LIGONIER — As the football season begins, West Noble head coach Monte Mawhorter reflected on what lies ahead for the team.
Last season, the Chargers were 8-3, 2-2 in the Northeast Corner Conference Big School Division and won a first round sectional game in the Class 3A state playoffs. Mawhorter expressed the team’s goal for the 2019 season is to be a little more successful in the playoffs.
West Noble did not have many changes from the 2018 season. Mawhorter said the same players will be running the ball. Leading returning players include quarterback Kyle Mawhorter, receiver/defensive back Josh Gross and running back/linebacker Brandon Pruitt.
Pruitt will continue his football career past high school and onto the collegate level at Navy. Gross was tied for fourth in the state in interceptions last season with eight while also making 43 total tackles. He also caught 31 passes for 572 yards and two touchdowns on offense.
Mawhorter completed 49 percent of his passes last season (77-156) for 1,136 yards and six touchdowns, and also rushed for a couple of scores. The coach’s son will look to be more efficient after throwing nine interceptions in 2018.
The team’s strengths to Coach Mawhorter are “The senior class, athleticism and speed. Hard to stop one kid and shut him down.”
The Chargers have to develop on the offensive and defensive lines to complement the veteran skilled players. A lot of younger guys will get an opportunity up front, including varsity newcomers Jeramyah James, a junior, and Zayne Patrick, a sophomore.
What Mawhorter said he is most looking forward to this season is, “the group of seniors put a lot of time in since the fourth grade. It is interesting to see how they finish as seniors.”
What makes this team unique is its bond together. The team forms friendships off the field and not just in uniform. It’s a friendship that goes beyond a football and green grass. Teammates know each other and are committed to each other beyond a game.
Mawhorter said what the team is most nervous about this season is Angola and the success it has had over the past few years.
“They’re the team you have to beat to get over the hump. Angola is still the favorite to win conference. They haven’t been beat in the last three years,” Mawhorter said.
The Hornets will travel to West Noble in Week 4 on Sept. 13.
The Chargers have a mentality this season where they care more about winning than individual success. There is one football and as a team they will work for the success.
West Noble opens the season at Central Noble at 7 p.m. The Chargers’ home opener will be the following week against western neighbor Wawasee on Aug. 30.