WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (WMBB) – The Wewahitchka football team believes they have what it takes to make a deep postseason run behind a dozen seniors on their roster.
Senior running back and defensive back, Landon Hysmith, played a big role in the Gators 2020 offense, and with many of the key producers returning, he said this is the best squad that he has played on yet.
“We got high expectations this year,” Hysmith said. “We expect to have a playoff run. Coach has us in the championship, but that’s coach.”
Head coach, Bobby Johns, is entering his fourth season with the Gators, and he said this team has completely bought into his system.
“This is the first group that I’ve had that’s been with me all the way through,” Johns said. “And most of these kids have been playing the entire time, they haven’t been one year guys here or there, they’re four or five-year guys that have been on our team, even some of our underclassmen have been here that long. So, it’s my first opportunity to have a group that understands everything about what we expect, everything about what our program is about, and also understand what we’re trying to do football-wise.”
The field general for the Gators this season, on both sides of the ball, is senior quarterback and defensive back, Alex Williams. The 3-star recruit has multiple offers from SEC and division 1 programs, and Hysmith said has solidified himself as the leader of the team.
“He’s a good leader, and off the field, he’s my best friend,” Hysmith said. “So, I respect him, I respect his game, he respects mine and we trust each other on the field and off.
Sophomore running back, Zay McDaniels, is another explosive weapon that opposing teams will need to game plan for, but he’s also going to be lining up in the secondary on the defense, which is a unit he said has improved significantly.
“Our mindset in defense is to stop them no matter what,” McDaniels said. “So. I feel like that’s going to carry through in the fourth quarter, fourth down, whatever it is.”
Wewahitchka made an unexpected first-round exit in the playoffs in 2020, but with all the veteran talent returning, they expect to still be playing as late as November.
“It’s been a long time since a playoff game has been won around here,” Johns said. “And so our goal first off is to win one and then move on from there. But if we stay healthy, we get some breaks along the way, we could be a final four type football team.”
The Gators play in a kickoff classic preseason game Friday against Brookwood, a school from Georgia, and start the regular season on August, 27, against Liberty County.