Ellis County football previews: OCS hopes to build on ’20 success
Eagles welcome back several contributors from six-man playoff campaign
OVILLA — Winning football returned to Ovilla Christian School last fall in the first year under head football coach and athletic director Josh Johnson.
The Eagles finished 5-4 overall and made the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools six-man playoffs. With Johnson at the helm for a second year, the Eagles are hoping to fly higher.
“Our skill players returning in this system (helps),” Johnson said. “We will be a little undersized at times on the offensive and defensive lines.”
Helping the team’s outlook is the return of a number of experienced players on each side of the line of scrimmage. Esteban de Leon had a sensational sophomore season at spreadback in 2020, and was named district Newcomer of the Year and honorable-mention all-state. De Leon will move to quarterback this fall.
Sophomore Noah Fitch and Jase McMahan are important cogs in the Eagles’ run-oriented offense, while Luke Zebreski returns at wide receiver. Peter Tharp is back on the offensive line.
On defense, Micah Ward returns up front alongside Zebreski, with McMahan at linebacker and Fitch and de Leon at defensive back.
“Our goal is to be plus-2 in the turnover margin,” Johnson said. “We will be playing uptempo, so conditioning will be key.”
OCS will open the 2021 season at home on Friday, Aug. 27 against Fort Worth THESA, a homeschool team. On Sept. 3, the Eagles will venture north to take on Sherman Texoma Christian.
They’ll also step into the public ranks for games against Apple Springs and Milford before opening district on Oct. 1 at home against Kennedale Fellowship.
TAPPS Dist. 6M DII-3: Ovilla Christian Eagles
Head coach: Joshua Johnson (2nd year at school, 5-4; 12th year overall, 69-50)
2020 record: 5-4, 3-3
Returning lettermen: 11
Returning starters: 4 offense, 3 defense