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Prep Football Preview: Southwest Eagles

The Eagles finished the condensed spring season 0-5 but see the fall as a chance to soar

EL CENTRO, Calif. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - When prep football received the green light for a shortened season last spring, many teams were scrambling trying to schedule practices and even field a team. The Southwest Eagles were able to field a roster of only 27 rosters.

"Any given week we’d start three to four freshman," Third year head coach John Haines said. "Which I think accelerated their maturation process, and they are ahead of where they would’ve been had we had a normal season last year."

Haines said the spring season and the quick turn around to the fall season might have actually helped his young team.

"We really didn’t separate, we really didn’t have that time where it was two or three months where they were off playing other sports," Haines said. "We were in the weight room a week after the season trying to get ready and our bodies ready for this fall."

Of the 27 players on the team's roster in the spring, 23 of those players returned to the team this fall.

"I return seven offensive lineman and same thing on the defensive side of the ball," Haines said. "We only play with three as we are a 3-4 defense, the good news is we are going to have a little more depth."

Behind the fortified offensive line is sophomore quarterback Logan Jungers. Jungers started behind center as a freshman and comes from a talented family. Logan's older brother Cameron was the quarterback in 2017 when Southwest tallied a 14-0 record before falling to the state division 4-A championship.

"Logan is a very steady Eddie type guy," Haines said. "You wouldn’t know if he threw a touchdown or interception on any given play. I think his understanding of the offense is better."

Haines also feels Jungers could be one of the top quarterbacks in the area.

"I think throwing the football Logan is as good as you’re going to find here in the Imperial Valley," Haines said. "The young man from Brawley is special as well, I mean he can throw the football and run and things like that. Logan as a sophomore I think you’re going to find it hard to find someone who throws the ball better than Logan Jungers."

The eagles also bring back some skill players in Nate Smith, Jonah Estrada and Estevan McDonough.

"Nate started all five games for us in the spring and Estrada has really come a long as well," Haines said. "Estevan has a good burst to him, last year was the first time he played running back since pop warner so, as the season went on, he got better and better. Diagnosing the run game and doing what he does, I think he’s taking another step up and he played well Friday at our carnival."

Haines also is excited about another weapon on offense in the form of tight end Derik Mankin.

"We’re lucky to have him," Haines said. "A 6’2, 220 pound tight end, they don’t fall out o the sky so we’re lucky to have a tight end who’s a good athlete and can run and catch the ball. "

Southwest will kick off the season this Friday ay home against the Holtville Vikings. The last time the two teams met was in 2015, a 42-6 win for the Eagles.

"I know they suffered a lot of graduation," Haines said. "They lost a lot of players. I don’t know a lot about them."

Haines says what he does know if that the Vikings will arrive well coached.

"I think they’re going to be good," Haines said. "Coach Turner coaches his butt off out there. He’s going to have a well coached team and play really hard. So that’s a good match up for us in week one, I want to play those types of guys."

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Scott Gross

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