CLEAR FORK - Last season started on a positive for Westside.
The Renegades beat Liberty 28-8 to open the season.
That victory, on Aug. 24, was the last victory the Renegades would taste.
With a mixture of a few inexperienced seniors and inexperienced underclassmen, it turned into a long ride to the finale, a 42-8 loss to playoff-bound Oak Hill.
The numbers bore out the situation. After that opener, the Renegades would not score more than 18 points in the last nine games, and averaged just 10.2 points per game. The defense gave up over 40 points in seven of those games, including each of the final four games.
This will be the year of the youth movement, with a bit of a twist.
"My biggest concern is that we will still be young," coach Herbie Halsey said. "We have just a few seniors and we again have to rely on our younger, inexperienced kids. Hopefully, playing some of the young kids will help us this year."
Indeed, there is some talent on the squad.
Last year's leading rusher, Blake Goode, is back. As a freshman last fall, Goode rushed for 419 yards and a team-high 5.3 yards per carry. The team overall rushed for only 872 yards.
Leading receiver Trevor Birchfield is gone, but Jace Colucci, who had 26 catches for 262 yards and two TD is back.
Quarterback Bradie Vance, who threw for over 1,000 yards a season ago (1,080, with eight touchdowns), is gone.
Gone, too, are the typical large linemen that Westside always seemed to have, replaced by a smaller version.
"I also have some concern with our line and a couple kids being smaller than what we have had in the past," Halsey said. "They are gritty and they will give us everything they have, but that size matters when you play the Oak Hills and the Nicholas County schools."
That said, Halsey said job one will be to craft a suitable offense and defense.
"We will have to adjust our play calling and schemes to accommodate our abilities," Halsey said.
After the season opener at home against Liberty Aug. 30, the Renegades will make the short ride to Wyoming East for the annual Westside-Wyoming East game for the Golden Shovel Sept. 6.