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2012 West Ranch JV preview: From running to gunning

Posted: August 23, 2012 10:42 p.m.
Updated: August 23, 2012 10:42 p.m.
 

After claiming a share of the Foothill League title with an overall record of 8-2 (4-1) last season, the West Ranch junior varsity football team is looking for repeat success in 2012.

But it will try to do it a little differently this season.

Jan Miller is entering his sixth season as head coach, but his current talent has altered his traditional run-heavy offensive game plan.

“We generally like to run the ball and play the ground-and-pound game, but we have a legitimate quarterback this year,” Miller said.

Chase Killingsworth is the new Wildcat signal-caller, which prompts the opening of the playbook and having a more balanced offensive attack.

“Chase has great footwork, nice arm strength, good leadership skills and the players like playing for him,” Miller said.

Joining Killingsworth in the backfield is starting running back Tyler Mouw.

Mouw will use his combination of power and speed as he enters the season as the team’s primary ball carrier.

“He’s got good speed, but he runs like a linebacker,” Miller said. “He’ll lower his shoulder and make you pay the price.”

Other offensive weapons include sure-handed wide receivers Zachary Heinz, Bronson Feurer and Roger Wilcox.

However, in order to get big plays from the skill players, West Ranch will need to overcome holes in the offensive line.

Jacob Shalkevich, who Miller said “is the team motivator and probably the hardest worker on the team,” enters the fall as the Wildcats’ best offensive lineman, but the team faces a lack of depth beyond him.

“We’re lacking some size and depth on the line,” Miller said. “We’ll platoon a lot this season at that position to keep our linemen fresh.”

Defensively, the Wildcats will lean heavily on impact players Sean O’Shea and Jared Monroe from their middle-linebacker and cornerback positions, respectively.

“Sean is a hard-nosed kid who loves contact,” Miller said. “There are few players that have that sixth sense for the game and always know where the ball is, but he does.”

West Ranch will be tested in its opening matchup when it travels to Moorpark on Friday to kick off the season.

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