Another season of Prosper Eagles football is preparing to kick off with the team heading into the 2019 season under the lights of a new home, Children’s Health Stadium. Despite the new home, what remains the same for the Eagles this season is the winning mentality of head coach Brandon Schmidt and his team that carried Prosper to an overall 9-3 season and playoff run in 2018. The Eagles will look to continue to expand on their success in their second season in District 9-6A competition.
“We are very excited, a lot of anticipation,” Eagles head coach Brandon Schmidt said of the upcoming season. “Coming off a good season the first year in 6A, the expectations are just higher now. … We, of course, want to go further than last year. Longview went on to win the state championship last season and that’s where we want to be. … We have a great group of guys, they are busting their tails, playing for each other, love each other like brothers and I cannot wait to see the product we put on the field.”
With the move to Class 6A in 2018 following realignment, it was unclear how Prosper would handle competition with 6A powerhouses such as Allen and Plano East. The Eagles proved to be more than equal to the task, suffering just three losses and making it to the area round of playoffs, where they were edged out by Longview to end the season.
Unfortunately, the Eagles lost three key weapons after last season – Keegan Shoemaker at quarterback, who threw for 2,329 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2018; running back Wayne Anderson, who rushed for 1,524 yards with 18 touchdowns; and wide receiver Jostein Clarke, who had 882 yards and 14 touchdowns. Despite these losses, the Eagles have fantastic players geared up and ready to fill those spots.
Prosper will have eight starters returning for the 2019 campaign and a few players prepared to have a breakout season.
Quarterback Jackson Berry will be slinging it down the field for the Eagles in his junior season. Berry saw minimal time in the 2018 season, but showed plenty of promise – completing eight passes out of 16 attempts, picking up 83 yards and scoring a touchdown.
J.T. Lane will be going into his senior year as an Eagles running back, and with the potential uptick in carries this season, Lane could have a monster year for Prosper. With 41 attempts last season, Lane picked up 186 yards and scored five touchdowns. His physical running game could prove crucial to the Eagles offense.
Wide receiver Hayden Metcalf will be a pivotal target for the Eagles in 2019. With it being Metcalf’s senior season, he will be looked to for leadership and big playmaking by both the receiving core and Berry as a fresh quarterback. In 2018, Metcalf had 34 catches for a total of 578 yards, averaging 17 yards per catch, and scoring three touchdowns.
Senior offensive lineman Jake Majors is expected to be a huge contributor on offense, and that not is solely due to his large six-foot-four-inch, 285 pounds frame. Majors, a University of Texas pledge, will provide ample protection for Berry at quarterback, and with spectacular blocking skills, will be able to open up plenty of running lanes for the Prosper backs.
Senior Will Prendergast will anchor a strong defensive line for the Eagles. The athletic 255-pound big man will be a threat both as a defensive tackle and defensive end, supplying constant pressure to the quarterback and neutralizing the run.
Junior middle linebacker Aidon Siano will lead the linebacking core for Prosper. The six foot, 225 pound Siano will provide the Eagles with undeniable defensive instincts and the ability to stop the run, pass and sack the QB when needed. And senior defensive back Joshua Graham will be found patrolling the Eagles backfield in the 2019 season, providing senior experience and athleticism to Prosper’s pass defense.
The Eagles will kick off the new season under the lights of Children’s Health Stadium against Rowlett High on Friday, Aug. 30.