Suddenly, the West Seneca West (WSW) football team became a lot better. Matt Myers, a senior QB, along with sophomore WR Juston Johnson, will make their Indians debut Friday night. Although competitive back in 2016, WSW only had 4 wins to show for it. With the flood of new talent, it would be hard to imagine the Indians not playing for a division title this season.
The big question is how will all of the new attention effect the players? “It’s a great thing to have attention on our guys,” Assistant coach Rich Sanders said. “Matt is a good player and will make plays for us this season but beyond that he is a great student athlete and we are glad he is on our team and not our opponents’.” Myers is committed to playing at the University of Buffalo after a highly successful three-year career at Bishop Timon.
In terms of handling Amherst on Friday night, Sanders knows week one is a wild card. “We expect a great effort from a team that is similar to ours in terms of just starting the season off and getting familiar with live game action,” Sanders said. “We are ready for the challenge and look forward to the opportunity to play this game in front of the West Seneca Community.”
For Amherst, the Tigers should be much improved after going 2-7 last season. They have a brutal schedule out of the gate with a road game versus WSW tonight and then at South Park next week. But they are more experienced heading into 2017. Last season only two players had any Varsity experience.
“What a difference a year makes,” head coach Jason Beckman said. “We have at least 25 percent of our starting lineup from last year, that certainly helps. We’re ahead of where we were at this time last year.”
Beckman wants the offense to be quicker and use their speed to their advantage. D’Shaun Barefield rushed for 9 touchdowns last year as a sophomore. Along with starting QB Ja’kye Womack (also a Jr) the Tigers are hopeful their offense can take pressure off the defense.
Calik Kennedy and Mijah Bland (both seniors) return as starting lineman. They are joined by sophomore Ryan Bitka who Mark Adair of “WNY Football Weekly” considers a solid addition.
“As a team we are very excited for the first game of the season,” Beckman said. “There has been a lot of time and energy invested in the off-season and pre-season and our players and staff are all excited to get on the field.”
Beckman knows there will be a lot of focus on this game with Myers on the opposing sideline. “He’s one of the premiere QB’s in the area. I don’t know that it’s necessarily good or bad for us. Every week brings a new challenge and our guys are excited about the challenge Myers presents. He’s a big weapon for WSW and a big part of their game plan. Our focus will be for each player to do their job – our strength will come from our ability to play together as a team.”
This is perhaps one of the most anticipated games in WSW history. For Amherst, it’s just a start of a new season. “We will focus on the things that are within our control and work on winning each snap. We felt we had a good scrimmage last week and we are completely healthy heading into this one. Should be a good contest,” coach Beckman said.
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