The Apollo Eagles had an up-and-down 2018 season, which finished with a 5-5 record overall. The Eagles blew out Little Falls 51-21 in the opening round of the section playoffs before being on the wrong end of a 47-8 game against Willmar.

Eagles head coach Justin Skaalerud says that a strong core of returning players will help his team take the next step this season.

“We’ve got a lot of guys coming back up front, and perimeter-wise we have a couple guys back,” Skaalerud said. “We had a free agent pickup with our point guard Michael Gravelle coming out for football this year, and he’s really shined these first two weeks.”

Among the spots up for grabs heading into the season are at the linebacker position.

“We graduated a couple of three and four-year starters at linebacker,” Skaalerud said. “Logan Johnson had some time there last year, but he’s now our starting quarterback, so we have a three-or-four player battle for those spots.”

Senior safety and wide receiver Jack Randolph says the defense should be a strong suit for the team in 2019.

“I’m really excited, this could be the best year that we’ve ever had on defense,” Randolph said. “Everybody has been stepping up, especially the young kids.”

Randolph’s fellow senior Derek Stanoch says that time spent in the weight room during the offseason will pay off for the Eagles.

“We’ve got some big dudes who put up big numbers in the weight room,” Stanoch said. “We aren’t afraid to hit somebody and move people.”