The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Football: EHS looking to prevent Hamilton County from pulling Homecoming upset

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  • If there is a week for Eldorado to cure what ails them, the Eagles' couldn't have picked a better week. And for a couple of reasons.
    One, Eldorado High School is celebrating its Homecoming this week and two will play winless and rival Hamilton County in Week 5 of the prep football season.
    Eldorado (3-1) suffered its first loss of the season, losing in come-from-behind fashion to Fairfield last Friday night. Chester remains the only unbeaten team in the Black Diamond Conference.
    Pulling away the curtains, Hampton reveals that in all honesty, this week can be a challenging one.
    "Sometimes a loss can be a good wakeup call," Hampton said about the 30-28 loss to the Mules at the Train Yard last week. "In a short week and with everything that goes on homecoming wise, it's always a challenge. We have some more kids out this week, but we'll just go with the guys we got and try to get better."
    Hampton does take a little solace in playing a struggling Hamilton County team, while some Eagles are still licking some wounds and at the same time, still trying to get better.
    Expected to miss Friday's contest will be Brennan Unthank (out for the year), Scott Wiseman (out for the year), Dustin McGuire (out for the year), Nick Schimp (game-time decision), Colton Edwards (family obligation) and Tre Turner (game-time decision).
    To add a little light on the Eagles' current M.A.S.H unit, Hampton said of a school the size of Eldorado, the loss of five players is the equivalent to that of 8 because many players in the system play two ways.
    "Sometimes that's just the way it goes," Hampton said. "I have found you either have a season when you lose a lot of players or a year where you don't lose anyone. Right now, we're dealing with it and trying to get through it."
    Tanner Smith, who took his first official varsity start last week, and who filled in for the injured Schimp against Elverado-Trico two weeks ago, will be replaced by sophomore Nathan Burnett.
    Burnett is expected to start this week with Schimp returning to the lineup next week at home against Johnston City.
    Despite the loss of players, Hampton preaches that it doesn't diminish what Eldorado still needs to accomplish.
    "Now we're at the point of the season where its a grind and as a coach you find out who wants to play football because we've been at it for a while now, bodies are starting to break down, weather is changing and its a grind. Hopefully we're the team that is getting better."
    Mark Beitler takes over for Hamilton County that finished just 1-8 last season and has already suffered losses to Fairfield, Vienna-Goreville, Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn and Carmi-White County.
    Page 2 of 2 - Highlighting the roster however are a trio of players that Hampton admits could start for anyone in the Black Diamond Conference.
    Dylan Cottonaro (QB/DB) is an explosive signal caller that is more of a runner than he is a passer. Hampton describes Baylee Ga7 (RB/LB) has a "super football player" and Logan Billington (TE/LB) has someone that makes plays on film.
    "They will be fired up to play Eldorado with it being our homecoming and being rivalry week. It would make their season to ruin our homecoming. We've been that team when you're trying to knock someone off and its a fun week to prepare.
    "For us, we just have to try to out physical them. I think we are a bigger, stronger football team. We have to make sure we knock them off the ball on both sides, not get too cute or fancy with anything we do."
    Michael Dann can be reached at hbgsports@dailyregister.com. Follow him on Twitter @spydieshooter.
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