First Year Head Coach Takes Reigns of Eldorado in 2017.
ELDORADO, TX-- When the Eagles of Eldorado take the field for the first time in 2017, it will be under the direction of first year Head Coach Michael Johnson. Johnson came to Eldorado in January from 4A school Gonzales where he spent his first two years as the Apaches' Offensive Coordinator and his last as their Defensive Coordinator.
The Eagles' new head coach feels his experience can help turn things around for Eldorado. "I'm a big culture guy. We're trying to change the culture here," Johnson said. "These kids have been focused and have bought in to what we want to do here."
Last year was an ignominious season for Eldorado, going 2-8 in regular season play and 0-4 in district. However, that play may be in the past for the Eagles. "We've grown a lot," Johnson said about his team. "Offensively and defensively we've made big steps." The Eagles return 10 starters from the 2016 season.
Rome wasn't built in a day, though. And turning this Eldorado team around could take time in a district like 3-2A D1. "There is tremendous leadership in this district," Johnson praised. "You've got Coach Otho who got Christoval going last year. You've got Coach Freeman at Ozona who got the wheels spinning last year." Johnson does have a point; district 3-2A has some pretty good coaches, leaving the district title wide open.
But a coaching change can put the incoming seniors in a tough spot. Senior running back and defensive back Anthony Olivares. "He's bought in," Johnson said. Coach Johnson also went on to praise his leadership among the rest of the seniors in the locker room. Olivares will be a key two-way starter for the Eagles.
There's also been a quarterback competition between junior Wyatt Mertz and sophomore Kevan Covarrubiaz. "Wyatt has gotten better and better every day," Johnson said about the junior gunslinger. "He has a great football IQ."
While all signs may point to Mertz being the starter in week one for the Eagles, Covarrubiaz has shown promise not only as a quarterback, but as a utility player for Eldorado. "He has a great competitive nature," Johnson mentioned. "We've put him in some different spots. If he's at quarterback, he wants to be the best. If he's at running back, he wants to be the best. If he's at receiver, he wants to be the best."
Having a player like Covarrubiaz could give the Eagles added depth at all of their skill positions and possibly make them a threat to the district.
Defensively, defensive ends Clayton and Jack Griffin will be the bookends that anchor this Eagle front. "I expect them to step up and have a big year," Johnson said. "Both of them have a high motor and can get after the quarterback."
Sophomore defensive back Eric Reyes will bolster the Eldorado secondary. "He has an impressive understanding of the game," said Johnson. "He's absolutely relentless."
The Eagles should see some tremendous improvement in 2017, all things considered. The Eagles goe 3-7 in 2017 with a 1-3 district record, which may be good enough to get them into the playoffs. Eldorado travels to Rocksprings High School for their season opener on September 1 at 7:30 p.m.