Countdown To Kickoff: Oak Hall Eagles

Eagles stay competitive despite challenges of having a small roster
Eagles competitive despite low numbers
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:52 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -If there is any football program that knows not to judge a book by its cover, it would have to be the Oak Hall Eagles.

“If you were a betting man and you showed up to an Oak Hall football game, I think you’d bet on the other team just by how we look,” said senior tight end / defensive end Dylan Provencher.

By the end of the fourth quarter, the Eagles opponents’ are the ones who are often wheezing. Oak Hall has posted eight consecutive winning seasons, but the Eagles get it done with a 28-man roster full of two-way players who understand the benefits of off-season training.

“We have a huge competitive fire, everyone on the team wants to win, and they’re willing to push themselves, and push their bodies,” said Provencher. “You have to want it, really.”

“A lot of people think conditioning is to burn calories,” said junior offensive and defensive lineman Christopher Davis. “Conditioning is what helps you gain strength and gain speed. You learn something about how the body and hygiene work.”

“We work very hard, as we do every summer on conditioning,” said head coach RJ Fuhr. “And even multi-training. Guys are learning two or three positions, even on offense and defense.”

Leading Fuhr’s offense will be sophomore quarterback Dakota Brower, who played in seven games a year ago and also has Provencher back as his primary target. Oak Hall plays in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference and kicks off at home against St. Joseph Academy on Aug. 26. But for all the Eagles’ success, last season’s playoff loss to Santa Fe Catholic burns deep in their minds.

“We’ve been reminding the kids of that, let’s keep working hard because we got to the playoffs as a number one seed but we laid an egg,” said Fuhr. “The kids keep buying into it, and they’re very coachable kids.”

“We’re a really small team, so you get more reps,” said junior running back / linebacker Abram Jerkins. “And you get more playing time, more film. We come together, everyone knows each other, and the whole school is united.”

And if these 48-minute men can stick together, they could very well play in the final 48 minutes of the season.
You might even be able to bet on it.

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