News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days: West Harrison Hurricanes
Getting close to the end here on News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days, although feels like the team at stop number 23 is just getting started.
West Harrison has still yet to see the results on paper, but the Hurricanes are keeping the faith in this dog-eat-dog world.
Running back/ outside linebacker Kolten Scott said, “It’s recently just been that we’re dogs and we’ve been barking at people. I don’t know why.”
Offensive lineman Otis Gates III said, “We’re just dogs. We just like to go hit. All that, go at it, bark at it.”
Head Coach Quincy Patrick said, “It started out as a joke. And it just picked up and they’ve been going home with it ever since, so we like it. It gets them motivated. We know if they’re barking, they’re ready to go.”
West Harrison feeling like a new breed of Hurricane in 2021, finally ready to enjoy what’s been cultivated for the last three years. “If I gave you a plot of land, and I said, hey, Jeff, go plant this land. And you went out and bought great seeds but did nothing to the land, the seed is worthless. You’ve got to get the land right, the soil right, and then plant your seed. And then you still can’t expect to eat the fruit the next day. It’s a process. And I know that sounds so cliche, but you’ve got to trust the process. And hey, we’re trusting the process. And one day, we’re going to eat the fruit that we planted.”
West Harrison’s 11-member senior class of 2022 is hoping one day is this year, having been a part of the culture change under Quincy Patrick since they were freshmen. “We’ve worked so hard in the off-season, even since we were freshmen. We’ve been working. We just want to finally get a winning season or success.”
“I’ve obviously been here since my freshman year, so four years now, and I’ve been through all the lows, losing sucks, and we’re just ready to win some ball games. We’ve got a bunch of guys that actually want to win now, committed to coming out and practicing every day really hard, and we’re going to shock the world this year.”
For the first time since 2018, West Harrison’s new world is a return to region 4 class 5A down from 46A where it’s wing-T offense will fit right in.
Stiff competition either way, having now gone seven consecutive seasons without winning more than two games, but it’s like coach said: trust the process. “Faith, you know? When you love football, you’ve got to do it. And that’s what most of us are, we love football.”
“They’ve come so far. When I first got here, they hated conditioning. I think they hated football, honestly. But now they love it. They’re calling and texting. Coach, this, that and the other about practice and that’s been full circle. I mean I honestly think they really hated football when I got here. I know. I know.”
Whatever that feeling used to be, the Hurricanes have rechanneled it into a hatred for losing. Going 2-8 overall isn’t sitting well with the likes of Luke Holland and Kolten Scott, who Coach Patrick says compete at everything from football to getting the best parking spot. “We want to be the group that turns this place around and then has a bright future ahead, and we just want to be the ones to do that.”
“Oh, we want to be a playoff team this year. I think being a playoff team will help get some of our best players on the all-state list, and that’s definitely a big goal because we want to put guys at the next level, and we just want to continue to build the program, build the younger guys up, so they can fall right in line next and just become a stronger program.”
The current strength of the program is a team that returns at least 16 starters from a year ago. Experienced and hungry to win, also the West Harrison’s motto ‘standing for work is necessary’ and it is for a locker room that’s all about the bark and the bite. “We’re some dogs. We want to get out there and wins some games.”
“We started working. We’ve been working. And we want it to pay off.”
“I mean I’m going to sound cliche like every coach in America, but if these kids are 2-7, or 7-2 or whatever the record could be, I’m still going to love them. And I’ll be more excited to see them be good dads and good husbands and a great neighbor.”
West Harrison opens the season at Bay High at 7 p.m. Friday.