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Injury bug bites Bronson

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By Mike Capshaw, Staff Writer

Bronson coach Al Cooksey needs a medical license after his winless Eagles suffered through most every injury imaginable during their 0-4 start.

“Injuries, injuries, injuries ... a rash of everything that could go wrong has for us," Cooksey said. "The injuries are just killing us, but we're Bronson, so you know we're going to keep fighting. We ain't through."

There's been so many injuries that in recent weeks, it's been hard to practice for Friday night fights. In fact, only 14 players were able to suit up for Monday's practice, which makes it impossible to simulate 11-on-11 game situations. 

"And the 14 we have out there are not necessarily 14 starters, so it makes it tough," Cooksey said.

Tailback/safety Brock Brower is out with a knee injury and could be back in two weeks. The list of other key players injured includes, among others, linemen Timmy King, Justin Gotkin, A.J. Martin and Devo Johnson, and skill players Frank Gay and Gavin Thomas.

Still, the Eagles have remained competitive. They played Ocala Christian close before the Crusaders pulled away for a 40-19 win on Friday. They even had a 27-19 lead late in the second half against Seven Rivers Christian, but the Warriors rallied for a 52-34 victory.

"We should be 2-2 right now, and we're 0-4," Cooksey said. "We're banged up, but we like our kids. We're still fighting. Like I've said before, this is the best group of kids I've had. We may not have the best athletes, but they work hard."

In an effort to break into the win column, the Eagles have mixed schemes up on both sides of the ball while trying to find a system that works consistently. On offense, Tyler Beauchamp has taken over as the starting quarterback, moving Ben Landon to full-time receiver.

"Tyler is doing a good job, and he's learning," Cooksey said. "The real plus has been that Ben is a heckuva receiver, which we already knew, but we needed him at quarterback. He's faster than Tyler, so he can get open and he had a great game on Friday."

Landon is one of the few players that hasn't had a serious injury. However, the senior hurt his neck in the game but "played through that" after missing a couple of series.

"Nobody likes to lose, so we've been talking about the mental aspect of the game every single day," Cooksey said. "We're doing everything we can to try and find a way to win."

That won't come easy this week as the Eagles host Trenton, a team that's 4-0 and outscored its last three opponents 176-18.

"Trenton is going to give us all e can handle," Cooksey said. "They're loaded and should win the district."

The following week may be Bronson's best chance to pick up its first win as the Eagles host Branford, a 1-3 team that Trenton spanked 62-0 on Sept. 9.