West opens at home

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2004

GASTON – Diego Hasty is busy preparing for something that will be unusual this season – a home football game.

The Northampton County High School – West football coach is busily preparing his Hurricanes for Friday’s season-opener with Southeast Halifax.

&uot;They have their backfield back from last year, but they lost a lot on the offensive line,&uot; Hasty said of the Trojans. &uot;Their jayvee team was undefeated in conference last season, so it will be an experience for us.&uot;

In more than 20 years as a varsity skipper, Hasty has prepared many young teams for battle and this one is exceptionally young with only four seniors dotting the Hurricanes’ roster.

&uot;We’re still inconsistent,&uot; Hasty said. &uot;We’re not where we want to be yet. We’re still young and making those typical mistakes in practice.&uot;

As he looks for the Friday night matchup with the Trojans, Hasty has goals in mind for his team.

&uot;I want everybody to play hard and be in a position to make plays,&uot; he said. &uot;If we are in the right position, then we hope the athletic ability will take over. That’s the first step.

&uot;Hopefully, we will be able to keep from turning the ball over,&uot; he continued. &uot;With a young team, that is a problem we’ve faced in practice.

&uot;Turnovers and special teams can kill you in your first game,&uot; he said.

While the Hurricanes prepare for Friday’s contest in Gaston, they know it will be one of only four times they will be at home this season.

Hasty said he was glad to have his club open up in a friendly atmosphere.

&uot;At least we’ll get to be home when it’s nice and pleasant,&uot; he said. &uot;The grass is green and I think it will be good for the young kids to have a chance to be at home.

&uot;But, we have to learn to place in both places,&uot; he added. &uot;To be successful, we have to play at home and on the road.&uot;

Asked to compare this squad with the one that made the second round of the playoffs a year ago, Hasty said this club was quite different.

&uot;Last year’s squad had better maturity and overall strength,&uot; he said. &uot;We have some good athletes on this team, but we’re not mature and don’t have that overall team strength.&uot;

The key for the Hurricanes offensively will be senior Andre Williams. The running back returns from a 1,000-yard campaign in 2003 and will be counted on to pace the offense.

Defensively, the Hurricanes will put in a base set and adjust from there.

&uot;We’re going to try to run our base defense and adjust in that set as the game goes on,&uot; he said. &uot;If you can’t play your base well, there’s no need to start creating stuff.&uot;

The Hurricanes will open their season against Southeast Halifax tomorrow night at Gaston.