SPORTS: Olympic Peninsula Eagles semipro football team plays first game Saturday in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — The Olympic Peninsula Eagles are cleared for takeoff.

The semipro football team starts its sixth season on the North Olympic Peninsula with its home opener against the Cascade Xtreme of Bellevue at Roosevelt Elementary School on Saturday.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m., with half of the proceeds going toward the Dream Park Foundation.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Eagles coach Mike McMahan said. “The Xtreme beat us last year by four points in a really good game, so this year, we’re definitely out looking for revenge.”

The Eagles roster features numerous players from around the Peninsula, including former Forks High School star Luke Dixon.

Named the Peninsula Daily News prep athlete of the year for the 2008-09 school year, Dixon will share carries with B.J. Johnson in a dynamic backfield.

Port Angeles graduate Steven Monger will be under center in the Eagles’ pro-style offense, which also includes a tight end, fullback and three wideouts.

The Eagles lost their lone preseason game 26-14 when they visited the Washington Cavaliers in Tumwater three weeks ago.

Still, McMahan came away from the game encouraged by what he saw.

“If we gel like things look like, I could see us realistically heading into the Memorial Day weekend at 3-0,” McMahan said.

“Our biggest question is offensively. If we can get all the pieces of the puzzle clicking, we’ll be just fine.”

The Eagles’ 4-3 defense will get a big test this weekend against the Xtreme’s disciplined Wing-T offense.

“They are really coached on the Wing-T, so it will be a real challenge for our defense,” McMahan said.

“They are going to be disciplined, and they are going to be ready to play.”

Tickets for Saturday’s game cost $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors. Children 12 and younger get in free.

Peninsula’s second home game will be a week later on May 14 against the Inner City Shine at Roosevelt.

The game will include a canned food drive for the Port Angeles food bank, with four cans dropping admission to $2.

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