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With the fall breeze heralding the approach of football season, the West Elk High School football team is gearing up to showcase its prowess on the field. This year’s squad, under the seasoned guidance of Coach Chris Haag, boasts an impressive lineup of returning stars that have fans buzzing with anticipation.

Coach Chris Haag, who enters his 23rd year as head coach, brings a wealth of experience and strategic acumen to the team. His track record of success speaks volumes, guiding the team to a remarkable 113 wins in his career. As the team embarks on a new season, Coach Haag’s leadership promises to guide them to even greater heights.

A formidable trio of players anchors the team’s offensive lineup. Creyo Koop, a dynamic running back, has significantly impacted with his 2401 rushing yards and 48 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Quarterback Trent Haag is set to dazzle with his multi-dimensional playstyle, boasting both rushing and passing touchdowns. Meanwhile, running back Maddex Moreno brings his tenacity and agility to the field, making him a force to be reckoned with.

Defensively, the team is equally stacked with talent. Maddex Moreno demonstrates his versatility as a linebacker and defensive lineman, tallying an impressive 6 sacks, 1 interception, and 3 fumble recoveries. Linebacker Creyo Koop continues to shine on the defense with 8 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery over the last two seasons. The presence of linemen Holton McLean, Uriah Tillapaugh, and Christian Winter ensures a solid defensive front, while Evan Coble anchors the secondary with his impressive solo tackles and assists.

While the team bids farewell to graduates Dustin Montgomery and Tate Stewart, the upcoming season is met with excitement and optimism. Coach Haag expressed his thoughts on the team’s prospects: “We are very excited about the upcoming season. We have a lot of quality players returning who received a lot of playing time last season. Our entire backfield and a huge part of our line will be back.”

The coach acknowledged the importance of the younger players stepping up, stating, “We also have a lot of young football players on our roster that will need to step up and be ready to compete on Friday nights. We will have a lot of men competing for playing time and expect our practices to be intense and very competitive.”

Regarding the team’s strengths and weaknesses, Coach Haag emphasized the significance of strong leadership and the team’s commitment to a family-like atmosphere. He noted, “We need strong leadership roles from our upperclassmen. We lost some key players to graduation and will need others to step up and fill that void. We always strive for the family atmosphere within our program and know that our men will carry on that tradition.”

Looking ahead, Coach Haag acknowledged the challenge of competition and the importance of maintaining player health. He concluded, “We will need to stay healthy if we want to compete for a district championship and a shot at the playoffs.”

As the West Elk High School football team combines experience, determination, and a strong sense of unity, fans can anticipate an exhilarating season filled with camaraderie, skill and the pursuit of victory. The team’s journey promises to be one of passion, growth, and a resolute commitment to achieving excellence on and off the field.