Things were rough for a good while for the Eagles, who won just three games in 2018. But, under second-year head coach Todd Hanley, things have started to turn around.
The Eagles, 11th in the 4A rankings as of Wednesday and sitting at 4-2 overall this season, sniffed the playoffs a season ago when they finished 6-4 and lost to Coconino by one score in the crosstown game.
The Eagles finished 20th, outside of the 16-team bracket.
Jaramillo’s talent hasn’t be in doubt despite the lack of playoff appearances. He has been a workhorse his three years but really didn’t get the full carry load until last year when he had 176 carries for 1,032 yards.
Between this year and last, there was a massive difference for Jaramillo. He added muscle in the offseason and added to his open-space quickness. That willingness to put the work in has stood out to his coach.
“We talked about the things that we thought could improve his game and he took those things to heart,” Hanley said. “He went and did it; it’s been awesome. We have a ton of great kids, he just happens to be one of the great kids that is extremely talented. That’s cool as a coach because those are the kids you dream of.”
Unlike Bennett, who plays in a run-centered offense, the Eagles like to throw the ball — more this season than last mostly due to the team having a better grip on the system. So while Bennett will get more than 200 carries in a full season, Jaramillo’s workload is different and he is asked to be a weapon in the passing game.