Westfield primed for another playoff run

Westfield High School is a team that has big plans in 2008. Yes there are questions to be answered on the team but there are also a lot of positives to point to for the talented team. Spring Editor, Sarah Parker looks at the Westfield team and their chance for glory in 2008.

In 13-5A, a district peppered with some of the state's great teams, a regular Friday night game can eat a team alive. Every year, there are teams who would be playoff-bound in other districts that feel lucky to escape with a decent season at all … and even luckier to escape with a winning district record. 

One of the teams that makes this district – and its region – one of the toughest is Westfield High School. They're always the team to beat. 

The problem for their opponents is that nobody rarely does. And this year, they're projected to take their district again – for the fifth time in a row.

Westfield has made the playoffs every year since 2000, and didn't exit the 2007 championship tournament until the semi-finals matched them against a tough Plano team. Every year contributes to the Westfield myth, where head coach Corby Meekins and his staff weave together a powerhouse team year after year after year. 

The secret to Westfield's success? Get ready to take notes: This could be big.

Hard work. Constant hard work. 

"They're great kids that work hard," Meekins said. "They like each other and play for each other. It's important to them.

"They're on the same page, helping each other get there."

He's right: Hard work can never be underestimated. But of course it rarely hurts to have the majority of 2007's team return, with no less than seven seniors coming back as DI prospects. Meekins said that WR Ja-Mes Logan, WRs Barry Ford and Adam Watson, FS Denerick Demby, OT Thomas Robertson, DE Austin Mayes and OG Dayo Fadojutimi were all getting DI looks. 

Meekins said that some of his top talent was returning in his skill players, and that these players had been the key in helping his new offensive line (with only one returning starter, senior all-district selection C Jonathan Jones) gel. 

"It's the skill guys' job to take the pressure off [the offensive line] early," Meekins said, saying that the new O line had done a "nice job making the transition." 

While they're never a team that struggled on offense, Westfield's defense is famously tough, their line famously unyielding. This year should be no exception. 

"The bulk of the team is back with another year of experience; they're all waiting their turn," he said. 

Of course, hard work and experience isn't all there is to it; otherwise, how can all those younger stars Westfield is consistently home to be explained? Junior RBs JaMarcus Morning and Roland Hannah were also praised by their coach after having stand-out years last season, and they complimented QB Jacolby Walker – who started as a sophomore – perfectly. Walker now returns as a junior, and after his successful 2007 season, he is poised to be an even bigger threat. 

"He's worked really hard on his mechanics all summer. We want to be throwing and catching from jump street the way we threw and caught the second half of district and in the playoffs," Meekins said, pointing out that Walker threw 13 touchdowns in five games.

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