West Warriors to open spring football season

By Albert Alvarado - aalvarado@vicad.com
May 1, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.

Former Memorial quarterback Jared Dolezal is nursing injuries and will miss most of spring football drills.

Former Memorial quarterback Jared Dolezal is nursing injuries and will miss most of spring football drills.

The West Warriors open their spring football season Monday and for head coach Leonard McAngus, the new high school gives him a chance to return to coaching a game he loves in an area that is special to him.

"It's what I was meant to do," McAngus said. "I have a chance to come back to a place I've always loved and my family has always loved. I believe in these kids in Victoria, and I believe they can and will be successful."

McAngus previously coached at Victoria High under Mike Reeves. He was the Stingarees offensive coordinator from 1990-95.

He left Victoria to become the Gonzales head football coach and athletic director. In six years under McAngus the Apaches went 37-27 and won the school's first outright district championship in 38 years.

From Gonzales McAngus moved on to Justin Northwest near Ft. Worth. There he was the school's head football coach and A.D. from 2002-08 and the director of campus service for athletics in 2009.

The Victoria ISD unanimously named McAngus the schools first head coach during a special meeting in February.

McAngus' office is located on the Stroman campus and although he's had almost three months to watch his freshmen work out, spring football gives the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate their players further.

"As a coaching staff we need to be able to adjust to our kids and try to improve. All of that is a day-to-day process and going into spring we need to evaluate what they look like in pads," McAngus said.

Even though high school football coaches have an option on whether to have spring football and work out for three weeks in May or start practice one week early in August, McAngus prefers to have spring ball.

The three weeks give coaches extra time to evaluate and teach their players without worrying about injuries close to the season. It's especially important when a group of players has to gel with a new coaching staff.

"Coming in not knowing what the kids can do and them not knowing how we do things I think it's very important that we do spring training," McAngus said.

McAngus prefers taking the three weeks in May rather than the extra week in the fall.

"Everybody's different, but I will always take spring training if I can get it. Getting our kids prepared for that first ball game and spring training is going to be a big part in getting them ready to be successful," said the first year Warrior head coach.

McAngus will draw upon his experience at Northwest to help him along the way.

There he came into a rural community with a Class 4A high school. As the town grew to close to the size of Victoria and the facilities improved to reflect the population growth.

Like Northwest, West High is part of a growing community in Victoria and although he said Victoria hasn't changed a lot since he left 15 years ago, McAngus anticipates a successful future for West and the VISD.

"I'm real excited about being back," McAngus said. "I think there's some really good changes going on in our school district."

The Warriors will have two coordinators that know Victoria and will see those changes firsthand.

Scott Williams, a 1987 Victoria High grad, is the schools defensive coordinator and former Stingaree quarterback Courtney Boyce is the offensive coordinator. Boyce played for McAngus and was on his staffs at Gonzales and Northwest.

McAngus enters a situation where Memorial High and its football team were split between the new East and West High Schools. Although he knows its human nature for his players to anticipate playing their former teammates at East, he is quick to warn them not to get caught looking ahead to that game.

"I'm sure they'll be a rival, but that's two scrimmages and nine games away. We got a lot to do before we ever play them," McAngus said. "That game will be important when we play it, but it won't be any more important than any other game we play. Right now we're focused on those scrimmages and being prepared for that first game."

After the Warriors play their spring game and school lets out for the summer, the Warriors work won't be done. McAngus' team still has a summer of weight lifting, conditioning and 7-on-7 workouts once the players take a break and recharge their batteries.

"We hope to see them all summer." McAngus said. " They need to have time off and go on vacation. We'll be expected to stay in shape and do the things it takes to be successful on the field."

Spring football kicks off Monday and will culminate in the Spring game on May 27. That game will be played at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.



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