The Weddington Witness

Filed under Analysis, Showcase

WHS Football Pre-Season Overview

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On Monday July 30th at 12:15am, many of us were asleep. The air was humid, the sky was black. Light was practically unseen at this point in the night, unless of course you found yourself at the Weddington High School Football field, where the glow of the stadium lights radiated down onto the grass to create the perfect stage for the official start of the 2018 Weddington Football season. “Midnight Madness”- a name coined to this nighttime kickoff practice, has become a tradition at WHS. This event, however, is just one example of the hard work that has been on display all spring and summer long from WHS Football. While many of us have been vacationing and relaxing this summer, the Weddington Football team has been practicing. With the exception of 2 “dead weeks,” the Warriors have found themselves working hard on the field, and in the weight room day (and night), as they prepare for yet another season under the lights each Friday night.

In 2017, the Warriors completed the season with an impressive 10-4 record under head coach, Tim Carson. However, this year, under the guidance of first year head coach and former offensive coordinator Andy Capone, the Warriors are aiming to do even better. After only graduating 5 seniors in the class of 2018, Weddington seems to be in a great position as they head into this season. Let’s take an inside look at several key components that could put the Warriors over-the-top this season, as they look to make a run at the NCHSAA 3A State Title.

 

Offense

Offensively, Weddington looks to be solid. Led by senior quarterback, Whitner Litton, who threw for 3,117 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, the Warriors will return several offensive assets. Sophomore running back Will Shipley, who ran for 492 yards and 3 touchdowns in just the last 5 games of the 2017 season looks to be the one of the most promising players for Weddington’s offense. After racking up numerous offers to play college football over the summer, (South Carolina, North Carolina, and Duke to name just a few) Shipley will have an extremely significant role on the offense this year. As for receivers, seniors Max Brimigion and James Shipley look to be the dynamic duo once again. Brimigion boasted 1,336 yards receiving and 30 touchdowns passing in 2017, while (James) Shipley recorded 59 catches on the season. Other players who will make an impact on the Warriors offense include receiver and kicker, junior Ian Williams, as well as senior receiver, Chazton Jordan. On the O-line, veteran seniors Ian Dunn and Bradley Moorehead will also serve important roles, protecting Litton and allowing offensive skill players to gain as many yards as possible.

 

Defense

On the defensive side of the ball, Weddington should be able to put up a good fight against opposing teams. Standout senior linebacker, Eamon Murphy will lead the defense, as last season Murphy was responsible for 142 tackles. Also, junior linebacker Alec Mock will take on a significant role on the defense, recording 145 tackles last year. Sam Morrison, (senior) Lucas Rogers, (junior) and Noah Neimeyer (junior) will assist the Warriors defense as well, adding strength and size to the line, and with several athletes returning who played both ways last season, including seniors James Shipley, (6 interceptions and 50 tackles) and Max Brimigion, (5 interceptions) along with sophomore Will Shipley, (84 tackles) Weddington is hoping to improve their 15.7 allowed points per game average from last season. They will return 9 out of their 11 defensive starters, proving a lot of promise for the Warriors defense.

 

Special Teams

Junior Ian Williams will not only serve the Warriors as a receiver this season, but once again as the kicker. Williams struggled slightly for accuracy last season, however he proved to have a strong leg, and with plenty of practice in the off season (including a completed 60 yard field goal kick in practice that went viral on Bleacher Report) Williams looks to be in good shape heading into the season. Also, junior 4-star long snapper, Will Cobb is another strong component of the special teams at WHS. Cobb is ranked the #1 long snapper in the state of North Carolina and has high expectations heading into the season.

 

Key For Success

OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE LINE- For the Warriors, the biggest key to success will be the offensive and defensive line. Controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball is vital to any teams success, especially in the physical Southern Carolina Conference where 1 or 2 yards can make a massive difference in a game.  

TURNOVERS- Creating turnovers on defense and protecting the ball on offense will go a long way in determining the Warriors success this season. Protecting the ball has not been a major issue for the Warriors recently, however this season, more than anything, creating turnovers could be a game changer. Weddington will face several offensive powerhouses such as Sun Valley (led by Florida State QB commit, Elite 11 QB, and All American Sam Howell) and Charlotte Catholic (reigning NCHSAA 3A State champs) so creating turnovers is a must.

 

Games To Watch

9/21/18- @ SUN VALLEY

9/28/18- @ CHARLOTTE CATHOLIC

10/19/18- MARVIN RIDGE

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