ISHPEMING, Mich. – The Westwood Patriots are coming off a season where they went 5-1 with their only loss being a forfeit to Iron Mountain to start the year.
The Patriots have a high powered offense, averaging 39 points per game while their defense held opposing teams to just 16 points per game. Even though schedule, players and opponents may change the expectations that come with the tradition of Westwood football don’t.
“It starts back in January, that’s when are our expectation are” said Westwood head football coach Scott Syrjala when asked how the team can meet expectations“[We ask our players] what are some of our goals, what would you like to be next year? You talk to the kids; you get them in the weight room in January. We had a great offseason this year, our kids worked really hard and looking at that our kids are committed, and they are willing to put in the work and they are coachable kids and they are great kids.”
The Patriots are lead by seniors like Zachary Carlson and Travis Uren; although their play might get them the attention of the cameras…the seniors know that the games are won off the field.
“Our group of seniors are very competitive kids, so in practice we got to try and keep it competitive otherwise it just becomes repetitive” said coach Syrjala “We try to keep things competitive to kids but Spencer Harvala, Zach Beckman, Zach Carlson, Travis Uren and all of our seniors are great leaders and they do things right.”
Last year, Westwood lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Negaunee Miners, and while the Patriots plan to make a deep playoff run, the goals of the team are more short term.
“I know it’s cliché but we are going to try to look to be good today, better tomorrow, evaluate during the scrimmage, makes some changes if we have too, and go into the first game against Houghton” said Sryjala “They beat Negaunee last year and they got a lot of those kids. They are turning that program around and week one is going to be a tough game for us.”
Patriots Full Schedule:
8/27/21: Houghton (Home) @7:00pm
9/2/21: Iron Mountain (Away) @7:00pm
9/10/21: Calumet (Home) @7:00pm
9/17/21: Ishpeming (Away) @7:00pm
9/24/21: Manistique (Home) @7:00pm
10/1/21: Hancock (Away) @7:00pm
10/8/21: L’anse (Home) @7:00pm
10/15/21: Bark River-Harris (Away) @7:00pm
10/22/21: Negaunee (Home) @7:00pm