The Westbury Christian Wildcats look to continue their streak of making improvements each season and build on their playoff appearance a year ago. In 2013, the Wildcats were 0-10 and in just three seasons, Westbury had earned a playoff berth. Unfortunately, the seeding had WCS playing on the road at state finalist Regents where the Wildcats lost 49-7. The new season looks promising as the Wildcats graduated just 6 seniors and retain their coaching staff. Head coach Mark Krimm is confident his squad can make another leap forward in 2017 and host their first playoff game.
Expectations are high for an offense that returns nine starters. The Wildcats will have the among the deepest receiving corps in all of TAPPS football. Leading there will be senior, Jayvon Hill. The preseason all-greater Houston area team member had 365 receiving yards a year ago and scored 3 touchdowns. Joining Hill on the preseason all-Houston team is tight end, Tyler Ondrusek. The senior had 213 receiving yards in 2016 on his way to all-district honors at tight end as well as defensive end. Ondrusek (6’8″, 210) can seemingly do it all on the field and in the classroom, earning academic all-state recognition last season.
Also returning at receiver are junior Casey Hampton, junior Brian Cormier, and senior Christian Harper. The available offensive weapons do not stop at the receiving unit. Drew McLeod, a junior, returns at running back after rushing for 278 rush yds (4.8 ypc) and 4 touchdowns a season ago. The Wildcats hope McLeod can produce the results Micah Flowers had on the field last season. Flowers, now at Angelo State, was an all-district award winner and a finalist for the Touchdown Club of Houston team. Responsible for getting the ball to all of these skill players is quarterback, Brady McConaty. The senior passed for 1117 yards and nine touchdowns in 2016 and and returns for his second year in the WCS offensive system.
The offensive line will be the least experienced unit for WCS. The anchor of the line will be center, senior Garrett Leeson. Joining Leeson up front will be returning starter, Kaine Lopez. Junior Joseph Harper was a letter winner a year ago and also returns. The rest of the line will be a work in progress going into fall camp. Transfer Brant Banks will help immediately and the coaches hope to solidify an OL unit before opening at Dallas Christian. The first teamers up front will be an impressive unit, however depth will need to be worked on if the Wildcats are to make a push to dethrone Second Baptist at the top of their district.
The Wildcats coaching staff is particularly excited about the defensive side of the ball going into the new year. Many of the athletes already highlighted will see time on defense. Hill was an all-state defensive back last season and made 82 tackles. The speedy senior also picked off three passes and returned 3 kicks for touchdowns. Joining Hill in the secondary are juniors Hampton and McLeod. Hampton collected all-district honors a year ago after collecting 68 tackles and four interceptions. Hampton also scored a defensive touchdown. Expected to contribute in the secondary is senior, Ubong Okon.
Ondrusek, who earned all-district on both sides of the ball, returns at end and had 5 sacks in 2016. Alongside Ondrusek will be junior Joseph Harper as well as Leeson and Lopez to cement a much experienced and talented defensive line. In the middle, Christian Harper returns after an all-district campaign in 2016 where he had 93 tackles and three tackles for loss. The other linebacker spot is expected to be filled by Rashard Johnson, a senior, and transfer, Andre Carter.
The kicking duties will again be handled by Isaiah Alonzo.
Westbury opens the season on the road against D-II powerhouse Dallas Christian so we will see right away if the Wildcats are an improved team. The Chargers shutout the Wildcats in this game last year, 52-0. A win in this game would be a huge statement, and WCS will have several chances to prove themselves before district play starts. The following week will see Kinkaid visit Westbury then road games at St. John XXIII and UIL 3A runner-up, Boling. Last year, the Wildcats faced LaMarque in the following week and that game has been replaced with Hull-Daisetta this season.
The non-district slate will have the Wildcats battle tested to face their tough district opponents. A year ago, Westbury won their first two district games (St. Joseph, CC John Paul II) before dropping their final three games (Fort Bend Christian, Second Baptist, Lutheran South) and then their playoff game. The goal for Coach Krimm is to compete for a district title and host a first round playoff game. The Wildcats will have to win the games they won last year and knock off one of the district heavyweights to get one of the higher district seeds. With the returning talent and experience, everything is in order for Westbury Christian to achieve their goals in 2017.
Record: 3-8 (2-3, 4th TAPPS II-4)
Playoffs: Regents (7-49)
Head Coach: Mark Krimm (4th season, 8-23)
Assistants: Michael Williams (DC), Brandon Manning (OC), Josh Glover (OL-DL), Kenneth Okwuonu (RB), Jonathan McGugin (TE-LB), Alex Smith (OL-S)
Micah Flowers (Angelo State)
Will Symonds (Trinity)
2017 Roster: MaxPreps
9/1 @ Dallas Christian
9/15 @ St. John XXIII
9/22 @ Boling
10/13 @ Victoria St. Joseph
10/20 CC John Paul II
10/27 @ Fort Bend Christian
11/3 Second Baptist
11/10 @ Lutheran South