High School Sports

Westfield quickly turned focus to rebounding from difficult 2016 season

Watson, Westfield looking for a turnaround season

Westfield head coach Jamey Watson talks about his team's 2017 season.
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Westfield head coach Jamey Watson talks about his team's 2017 season.

It didn’t take the 2016 Westfield Hornets long to figure out things weren’t going the way they wanted them to go or to focus on getting that turned around.

The 2017 Hornets are looking to do exactly that.

Westfield, which opens its season Aug. 18 at Southland, finished 1-9 in head coach Jamey Watson’s first season.

“When we got to the midseason last year, we realized that this isn’t where we want to be as a school or a team,” senior running back/defensive back Wyatt Young said. “The leaders all got together and said we weren’t going to let it happen again. We’ve been working really hard in the weight room and got some more guys to come out, and we’re really ready to turn this program around.

“That’s one of our goals, to be better than last year. But we’re all coming together really strong this year, and we’ve got a lot of guys returning. We’ve got a lot of confidence, and we think we can fix that from last year.”

The Hornets will focus on getting that done by being more diverse on offense. Known for its running game during many successful seasons, Westfield has a number of skill position players returning and plans on throwing the ball more than usual this year.

Garan Daw, a junior, is in position to be the starting quarterback, and Young praised Daw’s arm and the team’s chances with the new offense. Young and Payton Black will team up in the backfield, while the offensive line will be led by seniors John Garrett Pearson and Robbie Luzzi.

“It’s a little different from last year. We’ve got a pretty good number of our skills folks back,” Watson said. “We’re going to have to replace some linemen, but it’s going to be kind of fun to have those skills guys back. I think we can maybe do a little more with some things offensively than we have in the past or at least from last year, throw the ball maybe a little more than we were able to last year; things like that. So we’re looking forward to that.”

Westfield Hornets 2017

Head coach: Jamey Watson.

2016 record: 1-9.

Returning starters (offense/defense): 5/6.

Players to watch: Wyatt Young (Sr., RB/DB); John Garrett Pearson (Sr., G/DE); Payton Black (Sr., RB/DB); Robbie Luzzi (Sr., G); Garan Daw (Jr., QB/DB); Andrew Collins (Jr., DT); Tyler Malakius (Jr., DT).

Schedule

Aug. 18 at Southland

Aug. 25 at Valwood

Sept. 1 Bulloch

Sept. 8 at Deerfield-Windsor

Sept. 15 John Milledge

Sept. 22 Westminster

Sept. 29 Memorial Day

Oct. 6 at Gatewood

Oct. 13 Tiftarea

Oct. 20 at Augusta Prep

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