Patriots look to run by the competition

For the next two and a half weeks, high school football teams across the state will practice twice a day, preparing for game number one on their schedules. A few teams across the state held their first practice Monday just after the stroke of midnight.

One of the teams to practice with the moon in the sky was Westwood. John Jessen is back for his second season as head coach of the Patriots. Westwood went two and seven last year with victories over Gwinn and Norway.

Jessen said that his team experienced ‘growing pains’ last year, being one of the younger teams in the Mid Pen Conference. The Patriots believe that their overall team speed will be a primary weapon for them to use each and every Friday night.

“We don’t necessarily have a bunch of big guys, but we have a lot of speed,” said head coach John Jessen. “We are going to utilize (that speed) during the regular season. The goal is to always make the MHSAA Playoffs and see how far we can go in them.”

“We definitely have a lot of speed this year at all the skills positions, said quarterback Trevor Burke. “We’re not the biggest guys, but we’ll outrun quite a few people.”

“We worked a lot on our speed to get faster,” said wing back Mitch Messing. “I think it will help us to get off of the line faster so we can create contact first instead of waiting to get hit.”

“You need all the speed you can get because we’re not the biggest team. But if we can outrun people at the end of games when they’re tired, then we have a better chance of winning,” said running back Marquise Baggiore.

Westwood begins the season Friday, August 29 on the road against Stephenson.