The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

Enloe Football: Crafting a Winning Culture


As Enloe’s homecoming game against Broughton on Friday, September 29th, draws closer, fans, students, and players are getting excited at the prospect of victory. A win would improve upon the team’s current 3-2 record, their highest winning percentage since 2018. As we anticipate tomorrow’s game, let’s take time to look at what has made this year’s team so successful.


In his third full year at Enloe, head coach Ryan Clark has provided the program with leadership, consistency, and accountability that has built the team’s camaraderie and allowed for the success they have enjoyed on the field this year. The son of 2004-2011 Enloe Football coach Ron Clark, Ryan Clark has instilled in his players the importance of work ethic and commitment. For example, the 2022 season ended on October 28th— and the team’s first meeting working towards this season was roughly one month later. “We started working for this season the Monday after Thanksgiving,” Clark commented. “So it’s about nine months of offseason for three months of the season.” This may sound like overpreparation to most unfamiliar with Clark’s plan for the program, but this is the framework he wanted to bring in when he took charge in 2021. 


Granted, getting the players to jump directly into this new format was not a slight task, and it really took until this year for Clark’s style to seriously jell with the team. “They’re high school football players. So what they take from me is not necessarily going to be everything I say,” Clark added. “But I do think they’ve bought into what our values are and they do a really good job of staying connected to the coaching staff.” 


Nick Knight, the running backs coach for the team, described Clark’s undeniable impact on the team. “I would say he is the number one reason we see this difference in Enloe football now,” Knight said. “From the way that kids carry themselves, the way they are in classrooms, to how they perform during games. As a new coach, especially at Enloe, […] it takes time for players to get adjusted to that new coach’s philosophy.”


On the field, the improvement in Enloe’s rushing attack has been a big piece in the team’s success. “Our main focus is to produce more 20-yard plus rushing plays, and I think we’ve done a good job with that,” said Knight. “Gavin [Miles] had a game where he had 123 yards, Marquise [Fenton] has had multiple hundred-yard games, and Chase White has had a lot of big plays for us at the running back position.” This is precisely what Enloe has been looking for. Leveraging the offensive load off of do-it-all quarterback Ethan Neptune allows for receivers Barrett Rhodes, Jalen Moore, Josh Downing, and DJ Carlisle to get open on shallow crossing routes, moving the ball down the field efficiently. 


It’s hard to ignore that the majority of top performers and locker room leaders for the team are seniors. This means that come 2024, returning underclassmen and those coming up from the junior varsity team will need to make a real impact to fill this undeniable void. Luckily, Enloe has some top-tier talent in the pipeline. Standout sophomore running back Chase White, for instance, has looked like a seasoned veteran when on the field. “I’m playing more than I thought I would,” said White. “This season, I’m just getting the hang of it.” That may be an understatement. White has 6.1 yards per carry this season, the highest on the team. “He’s more quick than he is fast,” added senior wide receiver Barrett Rhodes. “I mean, when he came in, he had never touched a football before.” It’s safe to say that White is a quick learner and Enloe Football is in good hands with the returning underclassmen. 


Big plays and big talent are important, but for any sports team, the key to success lies in the players’ bonds, and Enloe football has some good ones. Clark says he is fortunate to be a coach of a group of people who are “very well connected” and enjoy hanging out with each other outside of game time. “A team is beyond what’s on the field,” Clark said. “They connect in the locker room; they connect outside of school, and that’s really the most important thing, and I’m proud of that.”


To many, Enloe’s reputation is not always that of a ‘sports school’, but the Eagle football team and coaches hope to change that. With the fresh leadership of Coach Clark and exciting plays by a variety of players, Enloe Football is optimistic about homecoming. “We’re going to put our best foot forward and give it all we’ve got. No matter what, we’re going to put a good show on for the fans,” Knight concluded.


To purchase tickets for Friday’s game, visit, and to keep up with the team online, follow @enloehsfb on Instagram. 

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About the Contributors
Sam Wilkinson, Sports Editor
(He/him) Sam is a senior at Enloe and a first-year writer for the Eagle's Eye. He enjoys sports, specifically Seattle teams, and is probably allotting more free time to play basketball in his driveway than he should. You can find him working at the Durham Bulls stadium, hazardously attempting to make a new recipe he found online, travelling with family, or at an Enloe football game gathering statistics for the team.
Elizabeth Sobel, News Editor
(She/her) Elizabeth is a senior at Enloe returning to the paper as this year's News Editor! As a member of Enloe's Symphony Orchestra, she spends a lot of time practicing the harp. In her free time, she enjoys painting, perusing the halls of the North Carolina Museum of Art and reading about the latest archeological discoveries.
Akshat Yadav, Enloe Now Editor
(He/him) Akshat is a senior here at Enloe. He is excited to return for his third year on the staff to work on the Eagle's Eye's newest (and best) section, Enloe Now. Outside of newspaper, you can either find him reading the New York Times' Politics Section (the second best section), trying new forms of chicken rice, or at RDU airport plane spotting.
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    Regina ConnorsOct 7, 2023 at 2:02 PM

    Ryan Clark embodies all the qualities we need to see in all our coaches. I knew he was going to do great things and he is! I miss seeing him every day and I am beyond proud to know him