It was a dream start for the fledgling program last year.
After winning just five of its first 20 games the first two seasons, Westminster reeled off six consecutive wins to open the 2012 season. Though the Wildcats didn’t win again to finish at 6-5, junior running back Josh Jackson deemed the season a success.
“We did good overall,” he said. “The last five games, we just didn’t execute like we were supposed to.”
Westminster looks to continue making strides. The Wildcats, who knocked off Augusta Prep and Curtis Baptist last year, are trying to notch their first region victory.
Westminster plays in the tough six-team, Region 2-AAA, which includes Mount de Sales, Stratford and Tattnall Square – three programs departing for the Georgia High School Association next season. The Wildcats allowed 40 or more points in losses to each of those schools in 2012.
“Our region is spectacular,” senior offensive lineman/linebacker Will Newton said. “We’ve got to work harder to compete with those big, traditional schools.”
Westminster coach Andrew Bryan added: “I think we did gain some confidence last year. Our kids are still growing and improving and understanding what it means to build a program. I feel like we’ve put down a good foundation.”
This season, Westminster returns seven offensive starters, including Jackson. The team features a veteran offensive line and is looking to replace quarterback Tim Nabholtz for its spread attack.
On defense, the Wildcats return five starters, including sophomore linebacker Ethan Lynch (143 tackles last year).
Westminster has just 30 players in the program compared to 36 in 2012. Despite the number of players, Newton is expecting the underclassmen to make a difference.
“We have a lot of younger guys, but I’m expecting them to come a long way and take ownership as the year goes on,” he said. “My class has been playing together for a long time, but we have some young guys and I want to see them grow up and fill our shoes.”