Senior, Kyle Mathewson will lead the way at fullback, an All-State Junior selection last year. Mathewson led the Eagles with 1847 yards rushing. Add a healthy Kyle Monk at quarterback and junior, running back Josh LeFever to the mix, it makes up one of the fastest backfields in the area.
Coach Lee Etzler (52-35) enters his ninth season as the Eagle Head Coach. The Eagles are 44-13 in the last five seasons and 31-9 in the NECC over that period.
“It’s a good chance that this team will be the most athletic team that we have had here at Churubusco. We have not had the caliber of athlete that we have in Mathewson and Monk in the same class since we have been here,” explains Coach Etzler. “They will be our leaders on offense and defense this season. Mathewson rushed for over 1800 yards last year and has improved his skills in the off-season. Monk was hampered by an injury early last season and we feel that people didn’t get to see what he is capable of doing on the field. With these two going into the season we expect big things from them and they are going to be dangerous football players.”
The Eagles will have to replace Jordan Hamilton, an All-State linebacker last season for Churubusco. Hamilton will be continuing his career at Trine University this fall. The Eagles will lose both All-Conference guards, Noah Polakovic and Jordan Nicodemus, along with running back Bryce Shively. Ron Adams and Jesse Geiger OL/DL were lost to graduation. Stu Hilsmier, a six game starter as a sophomore last year, transferred and will be missed at the inside linebacker position.
The Eagles’ wing-T offense returns six starters from the 2009 season. An offense that rushed for a school record 360.8 yards per game, while adding 58.4 through the air.
With Mathewson (201-1847 17 td’s) the feature back in the offense, wingback LeFever (17-173 2 td’s) looks to help take the load off Mathewson. Jes Percey, Alan Meeks, Cameron Ray and Layne Fulk add depth to the running back position. Monk (33-67-6 571 4 td’s) enters his second year as the quarterback for the Eagles. Alex Zolman, a junior, and Jay Petrie will back up the position.
When Busco goes to the air they have several options, senior tight ends Jordan Turner, an All-Conference selection last season and Spencer Conrad are prime targets. Hunter Nicodemus, Jeremy Forker and Adam Boggess look to show their skills at split ends.
The offensive line returns two starters in senior Dustin Arvola at tackle and sophomore Eric Kuznar a center last season who will move to guard position this year. Chris Uecker will anchor the line this season and senior Zack Armstead will take over at a guard position. The rest of the line will include Justin Turnbow, Charlie Huelsenbeck, Zach Adams, Jesse Green and Brian Richardson.
The Busco 3-4 defense returns eight starters from last year’s squad that allowed 71.9 yards rushing and gave up 119.8 passing yards a game. Mathewson and LeFever will make the move to inside linebacker; Percey, Ray, Jason Nicodemus, Luke McParlan and Chandler Brown will add depth. Turner, Forker and Joe Zumbrun will all see playing time at the outside linebacker positions. Justin Turnbow and Armstead will anchor the defense at the nose tackle position. Conrad, Arvola and Kuznar will all see action as defensive tackles. Monk leads the secondary as a two-time All-Conference selection, and he will be joined by Fulk, Zolman and Boggess, all returning lettermen from the 2009 season.
Mathewson will handle the punting again this season along with the kicking duties.
The addition of Culver Military looks to tighten up the Eagles’ schedule. Fremont, Angola and West Noble all improved over last year and should make it an exciting 2010 season.
An 8-2 Churubusco team from 2009 looks to avenge the first round 20-16 Sectional loss to Adams Central and make a strong post season run this year.
“Our kids have bought into the concept that they have to work hard all year round. If you’re not working hard all year long you will fall behind,” replied Coach Etzler about his team’s success over the last several years. “We have to work extremely hard and hold ourselves accountable for the work ethic that we put in all year-round. Our weight room attendance has been solid over the summer months and that hard work carries over to the field.”
The Eagles will be in action at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Heritage in their annual scrimmage game. Come out and catch all the action of Churubusco Eagle football and don’t forget to follow them on line at busconews.com. where we will feature interviews, stories, pictures and post game quotes.