepping in as a leader so far for us.”
But McPherson won’t be alone on offense, as he will have experienced junior Riley Cobb at halfback, and Griffin Ginnis at wide receiver.
“I think we’re very deep at wide receiver,” said Dailer. “There are a lot of guys that can make plays for us there.”
On defense, Dailer said that linebacker is a strength for the Eagles, anchored by senior linebacker Blake Petersen, who will be joined by counterpart and junior Bo Brummel.
As far as the rest of the Wesco is concerned, Dailer doesn’t see a deviation from the order of things as he selected Marysville-Pilchuck as the team to beat.
“They’ve been at the top the last couple of years, and I don’t see a reason why that will change,” he said.
When pointing to a game that might decide the Eagles’ season, Dailer couldn’t help but point to the Stilly Cup (Oct. 8).
“The Stanwood game is definitely the biggest of the year for us, but Lake Stevens and Marysville have all been the teams that have beaten us each of the last three years,” Dailer said.