Despite record, Eagles remain confident, upbeat

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Wed. September 16, 2009 | Keith Niebuhr

TARPON SPRINGS – When you’re 0-2, it’s not always easy to stay motivated.

But at East Lake, that isn’t a problem.

It’s Tarpon Springs week.

“With that rivalry alone, it’s not hard to get pumped up,” Eagles coach Bob Hudson said.

But there’s more.

The truth is, East Lake is better than its record.

Far better, in fact.

The losses haven’t come to just anyone; they’ve been to St. Petersburg (14-11) and Largo (20-7), two squads that are a combined 4-0. Largo, by the way, very well might be the area’s best team.

Both of those games were close, which is amazing when you consider East Lake had four turnovers in each.

“We played well against St. Pete,” Hudson said. “We had four turnovers, had a field goal blocked and got stopped on fourth and goal.”

In other words, the Eagles could have won.

“We’ve got to get rid of the turnovers,” Hudson said. “We’re going to get those things worked out.”

Under trying circumstances, East Lake’s defense has performed admirably, particularly linebackers Kyle Griffin and Cody Thurber. To hold St. Petersburg and Largo in check is one thing, but to do so while committing so many turnovers is remarkable.

On Thursday, the Eagles play another 2-0 team.

And this is one they really, really don’t like.

“These are fun games,” Hudson said. “We like to play competitive football teams. Your schedule is your schedule and you’ve got to play it. But if we hadn’t played those two teams, I don’t know if we’d be 0-2.”

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