Patriots preparing for 2018 with new coach, renewed spirit

Patriots preparing for 2018 with new coach, renewed spirit
Olten Downs (Source: WALB)
Westover went (4-6) last season (Source: WALB)
Westover went (4-6) last season (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Nothing has come easy for Westover football this offseason, but their new head coach Olten Downs has a very simple slogan.

"Pigs can't fly so we ain't going to make them fly," said Downs during a Patriots practice.

Downs is implementing his schemes and figuring out what his new squad can execute come time for kickoff.

The former UGA and Georgia Southern assistant has been tough on his guys. Instilling discipline, and mental fortitude.

So far, he's liked what he's gotten from the 70-75 players that have shown for voluntary workouts.

So impressed, he gave them a dozen days off in conjunction with dead week.

"The guys worked extremely hard here in May and June, and just wanted to reward them for their efforts," said Downs.

None of the players on the current roster have seen a winning season at Westover.

Mix that hunger with the desire to impress the new coaching staff, and it's easy to see why they didn't spend their off time playing Fortnite and eating Cheetos.

"We got together as a team," said senior defensive end Julian Richardson. "Go to the sand dunes come back to the field do a little running so we don't be so behind."

"At the end of the day," said senior defensive end Jonathon Glover. "After you've worked and you succeeded, it feels good."

The Patriots have returned to the field with a renewed spirit. Partially due to the time off, and also a credit to their new leader.

Downs and the majority of his staff have college experience and it shows with the expectations they have for players.

"After the practice you couldn't even feel your legs," said senior athlete Jordan Walton. "Everybody lying down in the weight room tired under the fan."

"It was new to us at first, but we adapted to it quickly," said Glover.

And according to Walton who is a former Albany Indian and is under his 3rd coach in 4 seasons, they didn't have a choice.

"If you're not coach-able, you're not disciplined, you're not going to be able to play for him. It don't matter if you're 5 stars, 4 stars, a stud, it don't matter. If you ain't coach-able you not playing," said Walton.

Westover kicks off the season in Adel on August 17th facing the Cook Hornets.

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