Bald Eagle Area football coach Jesse Nagle peruses the practice field as his players finish a play and head right back to the line of scrimmage.
It’s how some Eagles describe life under Nagle and his staff.
It’s also an accurate representation of BEA’s start to the 2016 season.
With an upset, overtime 3-0 win over Chestnut Ridge under its belt, BEA meets Central — the No. 9 ranked Class AAA team in the state by PennLive — on Friday night oozing positivity.
The Eagles are 3-1 to start Nagle’s inaugural campaign. That’s as many wins as the Eagles’ program has had combined the last two seasons — two in 2014, one in 2015.
“We came in not worrying about the past,” Nagle said.
And that outlook has paid dividends.
With a recent history of losing in the rearview mirror, the Eagles entered this offseason with a new staff and a new attitude.
Junior ballcarrier Derek Henry had never worked as hard in a preseason as he did under Nagle.
That showed in a Week 1 win over St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, 54-0, and the following week against Philipsburg-Osceola, 55-0.
“We think we can do a lot, and we set the bar high,” junior running back/linebacker Andrew Dubbs said. “So far we’ve been doing pretty good with it.”
The Eagles suffered a setback against Penns Valley, losing 41-18, but rebounded in exhilarating fashion at home against Chestnut Ridge.
The Eagles fell to the Lions all three times since 2012, being outscored 75-10.
Last Friday, Nagle felt like beating Chestnut Ridge was a must-win game.
“When you’re trying to change a program from where it’s been the past couple of years, it’s huge to get those critical wins — the wins you’re not expected to get,” the coach said. “Against Chestnut Ridge, I don’t think anybody expected us to win.”
It wasn’t pretty. BEA placekicker Blake Roberts hit a game-winning field goal for the only points of the game.
But as Nagle mentioned, it was a matchup that, historically, went in the opposite direction.
Senior running back/linebacker Austin Young was a part of those losses to Chestnut Ridge — and entering the season, he couldn’t even fathom the Eagles being 3-1.
“Oh no,” Young said. “Not after the last two years.”
He saw the Eagles get blown out too many times.
But for Young, he believes this season is a fresh start. In his last year of high school football, the senior feels the hype after winning three of their first four.
Henry said the goal is to win a district title, and he firmly thinks it’s within reach.
Meanwhile, Nagle is just worried about dealing with Central (3-1) on the road this week, but no matter the outcome, the Eagles are all smiles nearing the midpoint of the season.
“We completely had a turnaround,” Dubbs said. “It’s been fun, and it’s going to keep going.”