PREP FOOTBALL: Warriors taking things one game at a time in 2019

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The West Point Warriors will kick off the season at Fairview Thursday night in the 3rd annual Brandin' Iron Bowl. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. — After getting off to a fast start in 2018 and winning their first two games, the West Point Warriors dropped their next seven before capping off the year with a 55-14 win over Cordova. With last season behind them, head coach Don Farley is happy to report a very productive offseason with good effort and leadership from his guys.

“We had a real good summer,” Farley said. “We had really good attendance from everybody, good leadership and our guys really held each other accountable and trusted each other.”

Farley is entering his seventh season as the head coach of the Warriors and he and his staff have a new challenge ahead of them this fall. With a large senior class missing from last season, including several impact players on both sides of the ball, there are plenty of opportunities for new faces to step up and earn playing time on the field this year.

“You know anytime you lose that many seniors like we had, it’s going to affect you the next year. With Rylan Jones and Kolton Sapp and Hunter Persall we lost a lot of our productivity as far as yards go,” Farley said. “We lost those guys’ experience as well and we lost three offensive linemen and that’s not a position that you want a lot of turnover in if you can help it. Then we lost some guys on the defensive front as well.”

When you lose that much offensive production all at once, it can force some schematic changes for a team the following year. Farley definitely wants to mold their style of play to his team’s strengths, but they also want to try and stay within the system that he and his staff have established over the past few years.

“We’re going to play to our kids’ strengths, but we’ll try to stay within the same philosophy of what we’ve run the last few years as far as scheme goes,” Farley said. “The guys that we’re expecting to step up have been running this same scheme for two or three years in our JV program so while we’re younger than we have been in a long time, I think we’ve really got some good guys that are ready to step in.”

Replacing quarterback Rylan Jones has been one of the biggest challenges for the Warriors this offseason but Farley likes both of the two major candidates. Whichever one of them doesn’t land the job under center will become a valuable target on the outside so Farley is excited to see how this team’s starting group of skill players shake out. West Point has attended several passing camps this summer and Coach believes those reps will be invaluable for this team once the season kicks off.

“At quarterback right now it’s between Whitt Laney and Will Cochran. They’ve both been getting reps in the spring and in the summer and of course whichever one is not taking the snaps will be lined up at wide receiver and be a big-time target there,” Farley said. “Kobe Bowers will be back for us at receiver and early in the year last year he was one of our top guys before he got injured and Levi Farley and Kelton Washington are two of the guys that we’re looking to replace Persall. It’s good to get to them and we did more of that this year than we did last year,” Farley said. “It helps get our secondary understanding the calls and adjustments that they will see, it’s good for the quarterbacks and wide receivers for their timing and everything so it’s not football but it’s good reps for those guys.”

When thinking about the struggles his team had a year ago, Farley recognized that one their biggest issues in 2018 was being a little too focused on getting to the playoffs instead of playing the game in front of them that week. Having learned that lesson, Farley is excited to see this year’s team hit the field and get things started with a win at Fairview in week one.

“Looking back and reflecting on last year, we’d had that great run of four straight postseason appearances, and I think we got a little too far ahead of ourselves and focused too much on the result and not what makes that result happen,” Farley said. “We got too focused on the playoffs and overlooked what it takes to get there, and this group has kind of refocused their attention to what it takes to make the playoffs.”

West Point (Class 5A, Region 7)

2018 record: 3-7

2018 opponents record: 48-58

Averaged 26.8 points per game, allowed 34.9 points per game. Started season 2-0 before losing seven straight games. Ended season with 55-14 win over Cordova.

Don Farley entering seventh season as head coach.

Departing seniors: Kolton Sapp, Rylan Jones, Landon Ray, Logan Hyde, Jonathan Hamby, Brayden Martin, Steven Rodriguez, Hunter Persall, Caleb Smith, Cole Guthrie, Darian Wyenandt, Colby Jones, Michael Roberts, Carson Moon, Connor Aldridge, Trey Morris III.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 22nd – @ Fairview

Aug. 30th – @ Arab

Sept. 6th – @ Hamilton *

Sept. 13th – vs. Lawrence County *

Sept. 20th – @ Russellville *

Oct. 4th – vs. Jasper

Oct. 11th – @ Dora *

Oct. 18th – Vs. Corner *

Oct. 25th – Vs. Hayden *

Nov. 1st – @ Cordova

RiverCat Photography

West Point Varsity Cheerleaders

Kenzie Cordes- junior, Meadow Cooper- freshman, Allison Milligan-freshman, Kaitlynn Richmond-freshman and Kaedince Cagle-freshman, Kortney Speegle-junior, Bethany Moore-senior, Hayden Chandler – senior- captain, Lyssi Nuss- senior- captain, Caidyn Mcmanus-senior, Brianna Wray – junior, Timberly Shadix- sophomore, Kay Kay McDowell- sophomore, Emma Gutherie- sophomore, Kinsley Hunter- sophomore and Reagan Randau- sophomore, Kelsey Speegle – freshman.

2019 West Point Football Roster

No.      Name                          Grade

1          Eli Folds                     10

2          Levi Farley                  12

3          Whitt Laney                12

4          Keaton Chappell         11

5          Branson Smith            11

6          Jacob Dye                   11

7          Suyeta Drowning Bear 10

8          Howard Cooper          12

9          Cooper Couch             12

10        Will Cochran              11

11        Kobe Bowers              11

12        Brian Cornelius           10

14        William Brown           12

15        Luke Hammond          11

16        Charles Laatz              11

17        Ashton Thrailkill         10

18        Alfonso Perez             11

19        Damian Raymond       9

20        Caleb Bowers              9

21        Clay Creel                   9

22        Herring Fisher             10

23        Kelton Washington     10

24        Kolby Clifton              9

25        Jack Sellers                  12

26        Carter Thornton          11

27        Daniel Dean                9

28        Seth Beasley               11

29        Anthony Selby            11

30        Jordan Hardin             9

32        Riley Wayne               9

33        Braeden Patterson       11

34        Brody Rusk                 12

40        Brent Langley             9

44        Lucas McAfee            11

47        Joseph Calvo               9

50        Jayden Williams          11

51        Benjamin Doss            12

52        Joseph Barnett            10

53        Erik Griggs                 12

54        Chase Sibley               11

55        Kaleb Perry                 9

56        Tyler Thompson          12

57        Jordan Tanner             12

58        Aiden Dujoud             9

59        Jody Weldon               10

60        Josue Suarez-Orona    10

61        Armando Hernandez   10

64        Ethan Helms                11

66        Jacob Smith                10

67        Matthew Dunagan      11

68        Nathaniel Swann         10

69        Kenyan Baker             11

70        Gaige Roberson          11

72        Justin Mosher              10

74        Evan Brown                12

75        Kell Wilson                 12

76        Lester Simpson           10

77        Jason Sapp                  10

78        Tariq Nemrouri           11 

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