WAHS JV Football Fall Recap

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From top row, proceeding left to right: Michael Redmond, Jon Faulconer, Ed Redmond, Tim Morris, Robert Crickenberger, Matt Wozneak. Riky Rao, Everett McConville, William Joczik, Harley Davis, Caleb Johnson, William Mitchell, Alex Johnson. Ben Life, Jacob Rusina, Jacob Jordan, Harland Shifflett, Bronson Brown, Nic Hamm, Connor Koenig. Michael Asher, Clay Nowlin, Arthur Lins, Jason Heilman, Jack Lesemann, Cameron Greene. Wyatt Hull, Sayer Brown, Jack Masloff, Sam Herndon, Wyatt Thomas, Matthew Kuzjak, Peyton Miller. Not pictured: Jacob Christ, Adam O’Connor, Sam Duska.

Going into the fall 2016 season, Western Albermarle High School junior varsity football coach Matt Wozneak wasn’t thinking about a winning record. Rather, he was thinking about growth. “At the JV level, our number-one goal at all times is to become better football players and better young men,” he said. “Beyond that, I think we came into the season pretty confident, looking forward to the challenges and how we might respond to them.”

After an impressive season opener—the team posted a 41-6 victory over Broadway—those challenges came quickly. “We had a rough start in district play, suffering two very tough losses,” said Wozneak. “But from that point on, we resolved to do whatever it took to win out the rest of our season… The guys found their drive and worked very hard to make that happen.”

Indeed, after losing to Monticello High School by a field-goal, the team rallied and went on a five-game winning streak. The defense gelled, keeping opposing teams below 15 points each game. Meanwhile, on offense, backed by a strong line led by team captain Jacob Jordan, quarterback Wyatt Hull began putting up impressive numbers. “Stepping in when starter Jack Masloff broke his ankle, Wyatt had a phenomenal season,” said Wozneak. “His attitude was unselfish and team-oriented, and his ability to make plays out of chaos simply astounding. He did a great job in his first year playing high school football.”

Other key offensive players included deep-threat wide receiver, Michael Asher, as well as offensive backs Sayer Brown, Wyatt Thomas and Adam O’Connor. On defense there was free safety Peyton Miller, who, according to Wozneak, “provided excellent and aggressive run defense.” “Our outside linebackers were all serious assets,” he went on to say. “With Jack Leseman, Jason Heilman, Bronson Brown and Wyatt Thomas all playing that position with real fire.”

Ultimately, the efforts paved the way for an appearance in the Jefferson District JV championship game. “Though we ended the season with a tough loss in the championship, nothing could take away what the guys accomplished during this season,” said Wozneak. “They showed amazing perseverance and wherewithal. I couldn’t be more proud.”

With many key players expected to move up to varsity, next year’s team will be young. Very young. Regardless, Wozneak is excited. “All I can say is that I look forward to working with anyone who wants to come out and learn the game of football,” he explained. “No matter what happens next season we’ll always work to get better both on the field and off, and I look forward to every minute of it.”

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