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Wildcats looking to move up the ranks

When the first Metro League coaches poll came out last week and had Westview ranked last out of six teams, head coach Greg Fisher said he wasn’t surprised.

Based on how the Wildcats finished last year losing seven of the final eight games and looking ahead to this year, Fisher understood the supposed slight. But, Fisher using the snub as fuel for a revamping Westview squad that’s getting comfortable with an fast-paced, foot-to-the-gas offense.

“That kind of ranking is motivation for us and what we can be,” said Fisher. “I think if we can build the team camaraderie and guys are playing for one another that we can compete with anybody. I think our offense will give people problems. When you go up against an up-tempo offense you have to prepare for it and practice different for it.”

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Westview wide receiver Kyle Cox leads an experienced and shifty core of Wildcat pass catchers who should help quarterback Austin Brisbee.

Offense

Fisher said a lot of Westview accomplishes this season rides on the right arm of junior quarterback Austin Brisbee who was great on the JV team as a sophomore but now has to adjust to the varsity level. Westview has transitioned to a no-huddle, high-tempo offense over the past four years. The system puts a lot of pressure on Brisbee to make quick, sound decisions but Fisher said his signal caller is up for the challenge.

“He’s a real intelligent kid,” said Fisher. “He’s got a good feel for the game, good size (6’3”, 200 pounds) and he can make all the throws. It’l be a question of how quickly he can adapt to the speed of the varsity level and perform.”

Noah Spencer played significant minutes along the offensive line as a sophomore last year as is back as a junior. Senior Matt Dunaway is experienced too upfront. As the center of the Wildcat line, Dunaway is a leader and resource for the younger trenchmen.

“We’re not going to be the biggest bunch in the world but they’re good pass blockers. They do an adequate job in the run game and they’re smart kids,” said Fisher. “In the spread, the offensive line has to work together and be smart and those kids can do that.”

Fisher is excited about his two tight ends Teagan Lind and Ian Meyers. Both split starts last season and each are big bullseyes in the passing game.

“They’re almost clones of each other,” said Fisher. “We had coaches last year think they were the same kid but they’re not. They have good speed and range and block well so we’re excited about their potential.”

On the outside Westview has an assortment of quick pass catchers like Jacob Sturtevant and Kyle Cox who can find openings in the defense and have solid hands.

At running back, Fisher expects a revolving door of rock toters to see significant minutes. Trevor Bovero started early in the season as a sophomore and is a tough runner inside. Jacob Short was explosive late in season for the Wildcats in 2012 and has the skillfulness to function out of the slot or line up in the backfield. Henry Sundin is a straight-ahead runner along the lines of Bovero’s running style.

“A lot of what we do this year will be dictated on the success of our offense,” said Fisher. “I expect us to score a lot of points and put pressure on other teams.”

Defense

Last year Westview had to replace their entire defensive coaching staff but they’re a little more solidified at the helm in 2013 with the full faculty back. Third down stops and forcing turnovers out their 4-3 base defense take precedent over anything else defensively.

“We want to get the ball back to our offense as fast as we can,” said Fisher.

Fisher thinks senior defensive lineman Hank Kamakaala can be a difference maker at defensive end. Kamakaala enters his third season as a starter. Myers and Lind will rotate in and provide pressure on the edge. On the inside, Spencer, Dunaway, and Carson Hensley will attempt to plug the run at d-tackle.

Middle linebacker Mitch Kekel is coming off a torn ACL but he’s back in the mix. Sundin, Matt Ryan and Kenny Kim also starts at outside linebacker.

“Mitch brings great physicality,” said Fisher. “He’s about 6’1”, 215 pounds. He can physically handle the middle of the field. It looks like he’s back to 100%.”

Sturtevant started all of last year at cornerback. Cox played some at safety last season. The two incumbents are joined by cornerback Matt Allee who materialized on the Wildcat depth chart and flashed on film. Safety Brian Stocks will start on the other side of Cox..



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