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Worland alum Patrick Sweeney talks returning home to coach football

Head Coach Patrick Sweeney of the Worland Warriors played his own high school football career at the very high school he now coaches before heading off to Dickenson State to play 5 years of collegiate football for the Blue Hawks.

The Warriors were fresh off a week 2 in which they knocked off the favorited Powell Panthers 28-7 in what many in the media considered a fairly big upset and it shot Worland up in the rankings to a top 5 spot heading into their matchup with Cody last Friday.

“I think Powell is a good team, some things bounced our way, we had some kids step up that we weren’t sure how they would respond to their first varsity game.” stated Coach Sweeney about the upset win, “at one point we had 7 sophomores playing in the game”

Worland’s youth certainly would have been thought to have been a disadvantage against an experienced team who went deep into the playoffs a year ago like Powell but the Warriors played hard and took it too the Panthers.

One player Coach Sweeney gave a particular shoutout to was Quarterback Kade Weber, “A kid who’s put a lot of time in throwing the football, developing his arm. He watches film year-round, you don’t have to ask him to put in extra work he’s motivated.”

It certainly showed in the game as well, as Kade went an impressive 11 for 16 through the air for 152 yards, 62 of which came on 1 very impressive throw to Brock Douzenis which served as the longest play of the game. Most impressively of all was Kade’s 3 touchdowns to 0 interceptions ratio in the game.

Coach added that the team chemistry has also been phenomenal here in the early stages of the season ‘The seniors are really making it special but it’s also filled in with some young kids which is scary”. Coach may have been referring to his own reservations and fears going into the season with so many inexperienced faces but now that fear should shift toward the field of 3A knowing that this Worland team may very well have an even brighter future ahead of them in the coming years.

When asked about his philosophies on each side of the ball Coach Sweeney was adamant about the need to stop the run first and foremost, that was the non-negotiable first priority of the defense. “We have a variation of fronts, some 3 man fronts, 4 man fronts, 5 man even to just take care of the run first and put some people in some passing situations and then take away the pass”

Offensively Coach Sweeney recognized the athletic talent he had at his disposal on this roster with many of his kids playing multiple sports for the Warriors so as far as he was concerned creating space for his athletes is the key to successful offense. “Spread it out” was how Coach put it, plain and simply.

Unfortunately things didn’t go Worland’s way this past Friday shortly after the interview concluded the Warriors fell to top ranked Cody in Cody, but they look to bounce back to their winning ways this Friday at home against Green River in what should be a defining game in Worland’s season and we all look to see how their young team will respond to the adversity of back to back weeks in which they claimed a huge upset victory and then a devastating defeat. How will the youngsters handle the emotional shift? We all look forward to finding out, but if Coach Sweeney can help it, things should be on the upswing for the Warriors for years to come.

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