Rocking down the Highway
The famous Doobie Brothers song “Rocking Down the Highway” fits Whittell’s voyage to the far reaches of the state perfectly.
Two-day trips are usually associated with Division I college athletics, but this weekend the Whittell Warriors have the privilege of traveling across the deserts of Nevada to West Wendover (1-1) on Saturday.
The Warriors (0-1) are making the trip a three-day extravaganza. Head coach Larry Reilly said that he is looking forward to the sabbatical in some ways.
“We’re going to make this as fun as possible,” Reilly said. “We’re going to get a charter bus and load it up with sandwiches and sodas and hit the road.”
Along with the trip, Reilly welcomes back one of the fastest athletes in the state with the return of senior tailback Luke Forvilly. Forvilly, who missed the Dayton game with a sprained knee, is a pleasant addition to a Warrior offense that only scored 16 points in its opening defeat.
“I’m really ready to go,” Forvilly said. “Now that I’m back, everyone is set in the offense.”
His presence helps complement fellow senior Joel Warnick’s bruising, up-the -middle, in-your-face style of running. The change of pace plays right into Reilly’s offensive scheme for the Wolverines.
“I think that we should be able to move the ball,” Reilly said. “We’re going to look for mismatches to take advantage of.”
Also returning to the starting lineup is Joey Massa, another tailback, who adds another weapon to the arsenal. The rejuvenated running game combined with Keith Truswell’s improving aerial assault is one of the keys to this weekend’s contest.
“Keith’s been throwing the ball well lately,” Reilly said. “We’ll spread the ball around this weekend.”
The biggest concern for Reilly is his defense, which gave up 53 points against 3A power Dayton. With two weeks of practice under its belts, the Whittell defense must tighten things up.
“We basically worked on stopping the rushing touchdowns,” Reilly said,
Reilly got a chance to watch the Wolverines in action recently against Lowry and said West Wendover reminds him a lot of the Warriors.
“They’re very similar to us. That’s going to make Saturday very interesting,” the coach said. “It’s all a matter of how we come out and play.”
Forvilly welcomes the idea of finally taking on a foe with the same amount of numbers as Whittell.
“Everyone is feeling pretty confident right now,” Forvilly said. “They sound like they’re a lot like us, so it’ll be good to play them.”
Unlike the game against Dayton, the players feel they have a chance to be successful. And the long hours of bonding to prove it.
“Reilly scouted them and said that they run a 4-3 defense,” Forvilly said. “That’s a great defense to run against, so I’m looking forward to getting out there.”
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