Building blocks: West Forsyth learning from early-season games with off-week before preparing for Central Piedmont 4-A-foe Mount Tabor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

It’s Labor Day week, but the West Forsyth football team has already played three games under new Coach Kevin Wallace.

Even though West Forsyth (2-1) lost 44-22 at powerhouse Weddington (3-0) this past Friday, it has plenty to build on with this week’s off-week before next week’s Central Piedmont 4-A opener against Mount Tabor at Jerry Peoples Stadium.

“I think we tested ourselves in the first three games,” Wallace said. “We played three different styles of teams and been in, you know, won two games two different ways and had a shot at this one (Weddington), and we’ve just got to learn from it.

“So, we’ll regroup, and we’ll come back on (this past) Tuesday (for practice), and we’ll be better and educate them on everything that needs to go on in a game before we win in that type of situation.”

West Forsyth won the first two games of the season against A.C. Reynolds and Oak Grove but lost last Friday at Weddington. The team is scheduled to practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. With no game this Friday, the team will get a three-day weekend before it returns to practice on Monday in preparation for Mount Tabor.

“I think it’s just like going hard to harder,” Wallace said. “But I think it prepares us for how to play in those types of games, of what we need to do. I think it toughens our kids up a little bit. I think it gets our big boys moving and seeing what we’ve got to do to be successful.”

Although Wallace came from Northwest Guilford in the Metro 4-A conference before taking the West Forsyth job last December, the off-week came at similar points of the season.

“We’ll really concentrate on ourselves and evaluate that Weddington stuff on Tuesday,” Wallace said. “And then we’ll slightly get into – we’ll do a little bit of both between starting to scout against our opponent (Mount Tabor) and then just some good-on-good stuff to keep our kids fresh.”

There are eight teams in the Central Piedmont 4-A, and each of those teams is off this Friday as they prepare to open conference play next week.

“When I first got to Northwest, we’d have games on Labor Day week, or after Labor Day, that Friday after Labor Day,” Wallace said. “And there’s a lot of families that go on vacations. There’s a lot of this, a lot of that, a lot of extra headaches usually on vacation weekends.”

Starting Sept. 15, there are seven straight weeks of conference games before the end of the regular season on Oct. 28.

“I think there’s a good start,” Wallace said. “I mean we’ve got a good foundation going. The kids, I think, are starting to see it, too. You know, all the hard situations and hard practices we put them in where it pays off, and knock on wood, how their bodies are holding up and how they’re going to respond. Stuff like that.”

The coaching staff for the Titans has been harping on early play since practice started July 31.

“So, we’re at a good point. I think that was kind of our goal coming in this second quarter (nonconference play) was be 2-1. We’d love to be 3-0, but we said 2-1, 3-0 would be a good start,” Wallace said. “Now we’ve just got to see how they’ll bounce back after a loss. They’ve got to understand that It’s now, it’s not failure, but we failed, and we’ve got to learn from it.

“We can’t consider ourselves failures, and we’ve just got to learn from that, you know. It would be a disservice if we let this loss roll into another one.”

The first three weeks have also been an evaluation period for the players.

“I think we’ve learned who can play, who needs to be in on situations, you know,” Wallace said. “But it’s still always a learning experience and educating experience on the kids, you know. We have already, every game, pregame notes I write down on a sheet of paper on stuff we have to address to the kids and coaches, stuff like that of what or how it needs to be smoother. That’s where we’re at, and we’ll go from there.”

There is no game scheduled this week, but that doesn’t mean the Titans won’t be busy.

“It’s good for that body. It really works out to be a nice two weeks of kind of recovery with the kids before we really get six really hard weeks after because we’ll cut back on the times of our practices because we have an extra couple days to prepare for Tabor,” Wallace said. “Our practices won’t be as long, so hopefully, it helps the body a little bit before we get to the last six weeks after the Tabor game.”