HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Experienced offensive line anchors reloading Westwood offense

The entire group has, for the most part, been playing together since freshman year

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Westwood offensive lineman James Jarmon could only smile when thinking about the first time he didn't follow through on one of the fundamentals coach L.D. Williams emphasized.

"He probably yelled a little bit," Jarmon said. "But after, once we get into film and start watching it, he likes to go into detail about what I can improve on and that helps. I think that's the best time to actually learn."

Jarmon is part of an experienced offensive line for the Warriors that, for the most part, has been playing together since freshman year.

For a Westwood team that lost the vast majority of offensive skill players that made it one of the most explosive offenses in Central Texas, controlling the line of scrimmage on offense will be key if the Warriors hope to make it to the playoffs for a second consecutive year.

"The biggest things are footwork, assignment and communication," Jarmon said. "If one of us is off, the whole line is off because we have to be together as a unit, so if we talk to each other and communicate on the line and effectively get the job done."

The only underclassmen on the line is sophomore Daniel Vasquez, who Jarmon said is much biggest and stronger than he was that age.

"When you've got a young skill set and a veteran offensive line, usually you can handle what's thrown your way because those guys up front will take care of the rest," Westwood head coach Anthony Wood said.

Sophomore R.J. Martinez will take over at quarterback for three-year starter Will Jennings, who accounted for more than 4,000 yards of offense last year, and threw for 35 touchdowns while rushing for 13 in 11 games.

Senior Mario Debs split time with Jaikem Murphy at tailback last year and finished with 492 yards and three scores. He'll take over the lead back role with sophomore Nate Anderson backing him up.

Matt Pravednikov returns after finishing third on the team with 485 yards and four touchdowns a season ago. Senior Mohan Hegde and sophomore Robbie Jeng join the receivers while Luca Mazzola switches to inside receiver after spending last season at safety.

"When you lose a kid like Will, that's a big loss," Wood said. "On top of that, you lose two big contributors at receivers and a 230-pound running back, that's a lot of firepower. But the group under them has come along quite nicely, especially getting to learn from (last year's seniors) in practice."

By the time the first game rolls around, preparation is of no concern.

"I see them a lot after school or during the summer just out here running routes and throwing the ball around and building that bond that Will and his receivers had," Jarmon said. "They're stepping up to the plate."

The Warriors open the district season in Cedar Park against Vista Ridge before playing three straight games at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex against Round Rock, McNeil and Vandegrift, two teams that have never faced off.

Wood said he expects the Warriors' horizontal passing game to be quite nice even if the vertical game won't be as potent as it was.

"I just love offensive football," Wood said. "I love scheming and it's like chess. I'm trying to stay one step ahead find holes in defenses and trying to do it at a high rate of efficiency. That's what we're all about."

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