Since going 8-3 in 2018 and making an appearance in the state playoff quarterfinal round, Akron-Westfield has gone 3-14 while struggling to find the experienced athletes to take the next step. The Westerners roster in 2018 was filled to the brim with senior and junior leadership.
Fast-forward to 2021 and the Westerners now finally have a group of upperclassmen like that 2018 squad, and Head Coach Eric Walkingstick says that the patience is finally paying off.
One crucial part of the field that will have senior leadership is at the quarterback position. Senior Cade Walkingstick is coming off of a year in which he threw 1,457 yards and 11 touchdowns in eight games. Add that on with the fact that 93% of his completed pass targets return in 2021, the expectations of the Westerner offense are sky high this season.
Offensive success can directly be pointed to the success of the offensive line up front. Coach Walkingstick says that his o-line has bulked up and is committed to the success of the team.
With all the experience coming back, one bright spot for the Westerners comes from a sophomore. Ian Blowe led the team in tackles last season as a freshman. Coach Walkingstick says you only get athletes like Blowe once in a while.
Class A District 1 proves to be a tough district once again for Akron-Westfield. Coach Walkingstick says if they take things one game at a time, the success will come.
The Westerners open up hosting Lawton-Bronson at 7:00 PM on Friday in non-district game.
AKRON-WESTFIELD FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
9/3: at Alta-Aurelia *
9/10: MMCRU *
9/17: at Woodbury Central
9/24: GEHLEN CATHOLIC * (KLEM will broadcast this game)
10/1: at Hinton *
10/8: at South O’Brien *
10/15: HARTLEY-MELVIN-SANBORN *
* – Denotes District Game