No one has higher expectations of Eastern View High School than the Cyclones themselves.
Coming off a 13-1 season in which the Cyclones ended up ranked 13th in the state in 4A football, EVHS returns a senior heavy team that has lofty goals - but it all starts with the hard work they put in during the offseason.
“We have high expectations of ourselves and I know it sounds like coach talk, we haven’t talked about winning or losing any games yet, we’ve talked about getting better each day and being the best Cyclone team we can be,” EVHS head coach Greg Hatfield said. “If we focus on what we can do better, we have a chance to be the best we can be.”
Senior Till Butler will start at quarterback for the Cyclones.
“He knows our offense so well, he’s a really good leader,” Hatfield said. “He’s a tough kid. He started at linebacker for us last year.”
He’ll be throwing a group of speedy receivers in returners Alex Spangler, Blake Leake and Chance Graves. Elijiah Harris and Josh Logan will also see time at the position in Eastern View’s spread offense.
“We might find a wrinkle to add here and again but we try to be very simple in our concepts,” Hatfield said.
At running back, Raq Lawson, Ronta Robinson and Drew Shurina will all see time at the position.
Hatfield praised his team’s work ethic and that bleeds over to the running back position.
“We try to have a very blue collar approach,” Hatfield said. “We always feel like the sum of our parts is greater than all of our parts.”
The Cyclones will run behind a talented offensive line - that returns four starters from last year - led by Jason Southern, David Jorgenson, Jordan Dodson, Ricky Robinson and freshman Brayden Walker may also see time.
“Games are won and lost in the trenches,” Hatfield said. “When we got here we couldn’t buy a kid over 180 pounds. We’ve been pretty blessed here lately to have some big kids that have worked really hard in the weight room.”
Defensively, Shurina will be calling the plays - continuing a long line of Shurina boys who have anchored the Eastern View defense. His brothers Logan and Brett were linebackers for Hatfield and Drew carries the same mentality.
“Drew is so blue collar, such a hard worker, leads by example,” Hatfield said. “He’s not going to be outworked.”
Shurina said that being the third member of his family - all of which are the top tacklers in EVHS history - to serve as a Cyclone linebacker means the world to him.
“There’s always been a little pressure on me, but my brothers are here to coach me up and push me through it,” Shurina said. “It’s a lot of hard work ethic.”
The defensive line features CJ Taylor - who moved from linebacker to defensive end in the 4-3 lineup - Zahir King, Jordan Dodson, Elijiah Hodgkins, Jason Southern and Jordan Breckley.
The Cyclones might have their deepest position in the defensive second featuring returners Blake Leake, Chance Graves and Alex Spangler. Elijiah Harris, Josh Logan and Marshall Adu will also see time.
“We have guys who have bought into working hard, getting in shape and playing team football,” Hatfield said.
The Cyclones kick off the season today at CCHS at 7 p.m.