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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pierce City picked to finish second in the SRVC

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coming right at you. Zach Crouch, a senior at Pierce City participates in speed drills during practice this week during an Eagles' contact day. Pierce City is looking to build off their 10-2 record last season. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
The Pierce City Eagles are picked to finish second in the 2011-12 Spring River Valley Conference (SRVC) preseason football poll released on Wednesday yesterday by KSEK-FM -- The Ticket, 99.1 ESPN Radio of Pittsburg, Kan. Coaches of their respective conferences, votes in the poll.

Coaches from the Big 8 Conference and SRVC assembled Wednesday in Duquesne to provide a season outlook and reaction to the preseason poll.

Miller was selected to defend its conference title and picked up four of the six available first-place votes oaches could not vote for their own school, and one coach did not return a ballot. Miller edged the Pierce City by one point in the poll, 44-43.

Breaking it down. Pierce City Football Head Coach Mac Whitehead explains the outlook for this season's Eagles' football team at a media day in Duquesne yesterday. The Eagles welcome 11 freshmen to the team and are picked to finished second in the Spring River Valley Conference. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
The Cardinals, coached by Dustin Baldwin, finished 11-2 last season and advanced to the Class 1 quarterfinals in 2010, where they fell to eventual champion Ste. Genevieve-Valle Catholic, 56-26. Miller's only other loss in 2010 was to Class 2 Hogan Prep of Kansas City in week three of the season.

"We lost 12 seniors and five All-State players due to graduation," said Baldwin. "Those players accounted for 80 touchdowns. This season we are going to learn a lot about ourselves. We only have one skill position player returning."

Miller has been blessed with large numbers at their summer workouts with an average attendance of 38 players. One area of strength for the Cardinals this season is offensive and defensive line.

"We return four linemen and two of which were All-Conference selections," said Baldwin. "Our team speed will be equal to that of last year's squad. With the experience we have returning on the line, our skill players should have time to develop."

Pierce City finished the 2010 campaign at 10-2 under first-year head coach Mac Whitehead, with both losses coming to league-rival Miller the latest in the second round of the playoffs. The Eagles picked up two first-place votes and were ranked in the top three on all six ballots returned.

"Things are different this year in Pierce City," said Whitehead. "With the passing of Coach Doug Weatherly, you just can't replace the 22 years of experience he brought to the team. This season we are going to have to respond and overcome that loss."

Assistant Coach Kenny O'Hara will take over the defense for the Eagles.

Pierce City graduated nine player off last year's squad and has replaced them with 11 incoming freshmen.

"We are going to be young," said Whitehead. "Cedric O'Hara and Curtis Palmer will carry our load on offense. We had a great summer workout and our ready to hit the field."

Lockwood (6-4) was third in the survey with 37 points and the other remaining first-place vote. Greenfield (6-5) ended up fourth in the poll with 35 points. The Wildcats fell to Pierce City in the opening round of the 2010 postseason.

Editor note: The Big 8 Conference preview will be in Friday's paper.

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