Reloading The Ranks

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.—  West Salem’s Brooks Ferguson enters his senior year with the Titans a little more well-rounded.  Transferring in from Central High School before his junior year, he had an unique season in his first year with West in being able to learn the complex system and play different positions as he developed some athleticism entering this season.

“Last year I learned a lot.  I sat there, watched and learned the whole year.  Got to play a bunch of positions, develop my athleticism.  It helped me out a lot, I’m so much bigger and stronger as an athlete, it helped tremulously,” said the strong-armed quarterback in Ferguson.

Ferguson, during the first full-padded practice of the season, was getting reps at safety as the Titans look for their next quarterback with the departure of Jackson Lowery due to graduation. 

Last season left a lot of questions on the table for a lot of teams in the Mountain Valley Conference on how they would’ve done if there was a postseason.  Mountain View and West Salem were undefeated at 6-0, Sprague was 5-1. 

The Olympians looking for a repeat performance of last year this year following their resurgence and the Titans are no different despite graduating 26 kids from last years squad.  The standard is still there and just as high as ever with the first week of the Fall Season wrapping up.

West Salem went to work Thursday in the first full-padded practice of the year, looking to duplicate their 6-0 Spring of 2021 success in the Fall (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Kids like Ferguson and Zachary Dodson-Greene have put in the work over the offseason so when they did get to pop ‘em pads this Fall, they were ready to do so to the best of their abilities.

“It’s going to be very important.  We have a really hard-working class that’s coming up to fill those spots and the class before us was extremely talented, worked really hard together but I feel like this class is rallying together.  (We’re) just putting together a whole complete team,” Dodson-Greene said. 

“Last year the team did extremely well, we gelled together and I felt like we played really well and on all cylinders.  That whole team bond was really strong.”

The bond was strong once more Thursday evening.  Cheering and backing up teammates as they started with their defense the first hour-plus of practice on this day.  Building off of last season’s undefeated season as they enter jamboree week and open the season hosting Newberg September 3.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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