STATESVILLE—Numbers are steady and expectations are high on the west side of Iredell County for the 2019-20 season.
Returning 15 total starters, an experienced West Iredell team will look to bounce back from a promising, yet disappointing 2018-19 campaign.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Warriors return six from what was an electric offense last season, particularly during the conference slate.
Defensively, the Warriors return nine. A number that you can see makes Warriors’ head coach, Monte Simmons excited for the new season. Simmons said he expects the experience on both sides of the ball to lead to an improved win total.
“We’ve got some more kids that have moved in in certain areas,” Simmons said. “I think we are going to be strong defensively and offensively we are going to keep doing what we’ve been doing. And as a result I think we will see a better outcome this year.”
West Iredell finished 5-6 last year with a 3-3 record in conference play. Those included a one-point heartbreaker to North Iredell and a two-touchdown loss to Patton that was closer than the final score. Both of those losses contributed to West Iredell missing the playoffs.
“I thought the games that we lost that we shouldn’t have lost were due to the lack of experience of being in those type of games,” Simmons said. “Now that they’ve been in that situation, they understand how to handle it.”
With the experience on both sides of the ball and the lessons learned from the tight losses, Simmons said his expectations are to make noise in the playoffs. In order to do that, the Warriors will have to accomplish something they haven’t done since 2007, make it to the second round of the playoffs.
“Every coach wants to win them all but realistically we have a couple of powerhouses in our way,” the fifth-year head coach said. “If we can get through our non-conference games and face off with Hibriten, I think our expectations are to at least get to the second or third round this year.”
Players to watch
Myles Jackson – LB/RB (Senior)
Jackson broke his hand early in the season that stagnated him on offense but he was still effective on offense. Jackson looks to slot in beside fellow LB Colby McHargue in what looks to be a strong front seven for the Warriors.
Emmanuel Long – RB/DE (Senior)
One of two senior RB’s for the Warriors, Long features in the Warriors offense as the bigger of the two backs. Long ran for 1000 yards last season as a junior.
Sayqwon Miller – WR/OLB (Senior)
Miller went out middle of the season with an injury but has been electric this spring. Simmons said to look for Miller to be a leader on both sides of the ball this year.