Eagles ready to take flight

Published 10:04 am Thursday, August 29, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

CALERA — The Calera Eagles are more than ready to kick off the 2013 football season — even if it means travelling more than 60 miles to do it.

The Eagles will begin their campaign by taking on Holt High on the road Aug. 30, and while the opening game is enough to make any player nervous, being in an unfamiliar environment brings out the jitters as well.

Head coach Wiley McKeller said part of Calera’s game plan involves keeping the players focused on the actual game, by eliminating as many distractions as possible.

“When you go on the road, things change,” he said. “At home, there’s a (set) schedule. On the road, there are a lot of variables you can’t control.”

By removing the distractions of playing an away game, McKeller said the Eagles will be able to focus on things the team can control.

McKeller said a large part of the Eagles’ success in the opener will be how much the team has improved from its exhibition matchup with Chelsea on Aug. 22.

“The biggest thing is eliminating the mistakes (made) in the jamboree,” he said.

The focus in practice this week has been tightening the passing game up, which lagged from lack of practice due to all the rain over the course of the summer, McKeller said.

“(In the jamboree) we threw the ball five times, and had two drops,” he said. “I feel our timing’s going to be better (this week).”

He went on to say he felt the game will come down to defensive play.

“We want to see some three and outs,” he said. “(We want to) get people off the field on third down.”

The Eagles will kick off at 7 p.m. at Woody Clements Field, located at 3801 Alabama Ave. in Holt.