2022 STANLY FOOTBALL: West Stanly Colts

Since 1993, the Stanly News & Press has awarded the Stanly Cup to the school with the best record in the county match-ups.

West has lifted the cup up eight times and has 13 outright county titles from 1977 through last season.

Last season, for the first time since 1977 two teams shared the county title, with the Colts and North Stanly finishing with 2-0 county marks. The two teams did not get to play due to COVID 19 restrictions.

The last time two teams tied was in 1977 when Albemarle and West Stanly were 2-0-1; the two teams played to a 14-14 tie before the current advent of overtime.

Entering his sixth season as head coach, Brett Morton (24-23) answered five questions about the Colts. Here are his answers:

1) West was well on its way last season to the Stanly Cup before COVID forced the cancellation of the game with North. Both teams finished 2-0. Has coming that close to winning the county title been a motivating factor in this offseason, and if so, what weight has it played among other factors in preparing for the 2022 season?

Being 2-0 in county play was good. It was very disappointing last year to not get our first two home games in because of COVID. There is always motivation for county games regardless of external situations. I think, for us, we just want to get back to a normal situation playing wise. Our motivation is and always has been to do our best no matter who we play.

2) Who are the most important returning players for West this season in terms of their contributions last year and in terms of what will be expected of them this season?

Matthew Parker, Braden Pope, Jesse Boone, Zak Bondurant, Shane Mecimore, Kreed Osborne, Sawyer Gibbs, Carson Morton. These guys are the core of our senior group. They were all major contributors last year and have worked hard this off season. I expect them to all have great seasons and help lead our team.

3) The Colts graduated 13 seniors (according to my last roster update) last season including Braden Hartsell. Who are some of the key players stepping into the roles left by graduation, as well as newcomers to the program?

I’m excited about the guys coming up. We will be replacing the majority of our offensive and defensive line from last year. Colby Bowers, Cooper Hudson, Owen Grismer, Irineo Garcia will be expected to come in and make major contributions right away. Caleb Bumgarner, Roman Huneycutt, Rene Salazar, Jacob Starnes and Austin Eudy will also be moving into major roles as well.

4) What types of adjustments or changes (if any) have the Colts made this off season in terms of coaching personnel, mindset, focus, etc.?

We have retooled a few things on offense. Our focus since last season was taking advantage of the off season and using that time to develop in the weight room as much as possible. Our mindset has been team oriented and trying to be more family like.

5) How will the Colts do this season overall and in conference play?

I don’t do game or season predictions; I never have. I believe we have the ability to do well. I believe these guys can play with anybody. I believe that if we play to our fullest potential week in and week out, when the dust settles at the end of the season, we will be where we want to be.

Schedule

Home games are listed in bold. Games with a * are conference games.

Aug. 19 – South Stanly
Aug. 26 – Albemarle
Sept. 2 – at Mount Pleasant
Sept. 9 – at North Stanly
Sept. 16 – at Oak Grove
Sept. 23 – Eastern Randolph
Sept. 30 – BYE
Oct. 7 – Parkwood *
Oct. 14 – Forest Hills *
Oct. 21 – at Monroe *
Oct. 28 – at Anson Co.*

* RRC Games
All Games start at 7 p.m.*