Junction continues to ‘Attack The Challenge’ in Contrucci’s second year

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JUNCTION, Texas — The Junction Eagles haven’t won a district championship since 2003 and this season they’re looking to “Attack The Challenge” with hopes of ending the 16-year drought.

“It’s been awhile that we’ve been able to lift up a gold football,” head coach John Contrucci said. “That’s what we’re attacking to try to do on a daily basis and grow to get there. We adopted the slogan ‘Attack The Challenge’ when I got here last year. Every day has a new challenge. Every rep has a new challenge. Every rep is a commitment to your team and community.”

The Eagles graduated four productive players from last year’s team and are bringing back a load of senior leadership, which will play a factor in Contrucci’s second year with the program. Junction was picked to finish third in District 14-2A Div. II by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football only behind No. 13 Christoval and No. 19 Eldorado.

In 2019, Junction finished with a 4-7 overall record and lost to Holland in the Class 2A Div. I Bi-District Round.

“There’s always expectations, but we don’t go out and boast,” senior quarterback Chance Condarco said. “We’re pretty ready for it. We all work hard every day to do what we can do best and just try and improve the little things because we had some hiccups last year and we understand that.”

Junction dropped to Class 2A Div. II after realignment in February and will face No. 13 Christoval, No. 19 Eldorado, Miles, Menard and Rocksprings in district play this season. In non-district, the Eagles are set to battle Ingram Moore, TLCA, Iraan and No. 6 Mason.

“I don’t like to look through a negative lens,” Contrucci said. “I think our chances are great. Let’s go play and let’s go have an opportunity to see where we get. Let’s see how we grow through non-district and see how we enter district and see where we end up.”

Every player faces different challenges throughout the season, but two challenges resonate with the entire team— improving on last year’s record and lifting a gold ball.

“Ever since I was little that’s all I’ve ever wanted,” junior running back Isiah Gonzales said. “That’s why I’ve been working so hard and I’m pretty sure we’re going to get it this year.”

Gonzales returns to the gridiron after a productive 2019 season. The junior two-way player rushed for 1,105 yards and added 300 receiving yards. On the defensive side of the ball, the all-district performer secured 58 tackles, three interceptions and forced two fumbles.

He accounted for 15 total touchdowns.

“He’s a special kid,” Contrucci said. “He’s explosive and has a knack of seeing things. You know? He’s a quiet leader, but his work ethic is strong and he enjoys being a football player, running around and making plays.”

Junction will open the season on Aug. 28 at home against Ingram Moore.

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