Still on his Feet: Warriors need to go deep
AMITY – It was only two games, but in an eight-game season, the sample size suddenly matters more.
The Amity football team stood at 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the Class 3A West Valley League the morning of Oct. 25, 2013, still in contention for a Class 3A state playoff spot. Two weeks later, after losses to Colton and Gervais, the Warriors found themselves at their season’s end, wondering what happened.
The returning players say they were simply worn out, the starters beginning to break down and play fundamentally unsound football. The second affliction may have been more damaging.
“Every once in a while, someone wouldn’t do their job, so someone else tried to make up for it,” senior T.R. McShane said.
Amity coaches and players say accountability has increased in practices, and that both offense and defense are running smoothly. As junior lineman Louden Andrews tells it, players “don’t try to be a hero.”
Football coaches in general spend valuable time and words discussing the importance of role. Do your job, and success will follow. All those little jobs add up to one big job.
For the Warriors to attain a state playoff berth in 2014 – the players’ stated goal – they must abide by a corollary: give everyone a job. Trust everyone with that job.
Amity was not the deepest WVL football team under Jared Hinkle last season, and they won’t be under Justin Amaya. Nevertheless, the Warriors must showcase credible depth in as many ways possible.
Offensively, this seems like second nature for offensive coordinator Joel Magill and his spread offense. Magill’s new quarterback, junior Lance Nelson – another Amity athlete persuaded to go out for football this offseason – will have no shortage of passing targets and rushing options. The onus is on Nelson to get the ball where it needs to be.
Andrews fits the bill on defense. As a sophomore, he played mostly on the offensive line at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, his quick feet and hands unusual for his level and position. This season, Andrews will play more on the defensive line, and his team will need him to occupy as many blockers as he can.
Amity has confidence that its top athletes match up well with their counterparts across the WVL. How well those 22nd- and 23rd-best athletes on the Warriors fare compared to their competition will determine how far the team can advance.