A year ago, the Civic Memorial Eagles qualified for the state playoffs after a four-year hiatus.
This year, the Eagles are hoping to go back to the state playoffs, this time with a new coach. Mike Parmentier takes over head coaching duties.
“That will be huge,” said Parmentier, who replaced Justin Winslow. “We had a lot of success last year and we had a great season and we’re hoping that we’ll continue to build off of that and kind of become a perennial playoff football team. We have a good group of seniors back, so we’re hoping that things can work out and we stay healthy and I think we can have a good year.”
The Eagles have numerous returning players from last year’s team that finished 7-3 and qualified for the Class 4A playoffs. They are seniors Brandon, Andrew and Curtis Deckard, Cody Reynolds, Corey Price, Zack Williams, Rikki Lafferty and David Lane.
Reynolds and the Deckard triplets are the returning offensive linemen. Price, Lafferty and Williams are the running backs and Lane is the wide receiver.
Junior Braydon Pierce is the quarterback.
“We feel like we’re pretty balanced,” Parmentier said. “The one thing that we’re going to do on offense is we’re definitely going to try to establish the run. We’re going to try to be as balanced as we can on offense with the pass and run. Defensively, we feel like we have to keep improving on that side of the ball as well.”
Civic Memorial coach Amanda Biggs is thrilled to have seven seniors on her team.
“I have a very strong senior group,” Biggs said. “They’re going to be the key to us being successful this year. They have a lot of varsity experience and their leadership is phenomenal.”
Sydney Marshall, Kaity Kappler, Cara Melton, Kennedy Carnes, Annika Ochs, Baleigh Gehrs and Jenna Parmentier make up the Eagles’ senior class. Marshall, Carnes, Melton and Kappler earned all-Mississippi Valley Conference honors last fall.
Parmentier is a transfer from Staunton and is the daughter of new CM head football coach Mike Parmentier.
Juniors Susan Buchanan and Hannah Schmidt also return to the varsity this fall.
Last year, the Eagles finished 13-15-3 after winning their first five matches.
“I think this is going to be the strongest year that we have in a while,” said Biggs, who is in her fourth season as CM coach. “It’s going to come down to the leadership of those seniors and the experience they have. We’re definitely going to make a name for ourselves in the conference this year.”
With four returning runners, the CM boys’ team will set its sights on winning another Madison County small-school division championship in Jake Peal’s first year as head coach.
Junior Cohl Callies and sophomores Drake Stephenson, Parker Borth and Colton Hyman return from last year’s boys’ team.
Callies was the Eagles’ lone sectional qualifier in 2015.
Senior Lydia Peal, who is the younger sister of Jake Peal, is the top returner for the Civic Memorial girls’ team, as Alex Singleton moved on to run at McKendree University.
Jake Peal, who graduated from Civic Memorial in 2011, replaced Mark Beatty as head coach. Beatty is now the athletic director at Carrollton.
Seniors Jacoby Robinson, Trevor Panyik, Colin Hall and Kameron Denney return from a CM team that finished with two wins last year.
The Eagles, coached by Derek Jarman, defeated Wesclin and Father McGivney for the only wins last fall. Their season ended with a 3-2 loss to Taylorville in penalty kicks in a first-round Class 2A Jacksonville Regional game.
CM opened the season with a 7-0 win over Roxana Monday.
Civic Memorial’s 2016 season started on a high note on Aug. 18.
The Eagles cruised to a 7-2 win over Waterloo in their season opener at home, matching last year’s win total of one.
Civic Memorial returns most of its players from last year, including seniors Kylee Thoroughman, Gwen Lewis and Samantha Mann and juniors Cassie Reed, Morgan Butler, Abby Lewis and Ryan Allison. The Eagles have 20 girls on their team.
Matt Carmody returns for his second season as head coach.
The Eagles started their 2016 season — and the Ty Laux era — with a solid performance in the Madison County tournament on Aug. 18 at Belk Park in Wood River.
Civic Memorial placed second in the small-school division with a four-player score of 357 and had two players earning medals — junior Tristan Frank and senior Will Spencer.
Frank, Spencer, senior Chase Spanhook and juniors Adam Flack and Michael Dixon make up the Eagles’ varsity lineup.
Laux replaced Steve Carey as the Eagles’ head coach this year. Carey headed the program for 31 years before retiring.
Last year, the Eagles had a state qualifier in Alec Hilliard, who graduated.
The Eagles have to find a way to replace their top player from last year, Sara Gwillim.
Gwillim became the first all-state medalist in school history after placing 10th in the Class A state tournament in 2015. The year before, she helped the Eagles win their first regional championship.
The Eagles return six players — juniors Isabella Roberts and Taylor Stillwell and sophomores Carman Phillips, Maisey Watson, Reagan Walter and Sophie Blagoue — from last year’s team.
Civic Memorial finished 10-20 in 2015 after finishing with consecutive 20-win seasons.
Jane Middleton returns for her seventh season as head coach.
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