Real football is back at Westover- play defense, control the clock and run the football. That's the mantra of Patriots Head Coach Octavia Jones, and those are the strengths of the 2012 football team. The Patriots have a luxury of running backs at their disposal this fall.
"We have three guys that we feel like could go start for any team in our region. We think they are that good, so we're excited about having that opportunity to go out and play real football," Coach Jones said.
In 2012, Coach Jones can push the revolving door of skill players and keep coming through with more talent. The running attack will be three-pronged with Greene, Jalen Benjamin and Quantravious Moran.
While returning starting quarterback T.J. Wester sees speed to his outside with his wide receivers, Jackie Childs and Kel Miller.
Miller played free safety in 2011 and finished the season with six interceptions. Switching to the other side of the ball, he is expected to be a breakout wide receiver after a strong spring and summer.
A turnaround season in 2011 ended in disappointment. Westover lost four of their six games by less than a touchdown and missed the playoffs on the regular season's final week. Senior linebacker Don Mills remembers the 27-10 loss to Monroe High and it's still painful to think about.
"To see the playoffs slip through our hands like that, it was heartbreaking," Mills said. "That's why this year I know myself and a lot of my other seniors...we got together and we wanted to do good things."
"We've just got to see if we can apply those lessons that we learned from those close losses last year and use this hard work that we put in to the offseason to turn those losses in to victories," Jones said.
There's a lot of confidence coming from the Patriots practice field. With six returning starters on each side of the ball, depth is the only concern for Coach Jones. The leadership aspect of the team is covered by seniors hungry for a region title.
"My class, the 2013 class we want to be better leaders than the class before us. Our team is going to go as far as we take them," Mills said.
"This team is extremely hungry, extremely hungry. That's the thing that I loved about them this summer. They want to win, they understand what it takes to win. Now they want to hit the field and go hit somebody else," Coach Jones said.