Switch leads to success for Westside

Westside changed its offense, notched win after falling to Butler

Inside Westside coach Steve Hibbitts' desk lies a constant reminder -- a coin.


That silver dollar was used for the coin flip prior to his first game as a head coach, though with the Butler game ending in a 42-0 defeat, one would think Hibbitts would look for the nearest trash can to get rid of it.

But it remains in his desk.

"It's a reminder for me," Hibbitts said. "I was disappointed with myself. I didn't have my kids mentally ready to go fight."

The coin also reminds Hibbitts of the importance of the basics.

Entering the season, Westside knew it had to make do with small lines. Hibbitts went with a flexbone attack to counter that. The Patriots hoped the mixture of spread and the option in the offense would make up for the lack of size.

But after one game ended with zero points, six turnovers and 43 offensive yards, Hibbitts thought a switch had to be made.

During a meeting after the game that Hibbitts said lasted until 12:30 or 1 a.m., the team decided to scrap the flexbone. Hibbitts described the new plan as more of a power-option offense with the quarterback under center.

"At first, I didn't like it," quarterback Anthony Williams said of the switch. "But now it's way better. It opens up the pass more."

In the first game with the new attack, Westside went with freshman Jaylin Lampkin as the starter, as planned. Hibbitts wanted Williams to watch the first two series on the sideline before entering the game.

Williams said he spent that time reading defenses and talking with the coach.

When Williams entered, the squad found success to the tune of a touchdown in each quarter in a 28-14 win against Cross Creek. Williams accounted for all four touchdowns -- two passing and two rushing.

"We just picked it up," Williams said. "The line blocked good and it was a good turnaround."

Hibbitts said Williams, a junior, is going to be "really, really good," with the main thing going for him being his vocal leadership. The coach said the team respected how Williams continued to get up after each big hit.

Now the Patriots have one in the win column, and the next step is to build momentum. Westside is off this Friday before returning to action against Glenn Hills on Sept. 17.

Until then, Williams wants to keep improving on his reads of defensive backs and keep working hard.

Though Hibbitts might not have the overall team speed to run the flexbone, he'll take the players he's been handed.

"Just based on the kids we got, we're not going to play pretty games," Hibbitts said. "But the kids fight and scrap. I'll take these kids any day."



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