Written by Vinny Messana Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00
The Westbury varsity football team opened their season in an opening home matchup against Elmont to a disappointing 35-6 loss. The team is coming off last year’s 2-6 season, but Head Coach Savalis Charles welcomes the role of underdog.
“Nobody expected us to win a game last season,” said Charles, who is entering his second year with the team. “They’re not expecting us to win a game this year either, but we could surprise a lot of people,” he added.
The team will have the tough task of returning only six starting players from last season. They are relying on a lot of young players who are inexperienced but that is not necessarily a bad thing if they are able to avoid a steep learning curve.
“We may be young, but we’re hungry. And all hard workers,” said Charles. The Head Coach knows what it takes to win, and possesses a no-nonsense type of approach to the game which dates back to his playing days at C.W. Post.
Running the offense will be first-year quarterback Raeco Jackson, who has showcased his ability as an All-County wrestler and will look to transition that onto the gridiron. He is small in stature but Charles stated that he has a “heart like no other” on the field. He will be relying on David Demesyeux, who will be a two-way starter at tight end and defensive end. The Head Coach is relying on him to play a pivotal role in the offense, due to his size and playmaking ability.
Another key playmaker will be Shalike Merchant, who opened many eyes last year with his performance as a freshman on varsity, an admirable achievement. On their victory last September 14 against Calhoun, he rushed for 73 yards on only five carries and scored a touchdown which was the difference in the 25-23 win.
The defense will be led by Herfy Jodesty, a junior defensive tackle who can cause some disruption in the backfield. He will be joined by Demesyeux, who had two sacks in one game last season.
Westbury might not be favored to win the division, but they possess a number of hungry and athletic players that most teams do not. Look for them to surprise the conference this season.