Western Albemarle Aiming to 'Finish' Football Games in 2018Posted: Updated:
The Western Albemarle HS football team had a record of just 2-8 in 2017. The Warriors played some of Central Virginia's best teams tough, but couldn't win.
This year the Warriors players are preaching finishing games.
"That's a big thing we talk about all off-season is finishing games," says WAHS senior TE/LB Jack Lesemann. "Just like in our weight room and our workouts, powering through the whole time, no plays off."
"We're known for coming out and being strong," says WAHS senior FB/LB Aidan Saunders. "We want to get back to playing Western football, back to winning, that was built in the weight room and the field coming into spring and winter."
The team's strength this season should be on defense where the Warriors have nine returning starters.
"We got a lot of playmakers and we have a lot of seniors, we got a lot of leadership guys on the defensive side of the ball," says Lesemann. "Guys who want to make plays and guys who on Friday nights can come out and pull through for us."
Ed Redmond is entering his seventh season as head coach. He likes his team's work ethic and leadership.
"I really feel like our defense is going to be potentially good," says Redmond. "I'm excited about our youth in the skill positions."
The starting quarterback for Western Albemarle will be junior Carter Shifflett, who started for the WAHS JV team last year.
"We really like Carter, we like his football savvy," says Redmond. "We like his gamesmanship, we certainly love his body, his speed and athleticism."
"Carter Shifflett is a young guy, but he's a guy who wants to get the job done," says Saunders. "I've been out here days in and days out and he's been grounded and I have high expectations for him and he does too."
Also in the WAHS backfield is Austin Shifflett. The sophomore running back, along with senior fullback Aidan Saunders will play a big part in the team's heavy run scheme with play action.
"We fell like our guys have kind of learned their lessons the last couple years," says Redmond. "They've set themselves up for a good run if we can get it going. It comes down to getting some early wins and getting some confidence and going from there."
Western Albemarle's season opener is Friday, August 24th at home against Broadway.