Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

August 23, 2013

PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Chargers regroup

Experienced West Noble could take step forward

LIGONIER — Last season was a long and frustrating one for Monte Mawhorter’s West Noble Chargers.                

West Noble posted a 1-9 mark – the only victory a 52-27 win over Central Noble.                

Success as a whole has been hard to come by for the Chargers over the years: West Noble has just 14 winning seasons in the entire history of the program, which dates back to 1968.                

The Chargers have never won a sectional, and their last winning season was an 8-2 mark in 2005. The Chargers have won just 14 games since then.                

But Mawhorter and his team are turning the page and hopeful about 2013. The team’s slogan is “Do it until you can’t do it no more.”                

And with experience back on both sides of the ball – and 20 returning letterwinners – if experience counts for anything, then last year’s growing pains could pay dividends for the Chargers in 2013.                

That’s what Mawhorter is hoping, anyway.                

“We played a lot of young kids last year,” Mawhorter said. “We had a lot of sophomores and juniors, and now those guys are juniors and seniors.”                

Despite the loss of all NECC running back Erik Mawhorter – the coach’s son who is now playing at Trine University – the Chargers have weapons. Senior quarterback Landon Stover(5-10, 160) returns to run Mawhorter’s split-back offense. The Chargers did amass yardage last year, averaging 178 rushing and 65 passing yards in 2012.                

Stover was 45-of-131 for 612 yards and five TDs last season. Targets for Stover will include junior Payton Schrock (6-0, 170).                

Stover said one key for the Chargers is limiting turnovers, which were a bit of a bugaboo last season. Stover also knows as a senior, he’s expected to step up and lead.                

He’s more than ready for the challenge.                

“There’s going to be adversity,” Stover said. “When it happens, it’s my job to help us bounce back.”                

The Chargers’ leading returning rusher is sophomore Bradley Martin (5-10, 175), who had 157 yards on 28 carries with a TD last season.                

The offensive line is a work in progress, with only junior center Steven Ramirez (5-10, 240) returning. Junior Luke Wechter (5-10, 190) is in the mix at a guard spot, with seniors Carlos Medina (6-0, 200) and Adam Hursey (6-3, 250) the tackles. On defense, the Chargers also return 10 starters to man their 4-3 base scheme. But after giving up 48.5 ppg. last season, that unit must make major strides in 2013 if the Chargers are to take a step forward in the win column.           

Medina, Hursey and Ramirez all should see action at defensive tackle positions, with Wechter and junior Levi Nelson (5-9. 185) at ends. Wechter and sophomore Kyler Warble (6-2, 210) are in the mix for linebacker spots, with Shrock and Martin helping anchor the secondary.                

The Chargers open the 3013 season this Friday night at home against Angola.

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