23 Teams in 23 Days: The Evangel Eagles

Sports

SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – “What we’ve got is grandpas and the kids,” said Evangel Head Coach Denny Duron.

No, that’s not the title of a new TV sitcom. It’s Evangel football.

“We are very, very young, and yet we have these coaches that are all past retirement age,” said Coach Duron.

Instead of retiring, the coaching staff is looking to build a new Eagle dynasty. Leading the charge is Chancellor Denny Duron, who is back at the helm of the program he founded in 1989. 

“These kids are the reason why this culture is different,” said Coach Duron. “They have bought in. Also, these assistant coaches are just tremendous. “

One of those assistant coaches is Danny Palmer, who brings four decades of coaching experience with him. 

“This is the hardest working group of all my years of coaching, which is 48 years,” said Coach Palmer.

Finally, former Red River Head Coach John Bachman returns to the place where he won nine state titles.

“I mean it’s just like upgrade, upgrade, upgrade,” said sophomore quarterback Peyton Fulghum. “You got all these legendary coaches and they all came together. I describe it to everybody like the band’s back together.”

And, the band got back together at the perfect time, a year after the Eagles went winless. 

“As we look back, we’re not ashamed of that,” said Coach Duron. “That’s our badge of courage.”

“Last year happened,” said senior linebacker Shawn Dawson. “It’s a new year, a new day. You got to get back out there.”

The Eagles will get back out there not just with experience on the sidelines, but also experience on the field.

“When do you find a team of 14 freshmen that get to play every game?” asked Coach Duron.

“Now that we have a year or two under our belts, nobody has to go out there shaking or whatever because we’ve been there before,” said Fulghum. “You can’t get any lower than we did last year. So we’re just excited to improve and come out better than ever. There’s no greater feeling in life or in sports than getting better.”

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