John Sappington has players line up for an exercise at the Brentwood Junior Eagles minicamp last week at Norm West Park. Sappington directed the three-day camp and is head coach of the eighth-grade team. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

John Sappington has players line up for an exercise at the Brentwood Junior Eagles minicamp July 16 at Norm West Park. Sappington directed the three-day camp and is head coach of the eighth-grade team. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

Minicamp breaks ice; practice begins Aug. 5

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

The Brentwood Junior Eagles football program didn’t have to look far to find a new opponent for the 2015 season. A fresh face on the schedule this year is next-door neighbor Webster Groves. The Junior Statesmen will bring both their seventh grade and eighth grade teams to Brentwood for games on Sept. 9.

The two junior programs have not played each other in recent memory, and perhaps never, as Webster Groves has been around only since 2000.

Other new opponents for Brentwood are Priory for the eighth graders and Lutheran St. Charles for the seventh graders.

John Doe (right) protects his quarterback from the rushing Sam Magee.

Henry Ritter (right) protects his quarterback from the rushing Sam Magee.

The Junior Eagles held their annual July minicamp last week, July 14-16, at Norm West Park. Thirty-four youngsters in grades 4 through 8 turned out to practice football fundamentals. Camp director John Sappington said that’s a few more than usual, perhaps due to high turnout from eighth graders.

“I think the eighth grade team is going to be pretty good,” he said.

Sappington remarked that the leading contender at quarterback for the eighth grade is Nathan Butler, who was the seventh-grade starter last year. He added, “Michael Jones will probably play quarterback for the seventh-grade team.”

Eighth grader Nathan Butler looks for a receiver. He was quarterback of the seventh graders last year.

Eighth grader Nathan Butler looks for a receiver. He was quarterback of the seventh graders last year.

Michael Jones sees an open man. He's the leading contender for quarterback of the seventh-grade team.

Michael Jones sees an open man. He’s the leading contender for quarterback of the seventh-grade team.

Coaching staff
Sappington is the head coach of the eighth graders and Tom Magee leads the seventh grade. Assistant coaches who return from 2014 are Fred “Hollywood” Brown and Ben Peters. Chris Robinson has been enlisted to replace assistant coach Ethan Griesemer, who moved to Colorado.

John Sappington tells players about the upcoming season.

John Sappington tells players about the upcoming season.

Brentwood High School graduate Tom Magee returns as head coach of the seventh-grade team.

Brentwood High School graduate Tom Magee returns as head coach of the seventh-grade team.

Assistant coach Ben Peters calls a play in the huddle during a scrimmage.

Assistant coach Ben Peters calls a play in the huddle during a scrimmage.

Caption here.

Brentwood’s newest assistant coach, Chris Robinson, eyes the formation.

Dates to know
Following are key dates for students entering fifth through eighth grade who want to be a Junior Eagle this fall: Aug. 1 or Aug. 2, sign-up and equipment dispersal; Aug. 5, daily practice begins at 5 p.m. at Brentwood Park. For more information call Sappington at 314-575-7713 or Lynn Mills at 314-662-3109.

Assistant coach Chris Robinson calls an offensive play.

Assistant coach Chris Robinson calls an offensive play.

7th Grade Schedule
Sept. 2, Wednesday, at Chaminade, 5 p.m.
Sept. 9, Wednesday, host Webster Groves, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 26, Saturday, at Lutheran St. Charles, 10 a.m.
Sept. 29, Tuesday, host Affton, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 3, Saturday, at Collinsville, TBA
Oct. 7, Wednesday, host MICDS, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 10, Saturday, at Affton, 9 a.m.
Oct. 17, Saturday, at MICDS, 9 a.m.
Oct. 20, Tuesday, host Westminster, 5:30 p.m.

8th Grade Schedule
Sept. 2, Wednesday, at Chaminade, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 9, Wednesday, host Webster Groves, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29, Tuesday, host Affton, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3, Saturday, at Collinsville, TBA
Oct. 7, Wednesday, host MICDS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10, Saturday, at Affton, 10:30 a.m.
Oct. 17, Saturday, at MICDS, 10:30 a.m.
Oct. 20, Tuesday, host Westminster, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31, Saturday, at Priory, 9 a.m.

Caption here.

A youngster manages to hold on to the ball after catching a pass and running into a crowd of defenders.

John Doe (left) breaks up a pass to Josh Danfort.

Sam Heisel (left) breaks up a pass to Josh Danfort.

Tom Suntrup looks for an open receiver.

Tom Suntrup looks for an open receiver.

Jane Doe stops Greg Hill.

Anijah Barringer stops Greg Hill.

A younster fires a pass as coach John Sappington watches.

John Danfort pulls his brother Josh to a halt after Josh makes a long gain.

John Danfort pulls his brother Josh to a halt after Josh makes a long gain.

Benji Jones has Greg Hill covered after Hill catches a pass.

Benji Jones has Greg Hill covered after Hill catches a pass.

John Doe laughs after making a move that leaves a pursuer lying on the field behind him . . .

Xavier Lane laughs after making a move that leaves a pursuer lying on the field behind him . . .

. . . then can't stop laughing after he's stopped.

. . . then can’t stop laughing after he’s stopped.

John Doe smiles after making a long gain.

Sam Heisel smiles after making a long gain.

John Doe puts pass rush pressure on quarterback Josh Danfort.

Tristan Jones puts pass rush pressure on passer Josh Danfort.

Micah Jones is chased by a teammate during a water break.

Micah Jones is chased by a teammate during a water break.

Caption here.

Joshua Johnson takes off running as Quinn Tilley waits his turn.

Caption here.

Jamal Isaac Jr. waits for the whistle.

Greg Hill catches a pass in heavy traffic.

Greg Hill catches a pass that Christopher Robinson nearly disrupts.

Chris Robinson calls the play while Reggie Jeffrey and others listen.

Chris Robinson calls the play while Reggie Jeffrey and others listen.

Nathan Butler catches a pass despite close coverage from Michael Jones.

Nathan Butler catches a pass despite close coverage from Michael Jones.

D.J. Brown is ready to rush the quarterback.

D.J. Brown is ready to rush the quarterback.

Greg Hill is congratulated by teammates after catching a TD pass.

Greg Hill is congratulated by teammates Reggie Jeffrey (left) and Tristan Jones after catching a touchdown pass.

John Danfort runs a sprint.

John Danfort runs a sprint.

Players and coaches pull together for a cheer led by Benji Jones at the end of one camp session.

Players and coaches pull together for a cheer led by Benji Jones at the end of a camp session.