The Allen Eagles head into this year’s high school football season with their attention on one team and one team only: The Allen Eagles.
Allen comes in at No. 3 in our High School Football rankings, but head coach Terry Gambill is not concerned with what other people have to say about him or his team. Instead, he chooses to concentrate on what he believes is most important.
“The main thing we’ve got to stay focused on is ourselves,” Gambill said. “You can’t get worried about outside distractions because when you have outside distractions, that does not allow you to be a good football team.”
The Eagles will need to be their best football team again this season as they face another difficult schedule including three teams ranked in our top 100. They square-off against No. 49 Cedar Hill (Texas) and No. 58 Evangel Christian (Louisiana) in back-to-back games early in the season and will also take on in-state opponent No. 96 Denton Guyer on October 20.
If things remain consistent for Allen, the team should have no problem in regular season play, as they have not lost a game before the playoffs since 2012. However, the Eagles ended last year earlier then planned after suffering a 36-28 defeat to The Woodlands in 2016’s state semi-finals.
Hoping to avenge that lose are many returning players for the Eagles, led by junior quarterback Grant Tisdale. The Eagles play-caller, who is currently rated as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2019, will have plenty of weapons to target on offense. Senior wide receivers Carson Schlecker and Theo Wease are back to catch balls downfield and Arizona State commit Brock Sturges will returns as the team’s starting running back.
The offensive line will also bring back some key players for the team, highlighted by UCLA commit Trey Stratford at tackle and Mason Grosser at guard.
Depth on defense, however, could prove to be Allen’s greatest strength. A long list of defensive backs is headed by two Texas State commits in Taj Bickham and CJ Johnson. Another Division 1 prospect, Jayden Jernigan, has emerged as a standout on the defensive line, and he’ll receive some backup from a strong linebacker core in seniors Nigel Hines, Jace Waters and Ryan Angeloni.
Gambill is pleased with the way each of these guys have worked this summer, and is confident that they can maintain that work ethic and transform it into a successful football season. The second year Eagles’ head coach believes the key to doing that is simple.
“Do your job and do it well and focus on the Allen Eagles,” Gambill said.
by Kathryn Gallo
High School Football America Writer