In a game dedicated to the late Eva Hinshaw – with a pre-game ceremony retiring the #76 jersey (the year Eva graduated from EPHS) – the EPJHS 7th and 8th grade Eagles pulled off a sweep of arch rival Scott City and in the process claiming back-to-back SEMO South Conference championship for the 8th grade (36-8, 5-1) and ending the 7th grade season (20-0) on a winning note and a winning season (4-3).
EPJHS will face Charleston in a combined 7th and 8th season ending game next Tuesday at John Harris Marshall Athletic Complex…
EP 36 SC 8
Long-time EPJHS coach James Hodges – in his 9th season – said the Eagles were pumped last nite with Eva’s initials sewed onto the game jerseys and decals on the helmets.
“KP, to be honest with you, it was awesome,” said an obviously emotionally moved coach – who not only was a co-worker of Eva’s – but a dear friend as well. “We were worried a bit about Scott City; they were undefeated coming into the game and we wanted to honor Eva’s memory.”
“(EP) plays Scott City in every sport on every level so there’s a strong rivalry with the Rams…if there’s any game (Eva) would want to win it would be against them.”
How strong. Let’s just say it’s well documented. . It goes way back…and Eva’s disdain of the Rams was warranted; Eagle fans know why….
But, last nite, as the Jr. Eagles players made an exciting play; they would point to the sky in memory of Eva…touching moments on the Prairie…
To the game: EP broke open a close game (20-8 at halftime) to win going away 36-8 to claim the back-to-back SEMO South titles….
Hodges was extremely proud of the performance of the Eagles and is excited about the future of the High School program with key contributions from last year’s 8th grade champs being felt on the varsity level…
Freshman Mack Marcum is the varsity QB; freshman Adrian Soto is the leading rusher and TJ Shands mans the inside linebacker spot…
Hodges added, “this is a totally different group than last year. We kind of set the tone with more of a defensive group this year but who would have thought that the QB, featured RB and inside linebacker would be playing key roles for the varsity Eagles this year…
“And one of the cool things is the kids always come back around; to cheer on and support the teams. That makes me feel good as a coach to have players continuing to care about their former team…”
And, Hodges, who was – justifiably so – feeling his oats a bit last nite after the game even commented about the future of the young Eagles.
“It kind of reminds me of when we had CJ (Chris Johnson) and Tuffy (Eagle head coach Jason Aycock). I know those are big words there and the kids have a lot to prove to equal what Jason and Chris did on the varsity level; but they got the same kind of heart; hustle and attitude those two did…”
Hodges continued. ” We got JB Hedge; Cameron Wallace anchoring the potent offensive line; JB’s a man child on the line; 6-0, 240, he’s a best. We’re just glad to have him (Wallace’s father was a lineman of the year at Portageville and his grandfather was an all-state lineman)…”
“The future of the Eagle program is bright. (But) We’ve got more history to make Tuesday afternoon (at Charleston).”
EP 20 SC 0 7th grade
I don’t know if it was the size of the offensive line that gave Deverence Jones all that room or his speed that was the main reason; This I do know. That 7th grade Eagle line could contribute at the varsity level now.
Jones got loose all night leading the way for the 7th grade Eagles to finish the season on a winning note at 4-3.
AGAIN; Junior Battle of Mississippi County is Tuesday evening at John Harris Marshall Athletic Complex in Charleston. Game time is 6 p.m.
***You can see more photos of this game on my FACEBOOK page…