The Akron Westfield Westerners enter 2019 with the smallest roster they’ve had in years after a large senior class left the program. But Head Coach Eric Walkingstick isn’t concerned with numbers.
“Only 11 people get on the field,” said Westerners head coach Eric Walkingstick. “I’ll take 11 people who are willing to go after it and get it and be all in versus having 60 guys and some of them being lukewarm. We want to be all in, we want to be absolute, we want to have clear vision and be resolute.”
A-Dub was just a win away from the UNI Dome last year, and this year they’re determined to make it back.
“We had a lot of seniors last year so we got a lot of new faces, a lot of young kids but we still got just as much talent so we should expect nothing less,” said Westerners senior running back and safety Jack Anderson.
“Quarterfinals last year, and I expect nothing less than that” said Westerners senior linebacker and fullback Levi Hemmelrick. “I expect we win a lot of games and hopefully make it back to the dome.”
While Walkingstick wants his squad to be competitive, he also wants them to love the sport they play.
“Number one reason kids quit sports is because it’s not fun anymore,” said Walkingstick. “And winning is important, but it’s not the only thing. The big thing is that kids understand how to grow up, how to be men, how to come out here and have fun, how to support each other, how to love each other.”
“We got a lot of young kids and with that comes a lot of excitement,” said Anderson. “We’re happy to be out here every day and just keep grinding.”
“It’s hype,” said Hemmelrick. “It’s a lot of jumping around a lot of yelling a lot of screaming and having a good time”
“Right now we’re just easy going,” said Westerners senior wide receiver and linebacker Hunter Walkingstick. “We just always have a good vibe going here. And it’s always happy here. But when it comes to game time we take it seriously.”
A fun atmosphere surrounds the Westerners this season, and if they can tap into their potential, a ride to the UNI Dome may be in their future.