2021 Highlight Zone Preview: Concordia Cadets

High School Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After 11 seasons under Tim Mannigel – a run that included the 2016 3A state title – there’s a new man in charge of the Cadets as veteran coach Mike Eshbach takes over a program that advanced to regionals last fall.

Concordia finished 6-6 overall last season, and lost 28-18 at regionals on the road against a Bishop Chatard team that went on to win the state title.

However, this year’s team will look a lot different than the Concordia squad we saw last fall, as graduation hit hard.

Offensively, Eli Mattox steps in at quarterback to replace Brandon Davis, who started games in all four of his high school seasons. Running back Amir Drew (1,194 rushing yards in 2020) is gone as well, as are receivers Kam Johnson, Tyler Grossman, and Scottie Vanlandingham. The good news for the Concordia offense is that the Cadets return three of five starters on the offensive line, including 6-foot-8, 320-pound junior Bubba Craig.

Defensively, the Cadets must replaced graduated stalwarts Cooper Harris, Sam Hudson, Matt Goeglein, and Johnson. James Rusher returns at linebacker after finishing second on the team in tackles last season with 76 as a sophomore.

The Cadets open the 2021 season at home against South Side on August 20.

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