Eagles start football season with new head coach, experienced lineup
Aug 22, 2019 01:46PM
● By Josh McFadden
Mike Carlson has taken over for the Skyline football team. The Eagles began the season Aug. 16. (Photo courtesy of Bob Dudley)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
The Skyline football team has the interesting combination of a good number of returning starters along with a new man in charge.
Mike Carlson takes over the team from Zak Erekson, who went 13-18 during his three-year tenure. Carlson may be new in his position, but the Skyline program is hardly foreign to him. He has been an assistant with the Eagles since 2010, working under four head coaches. He got his start at Skyline assisting legendary coach Roger Dupaix.
Skyline went 3-8 last season and finished 1-4 in Region 6. The team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
The Eagles don’t lack experienced players to help get the team back on the winning track.
Carlson inherits seven returning starters on offense, including a trio of offensive linemen: Luke Bennett, Luke Tueller and Jacob Walker. Skyline lost last year’s starting quarterback to graduation, but Carlson hopes junior Braxton Bolingbroke is up to the task. He’ll have targets to throw to, namely Hudson Manwaring, Tyler Limpert and Jeremiah Johnsen. Limpert caught 18 passes for 125 yards last season, while Manwaring hauled in 11 balls for 256 yards. As for the running game, Mason Lund is back after picking up nearly 200 yards on the ground a year ago.
Skyline’s defense had its struggles in 2018, allowing more than 30 points a contest. The Eagles do return five starters on that side of the ball, including Johnsen who will suit up at linebacker in addition to his duties as a receiver. On defense, he had 42 tackles, three sacks and an interception a year ago. Walker is another one to watch on defense. He amassed more than 40 tackles last season. Zach Kaufmann is the lone returning starter from the secondary, though Carlson has some options in Isaac Visser and Connor Wright to step in and bolster that unit.
The Eagles remain in Region 6 this season, though they’ll see some new opponents. Olympus, Highland and Murray will still be league foes, but Brighton, Hillcrest and Cottonwood join the region.
Skyline kicked off the season Aug. 16 at class 6A’s Layton. The Eagles entered the game having won six consecutive season openers. The first home game is the following week, Aug. 23 against Springville. On Sept. 6, Skyline travels to Cottonwood for the Region 6 opener.