TLCA Eagles Look For Resurgence in 2017
SAN ANGELO, TX-- The Texas Leadership Charter Academy of San Angelo is coming off a winless 2016 season. First year Head Coach Brent Rider looks to turn this Eagles' squad around in 2017.
Rider comes to TLCA from his first head coaching job at 2A school Bronte, where he helped the Longhorns become a district contender seemingly every year. Now he's ready to do the same with the Eagles
"I'm ready for the first game," Rider said. "These kids have bought in and trusted the coaches from day one."
Despite the difference in classification, with TLCA being a 3A school and Bronte being 2A, Coach Rider is upbeat ahead of the 2017 season.
"TLCA is a lot like Bronte," Rider added. "And in my first year at Bronte, we made playoffs."
Rider inherits an experienced group of players with 14 returning starters. Heading up the group of returners is senior offensive and defensive linemen Marc Balcum. "He's the guy that has stood out the most in practice and he'll be a key two-way starter," Rider noted. "His experience on the line will be big for us." Balcum tallied 30 tackles a year ago.
With the new coaching staff, comes a new offense as the Eagles will now implement the spread offense under Rider's direction. "We're going to throw the ball around more than they have in the past," Rider said. "We'll also work in some option plays too."
The new offense means a new position for 275 pound senior Hunter Howell. Howell, who was a running back last year for the Eagles, moves to the offensive line for the 2017 season. "This is a move that we feel fits him best," Rider said about Howell's move. With Balcum, Howell, and John Holguin, who measures 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, the Eagles will have a great base to build around in that offensive line.
Returning in the backfield for TLCA will be runningback J.R. Wilson, who didn't start last season on varsity but made a big impact when he was moved to varsity late in 2016. Wilson will have added help from seniors Garrett Jetton and Luis Martinez who can both play running back. That depth, combined with a brand new offense, can give TLCA more life than seen in the past.
TLCA seems to have the pieces in order to make a push for the playoffs in the five team district of 3-3A D2. All they may need to make playoffs is one win. It'll be intriguing to see how the revamped Eagles play in 2017. The Eagles will go 3-7 overall this season with a 1-3 district record. The Eagles open up on the road at Harper on September 1 at 7:30 p.m.