The Paris Eagles will open the 2013 season Friday night in a game at Johnson County Westside.
Eagles head coach Bryan Hutson said recently his players have worked hard and displayed good attitudes during pre-season practices.
"Our kids have worked hard for a really long time," Hutson said. "They way they’ve approached practice has been nice because we didn’t know what to expect."
That’s because the Eagles graduated 20 starters from the 2012 team which shared a 4-3A Conference title, went 10-3 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs for the first time since the early 90s. Not a single starter returns on offense and only two starters return on defense.
"Right now, we’re dealing with the unknown," Hutson said. "We don’t know what we are. These kids haven’t been under pressure on a Friday night."
Hutson also said there have been some pleasant surprises in pre-season practices.
"David Buchanan has done really well playing quarterback," Hutson said. Buchanan, a junior, steps into the job after the graduation of Harrison Ramsey. "His passing has really improved."
Hutson also said the offensive line has done well.
"They are picking up on the things they need to do," Hutson said. "The way the secondary has progressed has been really good to see."
In JC Westside, the Eagles will face a team from the 4-2A that went 4-6 last year, earning the Rebels a tie for fifth in the conference. JC Westside returns four starters on both sides of the ball.
The two teams opened the season against each other last year with Paris coming away with a 40-0 win.
"They are a well coached team and they run the ball well," Hutson said. "I expect it will be a really good game. It’s game one. It’s on the road with a young team. We’ll need to be ready."
Kick off is at 7 p.m.