FOX 54 XTRA POINT: After subpar seasons, Westside looking to tur - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

FOX 54 XTRA POINT: After sub par seasons, Westside looking to turn into winner


All is well in Patriot Country it seems these days. The Westside High football team is tied atop the Region 3-AA standings and coming off two straight victories.

After an abysmal 1-9 season in 2010 followed by a losing 2011, the Patriots seemed to have turned it around, sitting at 5-1 entering Friday's game with Laney.

Head Coach Steve Hibbetts says the school's reclassification from AAA to AA has helped, but he's crediting his players for much of this year's success.

"In the past couple years in the offseason, the hours they've put in the weightroom are starting to pay off," he says. "We try to preach that to them, and they're starting to see that."

With only five seniors on the team, Hibbetts says the maturity of juniors like QB Jalen Lampkin have kept the team grounded and focused.

"We have a saying around here," Lampkin says. "'Don't drink the Kool-Aid.' We're not drinking Kool-Aid at all."

Instead, they've kept their thirst for victory by keeping their eyes focused squarely on the next test.

By doing so, the Patriots hope they can turn their recent winning ways into accomplishing a preseason expectation.

"Our goal was to make the playoffs," says Hibbetts. "Anything that came along with that was gravy."

"If we don't [make the playoffs], this season would be a failure for us," Lampkin says. "It'd be a complete failure."

Hibbetts says if the team can continue to focus solely on the game ahead, he believes it could be a magical season for the Patriots.

"A lot of these kids were here for 1-9 and last year when we weren't as successful," he says. "But at the same time, they're confident. And we want them to be confident."

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