WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. — Williamstown advanced to the Super Six for the ninth time in nineteen seasons last fall. The Yellowjackets went 11-3 but third-year head coach Chris Beck says the season still left the team wanting more.
“Every year the goal is to play there,” Beck said. “Actually, every year that has been the goal and that is my mistake. The goal is not just to get to Wheeling but to win in Wheeling. That is something we have kind of stressed as a program this year. We don’t want to just be happy to be there. We want to win.”
“We work harder, as hard as everyone else. So we always have that chance,” said Williamstown senior running back/linebacker Rickie Allen. “I think going into the season, that was our expectation to make it to the state championship, not to make it but to win it.”
Helping Williamstown’s cause for a win in December this season is the fact that several returning starters can be found throughout the lineup. Their leading passer, top two rushers and top three receivers are all back.
“The team chemistry is really good,” said Williamstown senior tight end/defensive lineman Kent Wigal. “We start out where we left off. Everything just runs a lot smoother.”
“You refine what you do,” Beck said. “But you are obviously starting ahead of where you would with a young crew. It allows you to add a couple wrinkles.”
Junior Maxwell Molessa returns for his second season as the starting quarterback. He led the team in rushing last year with 1,780 yards and 24 scores. Senior Rickie Allen found the end zone 22 times and toted the ball for 1,575 yards.
“Obviously having Rickie and Max back in the backfield gives us a 1-2 punch. Those guys are as good as anybody in the state regardless of class. What we would like to do is find some more weapons and depth in the backfield, but also on the perimeter. We need Kent [Wigal] and Colt [Hesson] and Louie [Goodnow] and Lynken [Joy] and these guys to step up and make some plays for us on the perimeter.”
Williamstown has built a strong foundation on their rushing attack but Beck is hopeful his team can open things up in the passing game to keep opposing defenses honest.
“Max presents some options for us,” Beck said. “We’ve got to take more shots on the perimeter downfield. That has kind of been a point of emphasis for us this offseason, finding those opportunities and taking advantage of them.”
Sixty percent of Williamstown’s starters on the offensive line are back and competition for the two open spots continues.
“We’ve got two positions open. We lost Colton Melrose and Isaac Joy. But we’ve got good competition there. Jensen Burke, Brayden Buckley, Danner Hooper, Ruger Law, those four guys are really battling it out for those last two spots. They’ve progressed pretty well in the offseason. We throw them with Aiden Corbett, Jett Nestor and Gunner Henrie, they are all returning starters.”