WEST LIBERTY – With several experienced players returning, third-year WL-S football coach Dan McGill hopes to improve upon last year’s 11-2 season which ended with a loss in the regional final.
“With experienced skill guys back, they can help bring a level of confidence to some of the less experienced players we have,” said McGill.
One of WL-S’s top returners is senior quarterback Brandon Upton, a three-year starter at the position.
“Brandon has really grown in the offense and he has a terrific arm for a high school quarterback,” said McGill. “He’s also a great leader, which is what you want in a quarterback.”
Another key returner is senior Trevor Anderson at running back.
“Trevor is a smart, instinctual player,” said McGill. “He has great quickness and can change direction quickly.”
Junior Brandon Wolfe will also see varsity time in the offensive backfield.
Those vying for playing time at wide receiver include seniors Dusty Moell and Stephen Whetstine, juniors Jerret Smith and Luke Woods and sophomore Levi Moell.
Vying for playing time on the offensive line are seniors Seth Jordan and Hunter Stewart, juniors Trent Schmucker, Adam Schultz and Connor Glock and sophomores Trevor Burden and Tevon McNutt.
“With our offensive line, we hope big translates into being more physical,” said McGill. “It will be exciting to see them progress.”
Vying for varsity playing time on the defensive line are Schmucker, Jordan, Stewart, McNutt, Schultz, Glock and senior Jackson Sanborn.
The linebackers will be Wolfe, sophomore Braden Miller and junior Chase Humphrey.
Vying for playing time at defensive back will be Anderson, Dusty Moell, Woods and junior Sam Strickland.
“Our goals, as always, are to win the OHC title and advance in the playoffs,” said McGill. “Our schedule is challenging, like adding Valley View and Kenton Ridge this season. We’ll see how well our kids progress, learn the system and gel as a team.”
The Tigers open the season Friday night by hosting Valley View.
Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout