THORNWOOD, N.Y. There is a trail of painted white paw prints on the driveway leading to the Westlake High School football field, leading to where summer practice began Friday for the fall football season under Wildcats coach Rich Hennessey.
We have some good size on the line and a group of returning players who know what it takes to win after being here for last years run, said Hennessey, who led the Cats to a 6-3 season and the Class B playoff final last fall. Now, its about building confidence and getting back to a football mentality.
Local varsity football teams began summer on Aug. 19 and must practice 11 days before taking part in scrimmages with other schools. The local high school regular season begins on Friday, September 9 with a dozen games. Most of the remaining teams open on Saturday, September 10.
Westlake has been a Class B contender for much of the last decade and fell just short of a title last year, losing to eventual champion Croton-Harmon in the Class B playoffs. Hennessey and his coaching staff, Anthony Sardo, Michael Ferrauto and Anthony Botticelli, are building on a group of last years underclassmen who know what to expect on the field.
We have several very talented skill players and backs and a good line with some size, so we expect the kids from last year to lead, Hennessey said. Football is a big commitment and we think we have a team that can do good things. The first week gives us a chance to get technique down and be ready for pads.
Westlake opens its season at Ardsley High School on Sept. 10. in a 1:30 p.m. start.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.