Ask Westmoore football coach Lorenzo Williams the difference between last season’s team that finished 5-5 and missed the playoffs and this year’s squad that’s jumped out to a perfect 5-0 start and he has a one-word answer for you: leadership.
“Guys are really stepping up and taking it serious,” said Williams, who’s in his fourth season at Westmoore. “Guys are being unselfish and playing together. They’ve been able to turn that switch when they need to.”
“Last year, we weren’t real close as team and we weren’t able to face adversity together as a team,” remarked junior Josiah James. “This year, always being together has brought us closer. It’s made us be able to face tough times in a game together and still be able to push through.”
The Jaguars offense has been clicking on all cylinders the first half of the season, averaging more than 45 points per game. Junior quarterback Dayton Wolfe believes it was the work he and his teammates put in over the summer that is paying dividends now.
“I really worked hard in the offseason,” said Wolfe. “I really worked with my receivers a lot, just knowing where they’re going to be. That’s what’s really helped me so far.”
“Dayton is really a great leader,” stated Williams. “He did a lot of things over the summer to get his leadership established. He does a lot of extra stuff, watching film and throwing.”
“We’ve got some really good receivers too,” added Williams. “We may not have any superstars, but they’re all pretty good. They’re not going to blow anybody away with speed, but they make the routine plays, catch the ball, and break big plays when they can. They’re doing a great job blocking downfield. We wouldn’t have chances for big plays if they weren’t being unselfish and blocking downfield.”
Starting at quarterback last year as a sophomore was no easy task, and Wolfe believes the experience he gained has made the game slow down for him this year.
“It was definitely a big leap, starting in 6A football,” admitted Wolfe. “I feel like, with a whole year under my belt, everything is reading a little bit easier. It’s definitely better this year.”
The Westmoore defense has been playing at a high level as well. The Jaguars shut out Enid 54-0 in Week Four and held Southmoore to just seven points earlier in the season.
“Josiah James is having a great year,” stated Williams of the linebacker who recovered a fumble and had a pick six against Enid. “The defense is getting better and better every week and we want to keep that trend going.”
The Jaguars have started strong in each of Williams’ four seasons at Westmoore, but a district that includes Jenks, Broken Arrow, Edmond Santa Fe and Norman means only the best 6A-I teams advance to the playoffs each season.
“We know every year it’s going to be tough,” said Williams, whose Jaguars play three of their final four district games on the road. “We’ve just got to do what we can to keep our destiny in our hands.”
“Our coaches have done a really good job this year, with the whole ‘Build A Boat’ thing,” remarked Wolfe. “It’s a whole new mantra for our team. I feel like we’ve all taken that to heart. It’s really helped us.”
The 2017 Westmoore team also started out 5-0 but ran into a buzzsaw in Week Six, losing to Broken Arrow, 41-7. This year, the Jaguars and Tigers square off in another important Week Six showdown. This time, Westmoore has its sights set on a different outcome.
“I think the biggest thing the past three years playing against them has been turnover margin,” said Williams. “It’s been horrendous on our end. I think we’ve turned it over nine times and haven’t had any takeaways. Our turnover margin has been good this year. Hopefully we can keep that trend going against Broken Arrow.”
The highly anticipated Westmoore-Broken Arrow showdown takes place this week live on Yurview Cox Channel 3 on Thursday, October 10th, at 7pm. This Ford Game of the Week is also being streamed live on Yurview.com.