TDL: Two-A-Days - Westlake Rams
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - “None of the kids here have ever been part of a winning program,” said Westlake coach John Richardson. “That is the hump that we’re trying to overcome here.”
There weren’t many positives on the gridiron for Westlake a season ago as the Rams went 0-4.
“It was a rough year last year,” admitted Rams left tackle Garrison Guillory, “but we’re going to turn that around.”
But thanks to that experience, Westlake coach John Richardson believes his team will benefit from it in the long run.
“The easiest thing for us to have done was to not play because of the circumstances,” said Richardson. “Even though it was tough and we took it on the chin last year, I’m really glad we did play because I think it’s going to be very beneficial for us coming into the season.”
And that’s because of the playing time gained. Westlake welcomes back 12 total starters led by quarterback Jamaal Guillory.
“He’s gotten better with snaps, speed and he’s stronger,” said Garrison Guillory. “Over the summer he has been throwing almost every day and you can tell.”
His development in year two is the most apparent.
“In his defense, he was kind of thrown into the mix last year after being a receiver pretty much his whole career,” Richardson said. “It was a hard transition to quarterback, but so far through the spring and practices, it’s been night and day.”
Elsewhere in the backfield, Brandon Jupiter will lead a staple of backs and wide receivers Tristan Goodly and Gavin Robertson are hoping their speed causes fits for the defense.
Their success will likely be tied to an experienced offensive line that Richardson called the strength of the team.
“I can see that the line of scrimmage has just been different for us going through the spring practices and spring scrimmage,” Richardson said. “You could kind of see that it’s a unit and they are gelling together.”
On defense, the Rams 4-3 scheme returns six starters with the defensive backs leading the way.
“By far in the three years that I’ve been here, it’s the best secondary that we’ve had,” said Richardson.
“We have a lot of fast guys back there this year and during the off-season, we worked together and got in the sandpit together,” said defensive back Christian Johnwell. “We pushed each other more.”
That fast secondary will allow more stunts from the line and a wider array of coverages for the defense to run in 2021.
It’s all part of a ready-to-win attitude surrounding the program.
“I feel like they are confident and they walk with a little swagger in their step,” Richardson said. “To play football you have to have that and you have to have a little swagger. I think our guys have that now.”
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