2009 Team Insider: Eustace Bulldogs

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Eustace is a program that is on the rise under HC Doug Wendel who has brought the flexbone offense to Henderson County its paid off as the Bulldogs made their first playoff appearance since 1997 when the Bulldogs led by sensational TB Dale Cope posted an 11-1 mark. Although the stay in the playoffs was short with EHS being eliminated by Nevada Community in a wild bi-district contest 60-48, the appearance signals something good is brewing along Cedar Creek Lake.

8 starters are back on offense led by a trio of talented running backs, the best being senior Trevan Johnson who was named first team all 14-3A. FB Shawn Baldwin at 220 pounds is a tough inside runner who is money in short yardage situations. Baldwin also garnered first team all 14-3A honors, the final cog in the attack is speedy Joseph Bradburn who will give the Bulldogs another outside threat. Bradburn was a first team all-district performer in the secondary in 2008 and in a pinch will still see time on that side. Diminutive Chris Compton pilots the offense and at only 5'5 won't be mistaken for a major Division 1 recruit, but he's got experience having run the system for two years prior and he's a whiz running the option. The offensive is led by Nick Dunlap a returning first team all 14-3A performer and big 290 pound Zach Stokes. Although Eustace prefers not to throw the ball much when they do put it up they will look to 6'4 TE Colton Knight and WR Justin Hall.

On the defensive side of the ball Eustace also has eight starters but this is still an area of major concern as the Bulldogs gave up a ton of points in 2008 allowing 31 per game. Up front two way standout Colton Knight leads the charge from DE, while big Zack Stokes is a run stuffer in the middle. Stokes as a junior was first team all 14-3A. The secondary takes a blow with Bradburn moving to the offensive side of the ball and that will be one area of concern in district play especially when facing the wide open offenses of Canton and Wills Point. Another concern to losing Bradburn is there is a lack of speed for Eustace and they will need to rely on strong play up front and sound technique to make up for the lack of athletes.

Eustace should once again be a playoff team in 2009, with 16 starters back plus help coming from a JV that was a respectable 5-5 they are a solid pick. District 14-3A doesn't have any true powerhouse teams as Van graduated heavy after a three round playoff march so Eustace could possibly compete for a district title. The back to back playoff appearances if they happen in 2009 would be the first for Eustace since three straight trips between 1985-1987.

2009 Eustace High School Dope Sheet Information

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