LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - “Somebody told me the other day that if you win four games you have had huge success," head coach John Richardson admitted. "And like I told them, I find that insulting. We’re definitely not setting our goals at winning four games. We want to have a winning season, get to the playoffs and get everything back on track.”
Success isn’t something the Westlake Rams have experienced in a long time, with their last winning season coming in 2012. This year, there’s a new sheriff in town, who’s quite used to winning. Former Welsh head coach, John Richardson is taking over the Westlake football program with high expectations.
“I knew what I was getting into. This place does have the tradition of having good football," Richardson said. "Its been down the last couple of years, but the community is behind us and these kids are working hard. We’re heading in the right direction.”
Coach Richardson is starting from scratch. Offensively, the Rams are transitioning from the spread to the split back veer. Two-year starting quarterback Drew Winn will be taking the snaps again this season.
“He’s brought a lot of leadership," said Richardson. "One thing that I notice that a lot of people don’t is that at the end of practice when we run sprints, he’s not the fastest guy on the field, but he’s finishing first. I know how hard he is working.”
In addition to Winn, the rams bring back talent in the backfield. The duo of Jasia Simien and J.J. Ross should be able to pick up a lot of yards with the offensive scheme change. Ross finished 2018 with over 1,500 rushing years and 14 touchdowns.
“I’ve been playing with the running back that have been starting and I trust them a lot," quarterback Drew Winn said. "I know what they can do. It opens up the field more for me to be able to throw.”
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On the other side, the Rams will run a 4-2-5 defense with most the experience coming in the front seven.
“We have some inexperienced spots, but more athletic type kids," John Richardson stated. "Some of the guys that are back from a year ago that I really feel will make an impact are: Eli Goss on the defensive line, we’re looking for big things out of him. Cameron Sittig who we’ll be moving him down to linebacker from strong safety and we have some athletic younger guys in the secondary right now.”
The Rams are hoping 2019 is the beginning for a run of their own.
“The past couple of years we’ve been the doormat of our district," confessed Winn. "The goal this year is to put Westlake back on the map and to put wins on the board.”