BETHALTOCivic Memorial football in 2016 will have a bit of a new look.

Reason: Mike Parmentier was appointed the Eagles head coach at Monday's Bethalto Board of Education meeting. Parmentier will take the reins from Justin Winslow, who stepped down as the Eagles' head coach not long after the 2015 football season came to an end.

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Needless to say, Parmentier is ecstatic about the chance to coach the Eagles. “I'm really excited about the opportunity,” Parmentier said. “We've got some really good kids here in the program and I think how we did this past season will be a springboard for next season.”

The Eagles went 7-3 last year, reaching the IHSA Class 4A playoffs; CM, however, was eliminated in the first round by Breese Mater Dei, who got on a run and reached the semifinals before being eliminated by Belleville Althoff.

Parmmenteir himself has known success as a coach; the Piasa Southwestern graduate has been the head coach at Girard and Staunton, compiling an overall record of 93-70. His Bulldog teams reached the postseason six times in nine seasons, including an incredible run to the 2013 Class 2A final after just barely making the playoffs.

Parmentier believes the ingredients are there for a similar run for the Eagles. “We had some good seniors who did a great job for us last year,” Parmentier said. “Our goal for next season is to get back to the postseason .

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“It's a great atmosphere in the playoffs; we want to set the standard high and be a playoff team consistently.”

The Eagles will be returning five members of their offensive line, including triplets Brandon, Curtis and Andrew Deckard, in 2016, as well as several other key players. Parmentier's philosophy is to run as balanced an offense as possible, though with some good size up front, don't be surprised to see them run the ball a bit more.

“You can't be one-dimensional,” Parmentier said. “What we want to do is take our strengths and use them to our advantage, both on offense and defense.

“We're looking at running a 4-2-5 defense, though we'd run a three-man or five-man defensive line to keep opposing offenses guessing. The main thing, though, is to work to your strengths and work on the things you're not as good at.”

Parmentier believes the Mississippi Valley Conference is as tough a league as there is in the state; like the Southwestern Conference, there are no easy games week in and week out. “Highland's going to have a bunch of kids back and Triad's the defending champions,” Parmentier said. “But every game in the conference is going to be a tough one; you have to be ready to play every week in the (MVC).

“We're going to have a good group of kids back and I'm really looking forward to next season and working with them.”

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