JV football brings end to successful season
Last updated 11/7/2023 at 12:58pm
The 21 players on the JV football squad finished their season at 8-1, their only loss the first game of the season. Jim Gurney and Jordon Wilkins teamed up to coach the Outlaws, Gurney primarily as a defensive coach, and Wilkins as the offensive coach.
Gurney said, “We outscored our opponents 330-80 and that number is just ridiculous. Our average score was 40-6 of the games we won.”
The offensive line consisted of Wyatt Szesze, Emmit Buller, Isaac Dunn, Kayden Morris, Finn Stancliff, Jackson Spor, and Jesus Quero; the final three all first-year players.
“This group of guys put in a lot of effort and grew in their fundamentals and as a unit. Isaac and Kayden played out of position and stepped in on the offensive line to help the offensive line be successful,” said Wilkins.
Reese Moore, Jace Owens, Spencer Davis, Kayden Morris, Keegan Dunn, Nate Palmer, Wyatt Szesze, and Sean Moffat all saw time at running back, and they all showed vast improvement over the course of the season. In total the running backs only fumbled the ball once all year, and for a team that’s based on running (30-40 yards per game), that is really remarkable at the JV level.
Coaches particularly noted Moore, Owens, and Davis as exceptional running backs.
“These guys were absolutely dominant any time they touched the ball, and they blocked well for one another,” said Wilkins.
Dane Mock, Grant Roberson, Isaac Dunn, Ian Landon, and Cinch Chew made up the wide receivers. Coaches commented that in the offense the Outlaws run these players have to be committed to being a blocker first. As a group they understood that being a good blocker opened up the passing game.
Mock broke his finger at the start of the season and still showed up for practice every day.
“Dane really grew into his own,”said Wilkins. “He is very committed to the team, and as a receiver he caught everything that came his way.”
Tabor Garcia played at tight end and Wilkins described him as a “crusher.”
“Tabor could throw blocks and catch the ball, and he worked hard and was coachable,” said Wilkins. “We could always count on him to do his job.”
Reed Woodson and Trent Gordon both played at the quarterback position. Woodson led the offense and was consistent and steady. Wilkins noted that Woodson made calm decisions in the midst of chaos. Gordon stepped up toward the end of the season as a passer, and Wilkins stated that from last year to this year his confidence and mental game has improved tenfold.
Of the offense Wilkins said, “As an offensive coordinator I could literally pick any play and was so confident in the guys that no matter the situation or scenario I knew they’d be successful.”
On the defensive side, Finn Stancliff, Wyatt Szesze, Jackson Spor, and Emmit Buller played on the defensive line.
“These guys grew in their aggressiveness,” Gurney said. “They’d get a great push at the line of scrimmage, which allowed the linebackers to make tackles and pressure the quarterbacks.”
Ten players saw time at linebacker, including Sean Moffat, Trent Gordon, Jace Owens, Reese Moore, Keegan Dunn, Isaac Dunn, Nate Palmer, Kayden Morris, and Tabor Garcia. Gurney noted that this group of guys were students of the game, understood their assignments, and flew to the ball.
Gurney especially noted Garcia, Morris, Moore, and Owens.
“They were butt-kickers,” said Gurney. “They made this defense dominant.”
Reid Woodson, Cinch Chew (Ace), Ian Landon, Spencer Davis, Grant Roberson, Dane Mock, and Wyatt Szesze all saw time as defensive backs.
Wilkins said, “The defensive backs have this saying, ‘Lock-‘Em-Up’ and they made this statement true. They had pick-sixes, knocked the ball down, played the receivers’ hips to make sure they were in position, and came up hard on the edge to make tackles. There were very few receptions on this group.”
Gurney said, “Coach Thorson has a coaching point for every practice plan and that is ‘demand perfection.’ It’s shocking to me to see how many of these JV players have taken this to heart and want to get better every single play, every single practice, and every single game. For a JV group to respond like they do is very impressive, and that’s putting it mildly.”
The future of Outlaws looks bright, and several of these JV players will make a significant contribution to the varsity squad next year.