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Freshman team to switch styles

West Ranch will throw more in 2009 because of improved skill position players and lack of size

Posted: August 30, 2009 9:55 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Last fall, the West Ranch freshman football team played a physical, run-oriented style.

This season will be almost the complete opposite.

Head coach Jan Miller intends to pass 60 percent of the time because of an abundance of skill players and an overall lack of size up front.

“We’re not very big this year,” he said. “This year I have outstanding running backs but a smaller, more athletic line. We have an overabundance of wide receivers who are good athletes, but we just turned them into guards and tackles.”

Still, the numbers are up for West Ranch this season, with 68 kids on the squad as opposed 39 two years ago.

Quarterback Gerrit Mouw will operate the Wildcats’ offense, and Miller praised his passing abilities.

A pair of quick running backs, Zahr Lyttle and Mark Collins, will see most of the carries this season.

“Last year we focused on defense because we had good hitters on the team,” Miller said. “This year the focus is on offense. We definitely have skill players.”

The defense will be led by ends Ako Kaluna and Jacob Lambirth, both of whom Miller described as having great size and athleticism.

The linebacking corps has its fair share of talent as well, with the aggressive Ryan Meyer and Jamaican-born Fabulous Darley.

“He’s a good football player,” Miller said of Darley. “What’s even better is his attitude. He’s just a nice kid.”

With new head coach Sean O’Brien taking over at the varsity team, Miller said the program has been streamlining and will have similar game plans at all three levels.

The Wildcats went 4-6 a season ago, having success against the preseason competition before struggling during the Foothill League slate.

But Miller likes his team’s chances in the league this season.

“I think after Valencia, it’s kind of a coin toss,” he said.

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