WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. — Williamstown was certainly not the only team to see their 2020 season end by the COVID metrics map. However, the Yellowjackets were well set up to make a run in their 21st consecutive playoff appearance. With a record of 5-2, the ‘Jackets earned the No. 6 seed before the map turned against them. Head coach Chris Beck says his team handled the many obstacles throughout the season as well as could be expected.
“We can only control what we can control. That was the motto last year,” said Beck. “Those guys, no matter what we threw at them, they just did it. Their work ethic was tremendous. They handled the adversity well. If they handle the rest of their lives like they did last year, they are going to be in good shape.”
As Williamstown turns the page to the 2021 season, a top priority for Beck and his coaching staff is to replace a handful of starters on both the offensive and defensive lines.
“We are having two sophomores stepping up and we have another senior stepping up,” said Williamstown senior lineman Colton Hesson. “They are going to be on the line with me and they are doing pretty good. They are stepping up pretty well.”
“Up front, we have great competition,” Beck said. “A lot of guys are competing their butts off every day. And some young guys are stepping up. I think we have a lot of guys that work hard and want to play. It is finding that right combination of guys that is going to let us be successful.”
The offensive line will go to work in front of senior running back Trevor Oates. Last season, he rushed for 966 yards and 10 touchdowns in 7 games.
“I feel that once I know what I have to do, it makes me so much better,” Oates said.
“He is a six-foot, 200-pound man that can wear on people,” Beck said. “He showed that last year. He got better as the year went on and I am expecting a big year out of him. But also if you look at some of the other skill guys, Rickie Allen is back at fullback. Rickie is a really good athlete that can make plays for us.”
A pair of sophomores are battling for the starting quarterback spot, with Colt Hesson and Maxwell Molessa in the mix. Both will contribute in some capacity on offense.
“I think both can win ball games,” Beck said. “I feel good about either one of them being there. It is just finding out which one gives us the best chance to win. Whoever probably isn’t the quarterback is going to help us at another position, maybe receiver.”
As Beck enters his second season leading the Yellowjackets, traditional schemes will remain in place but with some cosmetic tweaks.
“We really want to be good at what we do. I think that has been a staple of what we do. If you look at our concepts, there’s not a bunch of things but we are able to dress it up a few different ways. So for us, it is not really adding more things in, it is dressing up things in a little different way,” Beck said.