BY MIKE URSERY
The Heart of America Athletic Conference held its 2018 Media Day ahead of the upcoming football season on July 30.
The event was held at the Embasssy Suites Hotel in Olathe, Kansas. Head coaches from all 12 schools were available to answer questions about their teams. The Heart’s preseason coaches poll also was released. The Central Methodist Eagles were scheduled to finish fifth in the Heart South Division.
CMU head coach David Calloway was at the event to answer questions about the Eagles’ upcoming season. Calloway is entering his third year, coming off of back-to-back 2-9 seasons.
Calloway said the biggest thing for his team this season is to establish a culture and trusting their own process. This past February, CMU announced the signing of 51 recruits, the biggest in program history.
“We talked a lot in the Spring about being where we’re supposed to be, and talked about the things we want to accomplish,” Calloway said. “We also talked about trusting our process, and not just from a culture standpoint. (We talked about) loving to go to the weight room, and loving to compete with each other in morning workouts. Going to get the work done day in and day out. I think we’ll start seeing those results in August.”
Calloway made comments at the Heart Media Day about changes that people will see this season. One of those changes will be under center. Caleb Bedford was the starting quarterback the past two seasons. He has moved on after graduation.
The Eagles signed four quarterbacks during the recruiting period: Vincent Burton (Fort Worth, Texas), Dantae Vandeven (Jackson, Missouri, transferred from Missouri Southern), Jimmie Garewal (San Jose, California, transferred from San Jose City College) and Brayden Tolle (St. Peters, Missouri). In addition, they have two quarterbacks who were already on the roster — senior Dennis Vinson and sophomore Tylon Ireland.
Calloway said the Eagles are “changing direction” offensively. This past January, CMU announced the hiring of Kenton Evans as offensive coordinator. Calloway said people will see a spread offense that is more up-tempo this season.
Calloway said the biggest strength on offense this season will be the offensive line. The offensive line features five returning starters, he said.
On defense, the Eagles will be freshman-heavy in the secondary, and growing pains will be expected, Calloway said. The Eagles signed Jason Fancher (Fairview Heights, Illinois), Corderius Paschal (Watkinsville, Georgia), Kawaikui Kapu (Bellevue, Washington, transferred from Eastside Junior College) and Exavier Guillory (Houston, Texas, transferred from Dakota State) during the signing period.
Calloway said he’s excited about what the Eagles will have in the middle of the defense. Seniors Travis Burress and Darrius Henton are returning starters at inside linebacker that Calloway mentioned.
The Eagles begin their season on Sept. 1. They will open at Culver-Stockton as they open the season against the Wildcats for the second straight year. Last season, CMU defeated Culver-Stockton 31-0 at home.
CMU’s home opener is Sept. 8 against the Peru State Bobcats. That game will be a showcase during Parents Weekend. Other notable home dates are Sept. 22 against the William Penn Statesmen (Hall of Fame Game), Sept. 29 against the Graceland
BY MIKE URSERY