Westfield head coach Ronnie Jones seems calm and reserved, but there is plenty of excitement surrounding the Hornets as they prepare to enter the toughest stretch of their season: GISA Region 4-AAA play.
Westfield sits at 3-1 as it heads to Bulloch on Friday night to play the undefeated Gators in Westfield’s next-to-last non-region game.
The Hornets are riding the momentum of a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback that gave them a 28-25 victory over rival Deerfield-Windsor.
“That was a big win for us,” Jones said. “After that lost we took (against Valwood), I think it helped the kids feel better about themselves.”
But Jones says the team can always improve, and the bye week has allowed the coaching staff to make necessary adjustments. It has also given players some time to heal.
“We didn’t drill or scrimmage in full pads because we’re trying to get rid of the bumps and bruises,” Jones said. “We did a lot of group defense and offense to work on the little bitty things we’re doing wrong.”
Some of those things included being out of position on defense and missed blocking assignments on offensive, Jones said.
Friday’s game poses a new challenge for the Hornets’ defense. It marks the first time this season the team will face an option offense. But Jones insists his game plan will remain largely the same.
“I know it’s cliche, but it’s assignment football this week,” he said.
But it’s the other side of the ball that will be the difference-maker. The Hornets’ offensive line will be key in Friday’s matchup, Jones said.
“We’ve got good skills people,” he said. “If (the offensive line) improves, our offense will improve a lot.”
The game is critical as the Hornets get ready for their difficult region after this. John Milledge is 5-0, while Gatewood is 5-1, Westminster 4-1 and Augusta Prep 3-1.
Jones acknowledges the Hornets have a tough road ahead but said he isn’t looking too far forward.
“(I’m not worried) until I get there,” Jones said. “This game means a lot.”