Wood & Mikell lead an experience group at United

The Golden Eagles welcome Minerva in week one.

United Local Golden Eagles High School Football

2017 United Football Preview
Head Coach: Michael Demster, 3rd season (4-16)
Last Season: 2-8 (0-4), 5th place in ITCL Red
Division: VI (Region 21)

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 46.1% (47-55)
Playoff Appearances: 2
Playoff Record: 0-2
League Championships: None
League Record: 30-34

More:High School Football previews from other teams

2016 Results
Springfield 38 Golden Eagles 6
East Palestine 55 Golden Eagles 31
Wellsville 32 Golden Eagles 7
South Range 42 Golden Eagles 8
Crestview 47 Golden Eagles 14
McDonald 42 Golden Eagles 20
Golden Eagles 41 Southern 7
Lisbon 30 Golden Eagles 0
Salem 40 Golden Eagles 14
Golden Eagles 38 Malvern 20

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 17.9 (44th in Area)
Total Offense: 229.5
Passing Offense: 51.7
Rushing Offense: 177.8
Scoring Defense: 35.3 (49th in Area)
Total Defense: 342.8
…During a three-year span (2012-14), the Golden Eagles averaged 31.8 points per game. Over the last two (2015-16), they’ve averaged 17.3.

New League: Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference
East Palestine

The Good News
Returning Starters: Offense – 7; Defense – 8
Coach Michael Demster welcomes back a wealth of experience, “With returning 15 starters on both sides of the ball and a large senior class that’s our biggest strength.” One of the bright signs to United’s 2-8 season was the dominance that senior Cade Wood displayed in the first half of the season. Wood averaged 11.1 yards per rush (69 carries, 769 yards) while scoring 10 times on the ground. “Cade ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and had a 9’ 7’’ broad jump at the Quad County Combine in May of this year,” said Demster. “He ran for (almost 800) yards in only 10 quarters of play last year.” Senior Nathan Mikell stepped in to play quarterback and completed 50% of his passes (44-88) for 382 yards and 4 scores. He also ran for 206 yards in their October 21 loss at East Palestine. “He’s a great athlete,” comments Demster. “A team leader and our returning quarterback.” Nathan finished the year with 267 yards on the ground. Junior Parker Hydrick led the team in many receiving categories including receptions (23) and yards (152). Hydrick also scored twice on handoffs (27 carries, 104 yards for the season). Parker was also utilized as the team’s punter – a skill which he mastered as evident on 42 punts, averaging 32.1 yards and six kicks inside the twenty. On defense, the Eagles return a plethora of talented defenders including defensive linemen Josh Good (32 tackles, 3 ½ sacks), Toby Richmond (26 tackles), Tyler Humphrey (25 tackles); linebacker Ethan Antram (25 tackles) and defensive backs Kaden Smith (34 tackles, 2 INTs), Nathan Mikell (31 tackles) and Corey Hawk (19 tackles).

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – Minerva, 7
Sept. 1 – at Salem, 7
Sept. 8 – Malvern, 7
Sept. 15 – at East Palestine, 7
Sept. 22 – Columbiana, 7
Sept. 29 – at Wellsville, 7
Oct. 6 – at Southern, 7
Oct. 13 – Leetonia, 7
Oct. 20 – Toronto, 7
Oct. 27 – Lisbon, 7

The Bad News
The Golden Eagles are currently on a six-game losing skid – over the course of their unfortunate streak – United has been outscored 42.7 to 14.3. The defense loses their top two tacklers from last Fall in Colton Bowen (92 tackles) and Colton Graham (47 tackles). United has allowed a total of 746 points to be scored by their opposition (37.3 points per game) within the last two seasons. One of the Eagles’ top receivers also graduated this past Spring in Jake Clark (14 catches, 120 yards, 2 TDs). He averaged 11.3 yards per reception throughout his varsity career with the Golden Eagles (29 catches, 329 yards). “The biggest thing we need to work on (this summer) is becoming more effective in the passing game,” points out Demster. “As well as our ability to stay healthy.”

Key Number
United has now posted back-to-back losing seasons – something which happened just once in the previous seven seasons (2011: 3-7).

Featured Stat
Since 2009, 7 Golden Eagles have gained over 500-yards rushing in a single season:
Mike Martin – 1657 (2013)
Garrett Beech – 1427 (2012)
Mike Martin – 1116 (2012)
Caige Vincent – 1110 (2014)
Josh McLaughlin – 1065 (2010)
Garrett Beech – 1049 (2013)
Cade Wood – 769 (2016)
Josh McLaughlin – 765 (2009)
Garrett Beech – 733 (2011)
Colton Antram – 689 (2014)
Tyler Powers – 612 (2014)
Colton Antram – 582 (2015)

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