Airport has been one of the Midlands’ biggest surprises so far this season, one of only four area teams to remain undefeated at the halfway point of the regular season. Senior tailback Jonathon Earl leads all Eagles running backs with 328 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another TD on a pass reception. It may be his leadership, however, that is most valuable to head coach Kirk Burnett’s unbeaten (5-0) Eagles. “Jonathon is just a super kid, as fine a young man as you’ll find,” Burnett told us after Wednesday’s practice. “As good as he is on the field, he is even better off it. Very mature, a natural leader. And he is an outstanding tailback that makes plays and gets us yards both inside and on the edge.” Airport puts its unbeaten record on the line Friday night when they host Swansea (2-3) in the Region 5-3A opener for both teams.
Airport (5-0) remained undefeated with last Friday’s thrilling 38-37 win over A.C. Flora (3-2), one of only three public schools in the Midlands (along with Chapin and Batesburg-Leesville) with a perfect slate six weeks into the season. Middle linebacker Zach Feester was phenomenal all night for coach Kirk Burnett’s Eagles, making nine tackles, including 3 TFL, while also playing at tailback and H-back when Airport had the ball. Feester is very physical and surprisingly rangy at 5-10, 195-pounds, playing with an old school aggressiveness that simply can’t be taught — you either have it or you don’t, and the Eagles senior definitely does. The two-way heart-and-soul of Airport squad will lead his teammates to a potential sixth straight win on Friday, but it will not come easy as Swansea, a deceiving 2-3 on the season, visits the Eagles in both teams’ Region 5-3A opener.
Without question, Airport has so far been the surprise football team of the Midlands, overcoming the loss of star quarterback Brett Burnett in their third game to be one of only three Midlands public schools to remain undefeated after five games. Coach Kirk Burnett (Brett’s father) has done a masterful job guiding the Eagles to a perfect record entering region play on Friday against Swansea, with last week’s heart-stopping 38-37 win over A.C. Flora being the third time in five outings the veteran coach has guided his team to victory in a game decided by five points or less. The win over Flora to move to a perfect 5-0 makes Burnett an easy choice as the Crescent Construction Midlands Coach of the Week. Congratulations Coach!