WEST LIBERTY- The West Liberty University Hilltoppers are excited to kick off a new football season. After two straight 3-8 seasons, Head Coach Roger Waialae is ready for a fresh start, and is also confident this year is going to be a huge step forward for him and his program.
“We expect to be 1-0 after every game…I am happy with the progress and competitiveness with the team [during camp], but we are really tired of looking at each other,” Coach Waialae said. “I am really excited this year because we have a multitude of playmakers.”
And he is not wrong. Coach Waiale has high praises for starting quarterback Zach Phillips, and believes he is a true dual-threat quarterback capable of making plays in the toughest situations with not only his arm, but also with his legs.
At the running back position, Coach Waiale believes he is extremely fortunate to have a trio of running backs all capable of making big plays. He also says that all three will see touches throughout the game in order to help the offense stay fresh and keep the opponent guessing.
When it comes to receivers, the Hilltoppers will have as many as eight rotational players all catching passes from Phillips. Not only that, but the team also features four heavy duty tight ends. With these tight ends, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he featured some of them at the H-Back position.
However, Coach Waiale says nothing will be possible on offense if it was not for the offensive line. There are about 8 linemen competing for a starting job on that line, and Coach is excited to see who will crack the starting 5.
On the defensive side of the ball, the team believes they have a very unique situation when it comes to the secondary. This secondary features four talented graduate students, all of whom have completed their undergraduate degree at West Liberty University. Brandon Morrison, a graduate student apart of that talented secondary, is one of the players Coach Waiale looks to depend on to captain the defense.
When it comes to the front seven, the Hilltoppers believe they have a strong core capable of stopping any run game. Clay McDonald, the junior linebacker for the team, looks to be one of the players that help lead the front seven. Coach was extremely pleased with his play last season, and expect him to have an even better season this year.
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports