The process of restoring Eisenhower High School to its status of Inland Empire football power has been an ongoing one, dating to the early parts of this decade. The Eagles haven’t been to the playoffs since 2004 and quite frankly, it would be an upset if Eisenhower got close to making it back to the postseason this year with another new coach at the helm.
Gone is John Rice, who resigned after the Eagles went 5-5 for the second straight year. In his place steps Patrick Lord, who played for Eisenhower in the mid-1990s and moves over from Jurupa Valley High School, where he was an offensive line coach.
Lord comes back to his alma mater looking to bring the Eagles back to their own glory under Tom Hoak, the legendary coach that had Ike alongside Fontana and Redlands among the Citrus Belt League elite. But he encounters an Eagles team that lost quite a bit of firepower from a year ago.
Before I go on, I’d like to credit J.P. Hoornstra for helping provide some of the information for this writeup. On that note, wide receiver Alex Jefferies and quarterback Anthony Lucero provided quite a bit of Ike’s firepower the last two years, giving the Eagles a quick-strike element that was unmatched in the CBL.
But both Jefferies – who is now at Fresno State – and Lucero have now graduated, leaving Lord with gaping production holes at each position. The quarterback job will go to either senior Richard Redd or junior Donovan Washington. Redd, the bigger of the two players, saw some bit action last year subbing for Lucero.
Redd’s experience, although limited, actually puts him ahead of most of his teammates, as the Eagles only return three starters from a year ago. Included in the set of brand-new Eagles is an entirely new offensive line headed by 6-foot-2, 310-pound guard George Corona. Corona and the Eagles are going to have to learn an entirely different set of schemes on the fly, suggesting another rebuilding effort for Ike.
Eisenhower’s schedule (Home games in CAPS, league games with *)
Sept. 11 – CAJON
Sept. 18 – at Bloomington
Sept. 25 – at Arroyo Valley
Oct. 2 – REDLANDS EAST VALLEY*
Oct. 9 – at Carter*
Oct. 16 – REDLANDS*
Oct. 23 – at Fontana*
Oct. 30 – RIALTO*
Nov. 6 – YUCAIPA*
Nov. 13 – at Miller*