After last year’s 28-21 loss to Flour Bluff in the regional round, Victoria West’s wide receivers immediately went back to work.
Dion Green, a senior, and D’Andre Fillmore, a junior, had a sour taste in their mouths and wanted to wash it out. They started working out that following week to prepare to make a run this year.
Green and Fillmore, the District 15-5A, Division I Newcomer of the Year, gathered up the receivers and quarterbacks, and set out to make sure they were doing all the preparation they could.
“We wanted to get back as soon as possible,” Green said, “to start working hard for that moment so we can get past the third round and go further.”
The primary goal from that offseason work together was to develop good chemistry and communication. The Warriors will have a new quarterback barking out signals, meaning chemistry is of the utmost importance.
“That’s gonna help our chemistry a lot more,” Fillmore said. “And we’ve been working with the quarterbacks, so that’s helped us a lot.”
Green (582 yards, 8 touchdowns receiving in 2020) is set to move from receiver to running back after Chase Patek’s graduation.
When the opportunity came up, Green pounced on it. He thinks it will allow the Warriors to open their playbook and create more space.
“This year, I just wanted to help the team out,” Green said. “I am an athlete, so I can play everywhere. The challenging part about it is just me getting the conditioning part down.”
Head coach Courtney Boyce wasn’t surprised that Green wanted to help the team.
“He’s a team-first guy,” Boyce said. “He’s just gonna be all over the field.”
Fillmore (929 yards, 13 touchdowns receiving in 2020) is ready to embrace a bigger leadership role for the Warriors. As a sophomore, he credited the seniors as the biggest aid to his breakout season.
He’s ready to return the favor this year.
“Last year, the seniors really helped me prepare for the season,” Fillmore said. “This year, I’m a leader. So I’ve gotta prepare them for the season like they did my sophomore year.”
But that kind of leadership is expected of Green and Fillmore. The two were voted to the program’s leadership council and each play all three phases of the game.
“I think that's a different kind of role and others are gonna get to know them,” Boyce said. “When you talk about willingness to help the team out, they’re on every special teams. They love being on the field. I think that’s just confidence all the way around.”
Not only will Fillmore and Green’s athletic ability lift the Warriors on the field, their leadership has already elevated the team’s expectations for 2021.
“I don’t think there’s anything like it when you get returning starters who are major contributors from the year prior,” Boyce said. “And their willingness to put the team first and have fun doing it while being leaders, it’s irreplaceable.”
The Warriors open their season at Lockhart on Friday.
Their home opener is Sept. 3 against Beeville.