Western Albemarle Football Rebuilds in the Trenches, Will Rely on the Shiffletts
CROZET, Va. (WVIR) - The Western Albemarle High School football team made it to the second round of the playoffs last season behind the running attack of tailback Austin Shifflett and dual threat quarterback Carter Shifflett. Those guys will be counted on heavily again this season.
The Warriors are rebuilding in the trenches. Western will have four new starters on the offensive line and five new starters on the defensive line.
"I think it comes down to coaching, that's our job to develop," says head coach Ed Redmond. "We take the kids we get and we have to make them into football players."
Redmond says his guys have a good work ethic and good chemistry. The Warriors have a run-first offense led by tailback Austin Shifflett who had 18 rushing touchdowns last year.
Quarterback Carter Shifflett is a dual-threat quarterback and is back for his senior season.
"We have the potential to be a really potent offense," says Carter Shifflett. "There's a lot of new pieces but guys work hard, they want to succeed. Kind of just want to build off the culture of success and working hard from last year and just doing the things you need to do to be successful."
Shifflett has the luxury of having a tall, big-play receiver in 6'3'' senior Breaker Mendenhall.
"Obviously long arms helps with the catch radius," says Mendenhall. "It's just separation too. Me and him going out to the turf and working with other receivers that are coming up. We're just trying to build the timing and the routes which really helps."
"He's a beast," says Carter Shifflett about Mendenhall. "You can throw it anywhere his way and count on him coming down with it. We've worked really hard in the offseason."
Mendenhall will also play cornerback on defense. Austin Shifflett will also help on defense playing linebacker. The coaches will try to limit his workload and carries on offense.
"Certainly we have to be smart," says Redmond. "Last year it was between 30 and 35. But if there are nights we have to go out and grind with Austin, he's in great shape. His body can handle it, he's durable. But we have to be smart because it is a long season."