Few teams in the state of Texas have faced the adversity the Abilene High Eagles have this season.
In addition to the COVID pandemic, which has impacted every program in one way or another, the Eagles had to watch their head coach, Mike Fullen, be diagnosed with colon cancer in August, miss the start of the season as a result, and undergo semiweekly chemotherapy treatments once he returned to the team in mid-October.
Add in a 1-4 start against a loaded early-season schedule, and it would have been understandable if an AHS squad that was short on experience to begin with had ended its fourth consecutive season without a playoff berth.
With the Eagles now sitting at 6-4, following a five-game winning streak that has them preparing for a Region I-6A Division II semifinal matchup with Denton Guyer on Saturday, that’s obviously not how things played out. And while there are a number of factors to which that turnaround can be attributed, Fullen himself cites the steady leadership of his 36 seniors as one of the most important.