West Ashley Wildcats
2013: 6-5 overall, 1-4 in Region 7-AAAA
Coach: Bobby Marion (Seventh season)
Returning starters: 9 (5 offense, 4 defense)
Players to watch: QB Justin Berry, RB Juwan Wise, LB Malik Thompkins, DB Jamel Coardes
The 2013 football season was a solid bounce-back year for the West Ashley program. The Wildcats rebounded from a 1-10 season in 2012, improving to a 6-5 record last season.
Head coach Bobby Marion enters his seventh season feeling the 2014 Wildcats have the potential of being his best team yet.
"We return some good players from a team that won six games and was two plays away from winning eight games," said Marion. "We feel like we are better this year in several areas than we've ever been. The key for us is consistency. We can't ever get too high or too low, and we cannot take a night off."
Much was made during the offseason of the transfer of returning quarterback Pedro Manigault to Goose Creek. However, West Ashley also got a transfer quarterback and junior Justin Berry will be a top play-maker, according to Marion.
"He's a very solid player, a good athlete, and a very smart kid. We think he will be a very good player for us," said the coach.
Running backs Marquize Jenkins and Juwan Wise, both seniors, return to shoulder the load in the running game. Anchoring the offensive front are senior center Buster Griffin, junior guard Wade Rouse, and sophomore guard Mark Wilson.
West Ashley's play-makers in the passing game will be junior Tgele Holmes and senior Anthony Vincelli.
The Wildcats are a bit young at linebacker but senior Malik Thompkins leads the way as the lone returning starter. Senior Jamel Mitchell is a key returning starter along the defensive front while seniors Jamel Coardes and Tyreek Campbell are returning starters in the secondary.
"My expectations this year are to make the playoffs," said Marion. "We have to win the games we are supposed to win and maybe trip up someone along the way. I like this group. I like the team chemistry. We have a chance to reach our goals if we can stay healthy."
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