Last season, Western Boone won its first sectional title since 2001, and this year’s returnees and new varsity players showed up ready to take the program even higher.
Now 8-0 entering Friday’s contest at rival Lebanon, the top-ranked team in Class 2A hopes to check both a perfect regular season and outright Sagamore Conference title off its to-do list.
“We had a few new additions to our team, and it always depends on how sophomores grow up to be juniors and juniors grow up to be seniors,” WeBo coach Justin Pelley said. “They did a great job over the summer, and it’s made us a pretty dynamic football team.”
If defense wins championships, WeBo has a great shot to claim the 2A crown at Lucas Oil Stadium next month. The Stars have given up just 4.88 points per game, and enjoy a 41-point average margin of victory, both good for fourth-best in the state.
“We are very fast on defense. That changes what you can do and makes up for mistakes,” Pelley said. “They play together, everybody doing their job.”
Linebacker Devin Weakley leads WeBo with 86 tackles, 34 more than the second-highest total, including 14 for loss. He also has 12 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s a captain and three-year starter for a reason. He’s a running back, too, but we’re in a two-platoon system for the most part, and he can just concentrate on defense,” Pelley said. “He makes us tick. He’s been a leader on and off the field for years.”
Brett Wethington (52 tackles, 13 for loss), Josh Benson (48 tackles, 8.5 for loss) and Luke Marsh (42 tackles, 5.5 for loss) follow Weakley in stops. Pelley calls Connor Hole (41 tackles) the team’s “wild card” in the defensive backfield.
One of the team’s best stories is Deetz Holdorf, who has a team-high 15 tackles behind the line of scrimmage at defensive tackle.
“He hadn’t played football since he was in eighth grade. He was undersized, then shot up, lifted weights and is a huge contributor,” Pelley said. “It rarely works out like that for kids who come out as seniors, but he’s a hard-nosed kid who fights in there.”
Scoring 46 points per game, the WeBo offense is a juggernaut in its own right. With 1,181 passing yards, a 67 percent completion percentage, 291 rushing yards and 21 total TDs, quarterback Spencer Wright pilots the ship.
“He’s done a phenomenal job growing in his second year as a starter,” Pelley said. “He broke our single-season passing record last year, and he’s not close to it this year, because we just don’t need it.”
Kruze Washington leads the Stars with 672 yards, nine TDs and a 12.7 yards per carry average on the ground. Wethington, Dillon Brown, Robby Taylor and Joe Hendrix have combined for another 819 yards and 14 scores.
Hendrix (515 yards, six TDs, 24.5 yards per catch) and Benson (225 yards, three TDs, 18.8 ypc) provide Wright with plenty of big play capability through the air.
“We have several difference-makers who allow us to do what we do,” Pelley said. “You don’t see that too often in 2A football.”
The Sagamore championship is on the line Friday night. After that, WeBo will set its sights on Sectional 38 and its postseason opener against Indianapolis Washington.
“All our focus is on our rival on Friday,” Pelley said. “It’s important to our kids, coaches and community to take it one game at a time. I won’t even watch film ahead of time. I just want to get them locked in.”