Wesley Chapel to stay balanced as practices begin

WESLEY CHAPEL – It was a tough final two games of the 2020 season for the Wesley Chapel Wildcats, as they faced county power Mitchell and Hillsborough County for Chamberlain.

The end result of both games was a learning experience for a program that’s hoping to reach their adversaries’ level of play. The Wildcats finished last season with a respectable record of 5-4 and head into the spring with hopes of improving and finding leaders.

“We have a great core group that is coming back,” Wesley Chapel coach Anthony Egan said. “We only graduated three players that were starters for us. We are building momentum and look forward to the spring to gage where we are at.”

The team relied more on passing the football than they have in previous seasons, with the Wildcats throwing for 144.2 yards a game and rushing for 88.9. Egan says the team will rely more on the right arm of quarterback Ethan Harper, who threw for 699 yards and seven touchdowns. But being balanced is the key for this Wesley Chapel offense.

“Balance,” Egan said. “We want to be able to run it and throw it in a balanced attack. We need to protect the football better and our spring will be a focal point on that.”

When looking at the makeup of this Wesley Chapel team, the Wildcats only lost three starters from a season ago and have plenty of talent across the board to compete on Friday nights. This spring will be about fine tuning some of the returning starters and continuing to find playmakers on both sides of the ball. The line backing core should be the strength of the team, per Egan.

“Time will tell. We have a plethora of talented athletes in this program and we are really looking forward to see who can develop into that leadership role,” Egan said. “I think right now on defense our linebackers are really good with Ayden Roysdon, Josh Poleon, Jorden McCaslin, and Zach Jones all being returning starters who are absolutely killing it in off-season lifting.”

“Offensively, we expect Ethan Harper to take a lot more snaps this season at QB and Nehemiah Morgan, Sebastian Gutierrez, Dylan Chana, Jaylen Blake, and new transfer Tre’ Hill to be impact players for us at the skill positions. The line will be lead by two year returning starter Briac Riles at offensive line.”

Spring game: Hollins at Wesley Chapel, May 21

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.