0

HIGH SCHOOL PREDICTION COLUMN: They're still the Westwood Wonders

Herald High School Writer Mike Phillips

Herald High School Writer Mike Phillips

They're at it again, those Westwood Wonders. Remember a year ago when these kids jumped out to a 3-0 start? Well, jumped isn't the right word. They stole your heart with every heart-stopping win, coming back with guts and guile and a little Friday night magic.

Breathtaking stuff.

Even the GISA teams that didn't like Westwood had to admire the Wonders. They still do.

Guess what? They're off to 3-0 again against that same trio of teams that they played a year ago. Only this time Westwood is bringing the hammer to the games. The Wildcats (that's the real mascot) aren't just ripping teams, they're beating up on big boys. All three wins have come against bigger GISA schools, Class AAA and Class AA schools.

Bigger, sure. But no problem for the Wonders. Westwood has outscored Southwest Georgia Academy, Tiftarea and Sherwood, 146-45. And it could have been worse.

The Wonders play Flint River tonight. This is their last non-region game, and the last against a school in a bigger classification. They're on the road, so this game has trap written all over it.

Watch out for those land mines tonight.

The guess here is that Westwood tackles any complacency or doubts on the bus ride to the game and shows up ready.

It's hard to believe a team that won the state title, a team that went 13-0 and a team that proved so much to so many a year ago, could come back and be even better.

But that's what has happened.

There's only one thing better than having a quarterback who is a four-year starter. That's if the quarterback is your son. That's the Ross Worsham-Mason Worsham connection.

Ross, an incredible player in his day at Georgia Southern, has molded this team into a big orange ball of will and desire, and Mason is like having a coach on the field. He's tough, talented, smart and savvy -- and he will knock down a mountain if that's what it takes to win.

He's just like his dad.

There's talent every where you look, including J.T. Edore, who can gain 100 yards at will, and fullback Daniel Hays, who blocks like a tank and is even better as a linebacker. The addition of Caleb Morrell, a former quarterback at Pelham who has fit right in at receiver, has added to an already potent offense.

Most of the kids play both ways, and it's amazing how they all swarm to the ball on defense -- every night, every play.

They'll be swarming tonight. And they'll win to go to 4-0 against bigger schools. They start region play next week, so here's the pick. If Westwood knocks off Flint River tonight, my guess is they roll into the region and just keep rolling right into the playoffs.

They've won 16 in a row. But who's counting? Not the Wonders.

The streak doesn't seem to affect these kids one way or another. Sure, they're confident, but Worsham knows how to balance confidence and humility, and these kids get a steady diet of both.

I don't know a coach in the country who wouldn't take a dose of that.

Yeah, the Wonders!

PREDICTION: Westwood 35, Flint River 14 tonight, and let's call it 17 in a row...

GREENE ACRES: I don't know why so many of the teams in SW Georgia are off this week, but there are bye weeks everywhere I look.

There are some compelling games. Westover going to Blakely to play Early is not only The Herald's Game of the Week, but it's a tough one to pick. Early's defense has been lights out in two games this season, holding Bainbridge to a single touchdown and holding Miller County to just 34 yards.

OK, the Bobcats gave up 33 points to Seminole County, but I've got news for you -- if Seminole's healthy, no one stops the Indians from getting to the end zone. Early's defense is for real and this is going to be a big test for Westover, especially after a gut-wrenching triple overtime loss to Bainbridge last week.

But I'll take Westover and another big night from Dalviness "Deion" Greene and Westover's offensive line. These guys are so good they probably need a nickname. We could call them Greene Acres, since they do all the plowing for Greene.

PREDICTION: Westover 20, Early 14

CLASSIC IN CALHOUN: There's a classic game in Region 1-A, where Seminole meets Calhoun. You know I'm picking Seminole, the most underrated team in Georgia. If anyone can tell me why Seminole isn't ranked in the Top 10 in the state, just drop me a line.

The Indians will score at least four times and win tonight, but Calhoun is coming. There's a lot of young talent on this team, and more to come.

PREDICTION: Seminole 35, Calhoun 21.

REST OF THE BEST:

Here's a peek at the rest of the games.

Brooks County 21, Monroe 20

Tift 35, Worth 21

Wilkinson County 28, Dougherty 22

Deerfield 45, Bulloch 10

Sherwood 21, Bethesda Day 14

Valwood 30, Randolph Southern 20

Georgia Military 28, Baconton Charter 21

Southland 32, Trinity Christian 21