Many return from record setting Eagle football team; scrimmage Saturday

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Running back Aaron Williams, who scored three touchdowns for the Eagles in last November's Central Division Championship Bowl victory, is one of more than 40 returning sophomores in 2013. This photo was taken during practice Aug. 22 in Weed.

More than 40 returning players from the 2012 record-setting College of the Siskiyous football team are in training camp as the Eagles prepare for Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage with officials. It's scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 24 on their field in Weed.

Head coach Charlie Roche encourages fans to come out and watch.

Coming off a school-best 10-1 season and 47-18 victory in the Central Division Championship Bowl last November, the Eagles had more than 130 players when training camp started earlier this month. That number remained over 100 late this week.

"I feel like we've got good kids who are buying into the program," said Roche, a former Eagle and former Eagle assistant who is starting his third year at the helm. "We're a blue collar team. We work our butts off; we don't have any pretty boy Floyds."

The majority of the Eagles are from northern California, Oregon and Washington.

Roche calls them "our kind of guys... smart kids who are buying into the program."

Three returning sophomores were all-conference last year: offensive linemen Jerett Olson (6-foot-4, 295 pounds) and Brendan Slaight (6-7, 319) and middle linebacker Alex Henderson (6-2, 245) from Redding.

Returning after earning Mid-Empire conference honorable mention honors a year ago are running backs Edwin McKinney (5-10, 175) and Aaron Williams (6-1, 200) and wide receiver Sam Williams (6-2, 200).

Aaron Williams rushed for 89 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Bowl victory as they became the first Siskiyous football team to win more than 9 games in a season.

Also returning is quarterback Levi Cox (6-0, 210) from Cottonwood, who took over the starting position late last season after Tyler Nickel was injured.

Key returning players include fullback Lenana Meekisho (5-11, 250), defensive tackles Jefferson Aumua (6-2, 345) and Jason Syverson (6-2, 250) and offensive linemen Kyle Nemec (5-11, 250) and Darryl Trotter (6-5, 340).

Cameron Clay, a redshirt last year, is a 6-3, 245 pound sophomore defensive end who played two years ago and qualified for the state track and field championships in shot put last spring.

Other players who have been impressive in camp, according to Roche, include running back Zach Floyd (5-10, 185) of Tigard, Ore., wide receiver Kirt Terry (5-10, 180) from Washington, tight end Cale Backinger (6-5, 238) from Lake Tahoe, defensive end Phil Cottrell (6-2, 238), defensive tackle Elias Mensah (6-2, 276), linebacker John Durney (6-0, 230) of Yreka and offensive linemen Hayden Deever (6-2, 280) and Diamond Pedro (6-2, 320).

Durney is one of three Yreka High School graduates in camp. The others are running back Travis Fonseca (5-8, 160) and safety Dean Schafer (5-11, 171).

The Eagles are scheduled to open the 2013 season with a home game against Redwoods Saturday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m.