CLEAR FORK - Last season, Westside rushed for just 87.2 yards per game.
In southern West Virginia, that just isn't going to get the job done.
This season, coach Herbie Halsey is looking for better production. And he is looking at doing it with a new quarterback, a lacrosse player and a converted lineman.
Blake Goode will get the first shot at replacing Bradie Vance at quarterback.
He was a quarterback before moving to running back as a freshman. He led the team with 419 yards rushing, averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns on the ground, which was half of the Westside rushing touchdowns.
The Renegades might not throw for more yardage this season (after Vance passed for 1,080 last year), but Halsey is excited about the new options Goode's mobility brings to the offense.
"We are going to be able to expand the offense a little, do some things we haven't been able to do in the past," Halsey said. "I think he throws the ball well enough and we like what he gives us in the run game. He doesn't need a lot of room or a lot of space to take the ball up the field. Once he gets through the line he can get up the field before (opponents) know what hit them. We're excited about the things we can do in the offense this season."
It should be a good move, considering Goode came up through the ranks and only played running back because he was needed at that position.
The run will still be Goode's strong point.
"When he completes his first pass, it will be his first in high school, although he attempted six passes last season," Halsey said.
Halsey said, if needed, he won't be afraid to put Goode in the backfield and bring in backup Spencer Keeney, who will start the season as a receiver.
"He has the better arm," Halsey said. "And it's not like he isn't mobile. He single-handedly won two JV football games for us with his feet."
Goode will likely start the season at quarterback, a position in which he said he feels comfortable.
"Blake has that game time experience on Friday night and that gives him the edge right now," Halsey said. "But anything is possible. We could have them both in there, but right now the quarterback is Blake's to lose."
The backfield will be entirely new. Cameron Hatfield has had a strong preseason camp at running back. Hatfield moved in from North Carolina, where he was being recruited as a college lacrosse player. His parents are both Baileysville natives.
"He's looked pretty good (in the preseason)," Halsey said. "We think he is going to be a very good back who people are going to be talking about."
Hatfield will be a junior. The other top back is Logan Shumate, a converted lineman.
"He started his career on the offensive line as a freshman," Halsey said. "He lost some weight and he is pretty quick. He reminds me of a Mike Alstott (former Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback) or Owen Schmitt (the former WVU fullback) when you watch him play. He is a kid who is not afraid of contact. The only thing limiting Logan is his lack of experience."
There is no shortage of receivers, and that starts with Isaac Mosley and Daniel Reed in the slot.
Mosley has had some success in the Westside program, and Halsey said he is looking for the speedster to come into his own.
"He is the fastest player I've had the pleasure to coach," Halsey said.
Last season Mosley had 14 carries for 35 yards and three catches for 63 yards. He has been hampered by injuries that have cut into his playing time.
Reed also has had success on the football field. Given an opportunity to lay early, Reed last year had 32 carries for 141 yards and five catches for 47 yards, his dual abilities fitting the mold of what Halsey wants to see at slot.
Conner Gibson (4 carries, 44 yards) and Brandon Dixon will also see action in the slot.
The receiver corps must replace a pair of standouts in the graduated Trevor Birchfield (27 catches, 395 yards, 3 TD) and Jace Colucci (26-262-2), who opted not to go out for football this season.
Those two, along with Dylan Cantrell, who signed with Concord were the only Renegades with double figure receptions and Reed is the only player who had a touchdown reception last year.
Seniors Will Cook (2-48) and Parker Rolfe will be counted on to fill the void, along with Keeney and Ethan Blackburn, who did not play last year after playing some quarterback as a freshman.
"We have a lot of guys that are about the same, and that competition is going to make them better," Halsey said. "We think we are pretty set at receiver. Again, they are not lacking ability, just lacking that Friday night experience."
The Renegades open with Liberty at home on Aug. 30.