WICHITA, Kan.—Head Coach Weston Schartz returns to the school he coached for 10 seasons before leaving for Northwest. Since his departure at West, the football program has fallen long and far.
Coach: Weston Schartz (First year back at West, 84-58 in 10 years at West; entering 26th year)
2011 Recap: Finished 1-8, only win came against North 28-13.
Returning Starters: 4 Offense, 4 Defense
Returning Lettermen: 15
2012 District: Kapaun (@ Heights), @ Andover Central, @ Arkansas City
Wichita West’s offense was the fourth-worst offense in the city league in 2011, and with just four players returning, Head Coach Weston Schartz has his work cut out for him. The Pioneers scored just 17.2 points per game in 2011 and in the city league, that is a number that is entirely way too low. This is a school that holds a lot of pride, so it won’t go quietly into the night.
On average, every time West ran the ball in 2011, it gained 4.7 yards, the exact same number as Carroll. The only difference is that Carroll has a tremendous pass game. The Pioneers will need to improve its run game to experience the success it wants.
“We have a lot of work to do,” said Schartz. “Our scheme is fairly simple. We’re going to run the football, we’re going to hit people and we’re going to execute on offense.”
West allowed the third-most yards per game in the league in 2011 with 328.3. As an offense, the Pioneers gained 263.8 yard per game. Those numbers need to be flipped, and Schartz has let his team know those numbers need to be flipped.
“It’s not an elaborate system,” said Schartz. “The game hasn’t changed; you block and you tackle.”
There will need to be much more tackling in 2012 than there have been in years past. West allowed 7.9 yards per carry in 2011. Almost every time an opponent ran the ball, it nearly got a first down. Schartz is a coach that will teach his players to hit and hit hard, so that 7.9 yards per carry will almost undoubtedly go down in 2012.
ODDS AND ENDS:
From 1990 through 2002, West won more games in 6A than any other program. Ideally, this program will be turned around this year. Obviously, it will take more time than that, but Schartz and his staff are dedicated to West football and reinstalling the pride that was once found at West.
“I tell kids that everybody that’s practiced on this field has a lot of pride,” he said. “They’ve practiced hard and won a lot of football games. We want to turn this thing around right now.”
It’s incredible that one change at the top of a team can change the outlook of a team completely. But that’s what Schartz has done. He’s brought hope back to a place that was hopeless and brought pride back to a place that possessed none.
It’s hard to tell how much success the West Pioneers will see in its first year on the rise in many years, but really all that matters is that it is, in fact, on the rise.