The Whitman-Hanson Regional High football team’s head coach has lofty goals as he aims to put it all together in Year No. 2.
Are you ready for some football?
Second-year head coach Zack Botelho and his Whitman-Hanson Regional High squad certainly are.
Whitman-Hanson hasn’t won the Patriot League crown since 2001 (that’s 21 years ago for those keeping track). If it’s going to end that drought this fall, Botelho knows getting off on the right foot is crucial.
“We want to start strong. We didn’t last year,” Botelho, whose team finished 2-9 last season in his first year at the help said, said. “But just having been in the league for a year, I’ve seen it and am able to game plan better.”
It’s always key when you can return your quarterback, and the Panthers do in senior captain Cam Burrows.
“He’s been outstanding so far,” Botelho said. “He’s explosive.”
Behind Burrows, the Panthers also bring back senior captain and running back Will Frazier, who will be joined by fellow senior captain Evan Casey and classmate Trevor Googins in the backfield.
Seniors Pat Dolan, Braden Kain, Sam Pace and Matt Phelps all have some experience under their belts at wide receiver, giving Burrows some solid options to pass to.
Senior captain Maddox Colclough will anchor the offensive line. He will play both ways up front along with classmates Noah Hopkins and Connor Sottak.
Casey returns at linebacker, while Phelps, a safety, and cornerbacks Frazier, Googins, Kain and senior Chris Currier hold down the fort in the secondary.
W-H opens its season Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. at home against Pembroke. That will be followed by a tough five-game stretch that features road games against Foxboro (Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.), Rockland (Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.) and Hingham (Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.) before returning home to face Silver Lake (Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.) and Marshfield (Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.).
You think Botelho will find out what his team is made of after the first month?
“Definitely,” he said. “We just want to compete for a full four quarters from whistle to whistle.”