WAAY’s 31 Teams in 31 Days high school football spotlight: Athens Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles open their season against Fort Payne on Aug. 20.

Posted: Jul 27, 2021 6:14 PM
Updated: Aug 17, 2021 3:41 PM

Let’s meet the 2021 Athens Golden Eagles.

After a 7-4 season and a first-round exit from the playoffs, the Athens Golden Eagles are looking to reload and rebuild.

Head coach Cody Gross is entering his sixth season at the helm and said this is a young football team that had to replace nine offensive starters and six on defense.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that just haven’t played a lot of varsity football so … really excited about ‘em,” Gross said. “We’ve got a good group of guys that are working hard and it's just some of ‘em are gonna have to grow up pretty quick.”

Needing to field an almost entirely different team, Gross said the whole Golden Eagles football system has done a great job of making sure the guys are always ready when it’s their turn.

Senior Dylann Roper, a running back and wide receiver for the Golden Eagles, said they already like what they’re seeing out of this group.

“They’re hard workers. They’re coachable. They’re listening to coaching, they’re gonna get it right,” he said. “We’re all bonding together and it’s looking good like it’s gonna be a fun year.”

Even early in summer workouts, players were starting to step up to the challenge.

“A couple of my teammates, they being leaders of course like they need to be,” senior Jaden Jude said. “I just hope to be the best leader for my teammates and have a good season.”

The Golden Eagles start the 2021 campaign against Fort Payne on Aug. 20.

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