AUSTIN (KXAN) — The last time Westlake football took the field for a game, it was their first loss in years. It sure sounds like the Chaparrals are eager to get back in action.
“This is exactly what we wanted,” said Westlake senior Judson Crockett. “We wanted to come out and just get to it. It’s been a while.”
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Westlake had a strong first day of practice Monday morning that impressed players and coaches alike.
“Efficient,” said Westlake head coach Tony Salazar on his view of the practice. “We were probably five minutes early on the practice schedule. That’s the first thing is that our guys know where to go.”
That loss in the Class 6A-Division I semifinals against Galena Park North Shore broke the Chaps’ 54-game win streak. While this year’s group is quick to mention they are a new team, that defeat isn’t forgotten.
“I think it’s definitely in the back of everybody’s mind, especially people that were playing during the game,” said Crockett. “We’ll always be thinking about that.”
The Chaps return a lot of talent, including at the quarterback position. Senior Paxton Land threw for 21 touchdowns and just three interceptions a season ago.
“I think we’ve had a great offseason as a team,” said Land. “Summer workouts went great. Everybody is just bigger, stronger, faster at this point.”
The expectation at Westlake is clear as one of the most successful programs in the state. This year though, the Chaps should be as player-led as ever.
The Chaparrals have the most seniors ever on a Westlake team with over 60.
“It all starts there in our program,” said Salazar. “A lot of these guys have been through it. A lot of these guys for four years. They understand what it takes.”
Salazar and Westlake open up their season Aug. 25 at Ridge Point in Missouri City.