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Westside’s Homecoming Provides Chance to Build Momentum

Sporting a 3-3 overall record and a 2-1 region mark, Westside will enter Friday’s homecoming game against Butler (2-3, 0-3) with a golden opportunity.

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Sporting a 3-3 overall record and a 2-1 region mark, Westside will enter Friday’s homecoming game against Butler (2-3, 0-3) with a golden opportunity to get one win closer to achieving two things the program hasn’t in many years:

  1. A winning record for the season, which would be the program’s first since 2013
  2. A state playoff birth (which goes to the the region’s top 4 teams), something the Patriots haven’t attained since 2014

But such accomplishments must be earned, starting with Friday’s matchup against Butler, who topped Westside 6-3 last season in a pivotal region game also played at Carlton Thompson Field on Patriots Way.

Treyvon Grandison (Nose Guard) – Westside

A Dominant Defense

Up to the task will be Westside’s defense, a unit that established itself as a force early last season by giving up an average of 5 points per game through the first 8 contests. Returning and continuing to make progress this season is a secondary packed with playmakers, including the safety tandem of brothers CJ (a senior) and Kaleb Hutchinson (a junior), who have each hauled in two interceptions already, and cornerbacks Robert Pulliam and Tyler Evans, both seniors.

Kaleb Hutchinson (DB/WR) – Westside

Second year head coach Jon Wiley said Tuesday in an email interview that his defensive backs are “fun to watch,” and he credits assistant coach Chris Crayton, a former Westside star who played defensive back at the Division I and professional level, for helping the unit, saying Crayton “does an excellent job getting them prepared each week.”

Both Wiley and Crayton believe Kaleb Hutchinson, at 6-1 and 180 pounds, has the potential to be a division 1 player. Here’s Hutchinson intercepting a pass in a game against Laney last season:

Another high impact returnee is junior Treyvon Grandison, a 6-1 and 305 pound nose guard who earned all region honors as a sophomore last year. Coach Wiley thinks Grandison is the best defensive lineman in the area. Watch Grandison as a sophomore as he bullies his way into the backfield to make a tackle for a loss in a game against Richmond last season:

Wiley also has good things to say about Grandison’s fellow lineman, senior Bo Alford (6-0 and 265). He noted Alford’s strength and his ability to play anywhere on the line. Alford leads the team in tackles for loss, sacks and pressures.

Bo Alford (DL) – Westside

Wiley continued with praise for “speedy pass rushers” Rakeem Blount and Charles Dawson, both juniors who measure 6-1 and 240 pounds. Also noted were contributions from linebackers Damarien Lee (2nd on the team in tackles), Dion Wright (14 tackles in Westside’s most recent game), Hannibal Simmons, Sean Taylor, Damontae Coleman, and Jack Wise, who also took over at quarterback in week 2 after the original starter TJ Price was injured.

Westside’s Improving Offense

Wiley sees reason for optimism when it comes to the offense, which struggled during last season’s 3-7 campaign. The ground game has improved dramatically as lead back Xzavier Green, a junior, has piled up 774 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns through 6 games while running behind a beefy offensive line that averages 280 pounds per man. That front is led by Javon Nathan (6-3, 295), Jordan Grissett (6-4, 310) and Treveon Few (6-1, 285), all of whom are juniors. The unit has helped the Patriots pile up 18 total rushing touchdowns for the season.

Treveon Few (OL) – Westside

Westside’s passing game has also shown flashes despite early injury problems. Price, who spent time under center last season as a sophomore, threw for 297 yards in the first 5 quarters of action this season before Wise, a baseball star who is playing QB for the first time, was thrust into action. Wiley praised both signal callers, and he looks forward to having the option to use them both at some point during the season. Targets on the outside include Robert Pulliam, Kaleb Hutchinson, Jermichel Ambrose and Cameron Collins.

