Now that we have gone through and looked at our top ten and predictions for how the season might play out, it’s now time to take a look at Westfield and what their depth chart could look like. I will go through a two- part positional breakdown and give my thoughts and what the offensive and defensive unitscould possibly look like come August 21st against Southland. I will put the disclaimer out there first though that this is just my best guess, and I do not have any inside knowledge of what the roster may look like. So, with that said, here is a look at the offensive side of the ball…
Returning: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Losses: Tanner Westbrook, Logan Fink
The quarterback position is obviously one of great strength with Ryan Fitzpatrick returning for his senior season looking to add to his already decorated high school resume. While Ryan is obviously firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback, the question is… who is your backup? Losing Tanner Westbrook will be tough to replace due to his versatility and leadership, but unfortunately you can’t do much when you only have four years to play before graduation. What really hurts Westfield though is the loss of Logan Fink transferring to Tattnall in January. Logan had gained some valuable experience last season playing in pretty much every second half, and did a good job of leading the second unit. With Logan no longer around, who does Westfield turn to if Ryan gets banged up? My guess is Austin Burnette. I know Austin has played some QB in the past, and he certainly adds the element of speed to the offense. It will be interesting to see who will be in that position when the Hornets break camp, and will the decision of a backup QB impact if that person plays elsewhere in the lineup.
Bottom Line: Things look good with Ryan under center, but let’s pray he stays healthy.
Returning: Josh Jenkins, Jarius Hart, Austin Burnette, Aidan Murphy, Reagan Waller (?)
Losses: Tanner Westbrook, Robert Myatt, Tucker Moody
The running backs lose a lot of versatility from a year ago with the loss of Tanner Westbrook, Robert Myatt, and Tucker Moody. Tanner provided the versatility, while Robert provided the power, and Tanner provided speed and determination. Luckily for the Hornets though, they bring a couple of guys back that could fill those roles in Jarius Hart, Austin Burnette, and Reagan Waller. I know Waller isn’t traditionally used in the wingback role, but I believe he has the ability to really succeed there. His speed accompanied with Burnette’s speed as well would give the wingback position a home run threat. Then, you throw in the power running style of Jarius Hart, and you have a dynamic backfield.
One name I haven’t even mentioned yet in the backfield is Josh Jenkins. Jenkins is one of the top playmakers on the team and the state. Josh is primed for another big year and I can see him easily putting up 1,200-1,500 yards and 10-15 TDs. If Josh needs a spell at times, he has more than a capable backup behind him in Aidan Murphy. Aidan is more of a traditional bruising fullback, and will do the job that is required in mop up duty.
Bottom Line: Look for big things out of the backfield this year. If the offensive line can open holes, the running game will explode.
Returning: Gavin Edmondson
Losses: Cam Forrester
Losing Cam Forrester will be tough for the Hornets, but having the ultra-athletic Gavin Edmondson to step in will be a big help. Cam was as steady as any member of the team throughout his playing career, and always seemed to come up with the big play when needed. Now though, you add a little more explosiveness from the TE position. Gavin played receiver a good bit over the past couple of years and I think he can use that experience to add another target to stretch the field for Ryan Fitzpatrick. It remains to be seen how Gavin will fair in the blocking side of things, but if he can do that job, Westfield will be just fine.
Bottom Line: Gavin will do just fine.
Returning: Giles Amos, Reagan Waller
The wide receiver position is arguably the strongest position on the Westfield roster. All world senior Giles Amos will continue to dominate with his freakish strength and athleticism, and Reagan Waller gives that dimension of speed and elusiveness as he can catch passes from the wingback position or the receiver position. It is truly an embarrassment of riches for Westfield with these two guys catching passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick. I am sure both players will be looking to make their mark this year and catch the attention of college recruiters. I wonder if Coach Jones and Coach Walls will open the playbook a little this season and throw the ball a little more. We shall see…
Bottom Line: Best wide receiver duo in the state. No worries at all with this crew.
Returning: Austin Doyle
Losses: Deal Amrit, Cam Washington, Wade Walker, Conner Cawthon, Khory Holiday
Offensive line is the biggest question mark for Westfield this season. Losing 4 starters and 5 guys that worked in a rotation is huge, and it will be hard for the Hornets to replace that experience. Returning Austin Doyle at RT will be a help, but it is hard to figure who might step up to fill the other 4 spots. If I had to guess, I would say that John Walker Moore would move into the LT position, Alex Myatt and Connor Doles will play guard positions, and center is a toss-up. Landon Wainwright could be an option at center with his toughness and straight ahead style. Again this is all my conjecture, but that is just my gut feeling of guys in the mix. My only hope is they gel together quickly and can play as a cohesive unit going into region play.
Bottom Line: Lots of question marks, but the talent is there.
Check back again soon when we look at the defensive side of the ball, and I give my thoughts on what Gang Green may look like.