Whitewater football out to make noise in Rock Valley Conference
WHITEWATER—Anthoni Parr’s first season as Whitewater’s football coach felt like a roller coaster ride with several highs and an equal amount of lows.
The season started with three straight wins but ended on a three-game losing streak, including a 48-21 loss to East Troy in the regular-season finale that kept Whitewater out of the playoffs.
Can the Whippets snare one more win this season to secure the school’s first playoff berth in five years?
“Our biggest challenges are within our own individual players to focus on the little things and improve day by day,” Parr said. “And as always, we need to stay healthy for an entire season.
“If those things happen, you can definitely look to hear about the Whippets this year.”
Whitewater’s offense scored more than 20 points a game last season, but it must replace all-conference quarterback Scott Gorsuch.
Senior tailback John Saylor earned all-conference second-team honors a year ago. He rushed for 729 yards and scored six touchdowns. Junior Jordan Peterson also returns at running back.
“We look to have a very exciting and explosive offense,” Parr said. “We believe that we have a lot of pretty good pieces to work with again this year.”
Senior Joe Bullis and junior Bryan Parker are the top wideouts, with seniors Peter McCrea and Tommy Duval anchoring the offensive line. Junior Josh Patrick is also expected to start up front.
Defensively, the Whippets must get stronger at the line of scrimmage. Whitewater allowed nearly 30 points a game last season, including 96 in the first quarter.
“We plan on building and improving on the importance of being technically sound and our pursuit-to-the-ball mentality,” Parr said. “Our focus has got to be (continue) what we started last year and to keep improving day to day.”
Bullis and Duval will be two-way starters, along with Peterson and Parker. Seniors Juan Tovar and Brandon Dillinger are also two of five starters back on defense. Junior Daniel Soto will start on the defensive line.
Parr picks Jefferson to rule the Rock North, but thinks a number of teams could challenge, including his own.
“The top two teams lost a number of key players from last year, while the rest of us were playing with pretty young and inexperienced teams,” Parr said.
“But Jefferson has been so consistent for so long that they’re going to be there at the end. Our only expectation is for every individual to improve every single day and game each week.”