Robert Pulliam (WR/CB) – Westside

A Special Teams Bonus

Westside also received a boost in its special teams efforts, as Wiley explained in detail:

“We struggled in the first 3 games on special teams. Replacing an all state kicker like Maddox Hankinson is extremely difficult,” said Wiley. “Luckily a young man named Sean Metcalf walked into my office and asked if he could try a few extra points. First day he came out he hit from 50. We were all in shock. I’m normally pretty keen on getting reps in practice, but at one point I think the entire team stopped to watch him. It was cool moment. He drilled his first FG attempt from 41 yards and has taken over kick off duty. His father is from across the pond and still refers to the game as American Football, which I get a kick out of. Sean is a good athlete and has great work ethic. We were fortunate Coach John Newton allowed him to come kick in addition to his work on the Cross Country team. He also plays cricket and has a 4.0. He’s only a sophomore. He just started working with Westside legend Obi Egekesi (former place kicker for the University of Maryland). I’m certain that if he continues at this pace he’ll be D1.”

Friday’s Coverage Schedule

Highlights and updates from Westside’s homecoming game against Butler will be shared on the @AugBball timeline on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Also featured on the timelines will be another class 2A, region 4 matchup between Laney (2-3, 2-1) and Josey (1-3, 0-2). Get familiar with Laney, who will host Westside the following week, by reading the “Snapshot” taken of the Wildcats that I wrote few days back.

Featured

ALMA Podcast Presents: Ryan Abel

We sit down and talk with Ryan Abel, a man who seems to be everywhere in Augusta. We discuss his various projects over the years, stage performances, his upcoming tribute show, and more.

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This episode we sit down and talk with Ryan Abel, a man who seems to be everywhere in Augusta. We discuss how he go into music, various projects over the years, stage performances, his upcoming tribute show, and plenty of stories including a couple involving Miss Sharon Jones herself.

Tune in to the podcast and be sure to check out the full version of Ryan’s song called “All Us Sinners” (in the slideshow below). 

If live music is your preference,  click here to get tickets to Laurel Canyon, his upcoming tribute show celebrating the music of CSNY, The Monkees, Jackson Browne and more! 

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Entertainment

Augusta Rocks Presents: Mackenzie Blake (with Ethan Stallings)

The Augusta Rocks Mini Series continues with Mackenzie Blake, a local musician who, while still in her first year of performing and recording music, has caught on and spread like wildfire in Augusta and beyond!

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Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links". We may receive commissions for any purchases made through those links. Read our full affiliate disclosure to learn more.

Today: A Continuation of the Augusta Rocks Mini Series Highlighting Local Music. This episode features Mackenzie Blake, a local musician who, while she is in her first year of performing and recording music EVER (if you don’t count church singing), has caught on in Augusta and spread like wildfire.

She just released first song, Hungover, and talks about how she went from a spontaneous gig with the Baker Bros Band to recording music and performing at venues even up to Columbia, South Carolina!

Listen to Her New Single Wherever You listen to Music!
Apple
Spotify

Ethan Stallings joined us in an incredible fur coat to play some guitar in the studio with Mackenzie & he killed it as always. Follow along with his new projects: The Brownstown Gritty & The Village Sticks.

Presented By Nancy Powell Real Estate Broker @DowntownAugustaBroker (Nancy20201!)

DropTheDis Question Presented by Tranter Grey Media (TranterGrey.com)

Community Partnership: TheClubhou.se at the Cyber Center & Augusta Podcasts, LLC.
Beer is Brought to You by Savannah River Brewery (Follow them on Facebook!) SavannahRiverBrew.com

Also Featuring: The Little Guide to Augusta, @AllEqualParts, 2nd City Distilling & Durty Gurl Cocktail Mixers.

Want to Support the Show & Get Free Stuff & Cool, Unique Bonus Content? Check out our Patreon!

Learn More and Shop Merch @ AugustaPodcasts.com & Check Out Our Next Show @ AugustaRocks.com

Produced at Augusta Podcasts Studio

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