HANOVERTON, Ohio (WKBN) – D.J. Ogilvie has found success in his second stint as United’s head football coach. The Golden Eagles are seeking their first back-to-back-to-back winning seasons since his first stint from 2001 to 2003.

Over the last two years, United has won 15 games (15-5) — the most in a two-year span since 1989 to 1990, when they recorded 17 victories.

Senior Grant Knight returns after spending the 2021 season as the Golden Eagles’ signal-caller. Now, he’s back at his natural position of slot receiver. A year ago, he completed 53.2% of his passes (25-47) for 375 yards and led United with 682 yards rushing.

Luke Courtney, Andrew Ogilvie and Parker Newburn will all vie for the starting quarterback position this summer.

The Golden Eagles must find replacements for their rushing tandem of Lincoln Urmson (492 yards rushing) and Ward Kiko (438 yards rushing. 83 receiving yards).

“We’ll look to get our athletes the ball,” said Coach Ogilvie. “Most notably, Nick Hardgrove, Brock Rhodes, Trent Newburn, Hayden Casto and Dan Milburn.”

Along the offensive front, United welcomes back a trio of starters in Dallas McCracken, Garrett McIntosh and Jack Strader. Look for Dan McCracken, Ethan Baker, Trent Ellyson, Wayden Kiko and Logan Wood to be the leading candidates to step into starting roles.

The Golden Eagles graduated four of their front seven defensive starters from last year’s playoff game against Brookfield. Last fall, United held all 10 of their opponents to less than 27 points, holding five to single digits. They’ll welcome back Dallas McCracken and Jenson Baker along the defensive line. The unit will have a competition between Tucker Kiko, Jack Strader, Dan McCracken, Travis Moats, Tyler Moats and Brenden Craig to fill the final two-line positions.

Seniors Caden Marshall (87 tackles) and Gavin Berger (55 tackles) each return to their linebacker spots. Up front, Jenson Baker is back after stopping seven ball carriers for a loss as a junior a year ago. In the secondary, the Eagles will have Luke Courtney, Brock Rhodes, and Hayden Castro all back in the fold along with Grant Knight (5 INTs).

Ogilvie said, “We return six kids in the secondary with starting experience. At linebacker, [in addition to] Caden and Gavin, we’re looking for Andrew Ogilvie, Chance Cope, and Jonas Baker to battle it out for that third spot.”

United will travel to Atwater to face Waterloo in week one on Friday, August 19.

United Golden Eagles
Fast Facts
Head Coach: David Ogilvie, 11th season in his 2nd stint at Valley Christian (63-37)
2021 Record: 8-2 (6-0), 1st place in EOAC
Last 5 Years: 33-17 (66%)
Home Field: United Eagles Stadium
League: Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference
Base Offense: Spread
Base Defense: 50

Returning Starters
Offense: 6
Defense: 7

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 28.6 (27th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 11.0 (2nd in Area)
Total Offense: 290.4
Rushing Offense: 225.9
Passing Offense: 64.5

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Grant Knight – 375 yards, 53.2% (25-47)
Rushing: Grant Knight – 682 yards, 7.2 avg
Receiving: Nick Hardgrove – 193 yards, 19.3 avg
Tackles: Caden Marshall – 87
Quarterback Sacks: Payne Brereton – 6
Interceptions: Grant Knight – 5

2021 Results
Brookfield 26 Golden Eagles 0*
Golden Eagles 28 Southern 6
Golden Eagles 35 Lisbon 6
Golden Eagles 34 Wellsville 7
Golden Eagles 47 East Palestine 12
Golden Eagles 33 Columbiana 12
Golden Eagles 33 Leetonia 0
Golden Eagles 28 Crestview 21
East Canton 13 Golden Eagles 7
Golden Eagles 41 Minerva 7

2021 EOAC Standings
United – 6-0 (8-2)
Southern – 6-1 (8-4)
Valley Christian – 5-1 (7-3)
Wellsville – 4-3 (4-4)
Columbiana – 2-4 (3-6)
Lisbon – 2-5 (2-7)
Leetonia – 1-5 (2-5)
East Palestine – 0-7 (0-10)

2022 Schedule
Aug. 19 – at Waterloo
Aug. 26 – East Canton
Sept. 2 – at Crestview
Sept. 10 – at Valley Christian
Sept. 16 – Leetonia
Sept. 23 – Columbiana
Sept. 30 – at East Palestine
Oct. 7 – Wellsville
Oct. 14 – Lisbon
Oct. 21 – at Southern