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Football team rebuilds after losing several seniors

Blake Deffenbacher | The Feather Online

Head coach Russ Counts enters his 25th year coaching and his fifth year at Fresno Christian.

After a long summer of practice and preparation in the blazing sun, the FC football played their first game on the road against Stone Ridge Christian HS and lost 37-8. The Eagles kicked off the season competing in 11-man football.

Last year the Eagles found success with first year head coach Russ Counts. The team went 10-1 and won the Central Sierra (8-man) League under him. Counts is entering his 25th year coaching and his fifth year at Fresno Christian. Last season marked the first time in four years in which the Eagles played in an 11 man football game. This season, all non-conference contests will be 11-man, including senior night.

Despite several seniors graduating last year, coach Counts continues to show high expectations from the rest of the team.

“Last year FCS Football had a great senior class,” Counts said. “Several of those players played three and four years at FCS. They will be greatly missed. That is the real beauty of High School football. Each player creates their memories and then a new group of players comes in and creates a whole new culture, a whole new atmosphere and all new memories that will last a lifetime.

“This current team is an amazing group of players,” Counts continued. “They work hard and put in a tremendous amount of off the field work all on their own. This team is without a doubt the most committed group I have ever coached.”

Team captain Tyler Villines, ‘18, has played varsity football for the past four years. He wants to lead his fellow teammates and play for God. 

“I’ve continued to play football these past four years,” Villines said. “Not just because I love the sport, but also because of the brotherhood that is developed through the game. This season I have high expectations. I know we lost a lot of players due to them graduating, but my standards still stand.

Blake Deffenbacher | The Feather Online

Team captain and quarterback Tyler Villines, ‘18, has played varsity football for the past four years.

“I want us to serve God and be a light to other teams, and also go out and win in the name of God and for Fresno Christian,” Villines continued. “As a senior, I understand that I am looked up to. I will lead from the front as a true leader does and strive to guide the team to success in the name of Jesus. I am excited to see God’s plan unfold as this year goes on.”

First year member Reece Trevino, ‘19, joined football because he wanted to stay in shape and grow closer to some of his peers.

“I joined football because my friend Jonah Lozano encouraged me to play and also to get stronger,” Trevino said. “My goal for this season is to at least start on one of the teams. And my favorite part so far has been tackling players.”

The Eagles will have their first home game vs Immanuel HS at 7 p.m., Sept. 1. Come and cheer on your Eagles!

 Eagles football schedule. For another sports promo, read about the girls tennis team.

This author can be reached via twitter @JohnMonke  and via email: John Monke.

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