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Eagles prepare for tough slate

LASKER – A young Northeast Academy football team will have to grow up early.

The Eagles and Head Coach Collin Sneed get a bye to open the season August 21, but then have back-to-back rivalry contests.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Sneed said. “With our few seniors, we’ll find out quickly where we are. We need the underclassmen to come around quickly.”

After the open date, Northeast will host rival Halifax Academy in the home opener. That always tough rivalry will be an important early test, Sneed said.

“It’s going to be a really tough game for us because Halifax is always at their best in the beginning of the year,” the coach stressed. “They will be a formidable challenge. If we could pull off an early victory, that would be a huge boost for our confidence.”

A week later (September 4), Northeast will take to the road to battle against Hobgood Academy, another rivalry matchup. They will then travel to Rocky Mount.

“I’m expecting Hobgood and then Rocky Mount to be the heart of the conference,” Sneed said. “Both of them are bringing a lot of people back. We’re hoping to stay healthy and be prepared for them.”

On September 18, the Eagles return home for a showdown with Word of God Christian Academy, another game Sneed knows will feature a quality opponent.

“It’s certainly not an easy schedule for us,” Sneed said. “Word of God will be a challenge with their athleticism. Hopefully we can match their athleticism with our determination and have a good showing.”

A week later on September 25, the Eagles will take to the road as they travel to Parrott Academy, a team with a new head coach.

“We’re expecting a tough game,” Sneed said. “I have no idea of what they will look like with a new coach, but I know they’ll be tough. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to scout them and be prepared by the time we get to that one.”

Northeast will host Cresset Christian Academy on October 2 for their annual Homecoming festivities. Sneed said along with the usual distractions Homecoming brings, he knew Cresset would be a challenge for his young club.

Lawrence Academy pays a visit the next week (Oct. 9) and Sneed said he knew Mike Dail’s club would be better.

“With the offense Lawrence runs, they will spread us out and work out our linemen and linebackers,” Sneed said. “I think they’ll be much improved.”

Northeast will close out the season with a pair of road trips as they head to Cary Christian October 16 and then to St. David’s on October 23.

“Cary and Trinity will be the teams to beat, I think,” Sneed said. “Cary gave us a fit last year in the playoffs and they didn’t lose much. They’ll be tough.

“St. David’s is a team we know we’ll need to be injury-free to have a chance against,” he added. “They will be ready and we know we’ll have to be healthy.”