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Woodland Football Preview: Wildcats bring momentum into new season
by E. Marcel Pourtout
August 20, 2014 12:03 PM | 3652 views | 0 0 comments | 205 205 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray<br>Woodland senior defensive end DaMek Lewis, middle, runs a drill during practice on Aug. 6 in Cartersville.
Staff / Erin Gray
Woodland senior defensive end DaMek Lewis, middle, runs a drill during practice on Aug. 6 in Cartersville.
The Woodland football team had a difficult start to its 2013 campaign, losing the first six contests and eliminated from postseason contention. During the losing streak, the Wildcats were shut out in five consecutive contests.

However, they rebounded and won the final four games of the season.

“There’s a lot the team took from that,” said fourth-year head coach Vince DiLorenzo. “The players learned to stay the course and believe in what we’re doing. It was a positive way to end the season and the guys have done real well this offseason with intense workouts.”

Woodland’s offense improved drastically last season, averaging more than 26 points per contest over the last four games after scoring a total of three points in the previous six.

Senior Tanner Self and junior Grant Robinson are competing for the starting quarterback position with both expected to see playing time at the start of the season.

Overall, the Wildcats return only three starters on offense, two of whom are on the offensive line; senior guard Judge Camp and junior tackle Brett Shedd. The coaching staff will rely on these veteran linemen to guide a young offensive unit.

Woodland has superior experience on the defensive side of the ball, returning eight starters. The Wildcats gave up only 20 points per game during the winning streak last season while allowing opponents to score more than 38 points in losses. Seniors Lucas Knight and DaMek Lewis will start at end while junior Brady Jernigan slots into one of the tackle positions. Senior Khalil Morris and junior Mitchell Taylor lead the linebacker group while juniors Grant Quick and Jonathan Applin start at safety.

“We’re pleased with the defensive group we have and hopefully [it will] be a strength for us,” said DiLorenzo. “We have some young guys that have been surprises and shown promise this offseason.”

Woodland seeks its first winning season since 1999, the second year the program fielded a varsity team.

“I judge a season’s success on if we’ve reached our potential and continued to get better each week,” said DiLorenzo. “We have to get out of the gate strong and give ourselves a chance to make the playoffs.”

Head Coach: Vince DiLorenzo, fourth year at Woodland (10-20-0)

Region: 7-AAAAA

Last year: 4-6 overall; eighth in Region 5-AAAAA

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