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Vilonia rebuilding after historic season

The Eagles lost most of their key players from a 9-2 team.

SBLive is previewing the Arkansas high school football teams from the three largest classifications. Today, we feature the Vilonia Eagles from the 5A-Central Conference.

VILONIA EAGLES 

HEAD COACH

Todd Langrell, 26-17, four years

2021 AT A GLANCE

Overall record: 9-2

Conference record: 6-1, 5A-West

Playoffs: Lost to Little Rock Christian, 53-29

KEY DEPARTURES

QB Austin Myers, all-state

S Ethan Cash, all-state

WR Jamision Hinsley, all-state

OT Coltin Watson, all-state, all-star

WR/CB Kannon Bartlett, all-state, all-star

RB/OLB Seth Kirk, 3-year starter

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Senior WR/S Jack Vines - Returning starter, the 5-11, 180-pound senior caught 19 passes for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns a year ago. He had 22 tackles and 1 interception on defense last year.

Senior RT Caden Henson - Returning starter, the 6-0, 270-pound senior is back for his senior season.

Senior QB Wesley McKissack - The 6-4, 180-pound senior, according to Langrell, has shown confidence and has done well in 7-on-7 tournaments.

Junior RB Kannon Shaw - The 5-10, 210-pound junior rushed for 172 yards and 1 touchdown in limited duty a year ago.

Senior WR Eli Mosier - The 5-6, 170-pound senior caught 8 passes for 117 yards and 1 touchdown in limited playing time a year ago.

Junior C Isak Newman - The 5-11, 240-pound junior is battling for playing time on the offensive line.

Senior OL Zack Miller - The 6-0, 310-pound senior is battling for playing time on the offensive line.

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Junior G Dillion Morris - The 5-10, 260-pound junior is battling for playing time on the offensive line.

Senior CB Matthew Benzing - Returning starter, The 6-1, 170-pound senior had nine tackles in seven games last year.

Junior NT Gabe Schichtl - The 5-10, 280-pound junior had three tackles in limited duty a year ago.

Junior DE Jordan Roberts - The 6-2, 190-pound junior had three tackles in limited duty a year ago.

Senior DE Brody Fowlkes - The 5-11, 200-pound senior is battling for playing time at defensive end.

Sophomore OLB Cadian Gibson

The 5-6, 165-pound sophomore battling for time at linebacker.

Sophomore OLB/ILB Colton Ellis - He’s battling for playing time at linebacker.

Sophomore OLB Landon Mills - The 5-10, 170-pound sophomore moved in from New Orleans and “has a nose for the ball” said Langrell. Langrell said he is also strong in the weight room.

OUTLOOK

The Eagles are looking at a potential rebuilding season from a team that went 9-2 and made the playoffs.

Gone is quarterback Austin Myers, who threw for 3,291 yards and 45 touchdowns and rushed for 134 yards a year ago. Also gone are wide receiver Jamison Hinsley (70 receptions, 948 yards and 12 touchdowns; 45 tackles and 3 interceptions on defense), wide receiver Connor Eary (50 receptions, 518 yards, 10 touchdowns), wide receiver Kannon Bartlett (57 receptions, 1,190 yards and 16 touchdowns), running back Lane Hunter (478 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns, 22 receptions for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns), safety Seth Kirk (76 tackles, 17 for loss), linebacker Campbell Osier (91 tackles, 6.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks), linebacker Ethan Cash (110 tackles, 17 for loss) and linebacker Keller Suchwuist (79 tackles)

In addition, the Eagles are moving for the 5A-West to the 5A-Central with Morrilton.

‘It’s going to be a challenge,” said Vilonia coach Todd Langrell. “We have a new cast and going into a new conference. We’ve lost 33 seniors are are going to rely on a lot of sophomores to play for us.”

While the Eagles have strong numbers with 70 players, they have 14 seniors and 50 sophomores, making this team young.

The big hole to fill on offense is the line which replaces four starters. “We’re taking strides and moving people. All of them played JV last year and did well but moving up to varsity is challenging and there is going to be a lot of unknown,” said Langrell.

On defense, the Eagles have 9 starters to replace and Langrell’s big concern is giving up big plays in the passing game.

COACH SAID

“The big thing is don’t worry about everybody else. Just worry about us and the things we can do.” 

Todd Langrell