The West Potomac offensive line, which returns all five starters and averages more than 250 pounds, has the makings of a dominant force.
Tonight, those in charge of security for the Wolverines’ no-huddle spread offense will get to show their on-field skills during a 7:30 p.m. match-up with Mount Vernon at WPHS. On Tuesday, some members of the West Potomac O-line displayed their trash-talking talents toward the rival Majors.
Left guard Dan Carriker’s description of the West Potomac-Mount Vernon rivalry: "It is our time to put [the Majors] in the dirt and end their season for them right then and there."
Right tackle Samlullah Ahmady gave the Majors even less of a chance.
"Mount Vernon doesn’t deserve to be on the same field with us," he said.
Center Matt Campbell brought up more than football.
"We’re born and bred to hate Mount Vernon," he said. "We don’t like to be near them. Every time I’m over there, I just don’t like them. I don’t like to be over there. I hate their school. It’s like a prison to me.
"I just don’t like Mount Vernon in general."
Earlier in the day, Mount Vernon coach Tom Glynn described the rivalry this way: "We don’t really like the West Potomac Weasels. Oh, I’m sorry, Wolverines."
While the smack talk came from both directions, West Potomac held an advantage in verbal jabs thrown. Good thing for the Wolverines, they appear to hold the advantage in talent and experience necessary to back up their pregame chatter.
Along with a strong offensive line, West Potomac has a slew of talented skill position players, including quarterback Colin Mathewson, receivers Shawn Lee, Deondre Essex and running backs Darel Layne and Edward Johnson.
The defense is led by D-linemen Francisco Jimenez and Akram Mohamed, linebacker Shakil White and a secondary that head coach Eric Henderson praises.
After Tuesday’s practice, Henderson spoke to the team about having the chance to do something special in 2009 and to focus on getting better. Step one is beating Mount Vernon.
"We just want to be a better team after the [Mount Vernon] game than we are right now," Henderson said. "We want to do things the way that we are coached to do and we want to do it with just a little extra flavor — because it’s Mount Vernon."
Campbell said the Wolverines have something to prove.
"We’re looking to be one of the most dominant forces in the Patriot District and in the region," the senior said. "[We’re] trying to take over, prove our point that we’re not just a bunch of small highway kids, that we’re a bunch of weight-trained, committed athletes that are out here to play."
MOUNT VERNON enters the season as a relatively inexperienced group, which lost a lot of size on the offensive line. The Majors’ option offense, which pounded people out of the wishbone last season, may use more shotgun in 2009.
"We were huge last year," Glynn said. This year, "we’re not going to line up and knock everybody on their backs. This year, we’re going to have a little more work to do."
Andrew Sable (6 feet, 171 pounds) is the Mount Vernon quarterback. The senior acknowledged the Majors will have a different look offensively.
"We’re a lot younger and a lot more athletic this year," he said.
Glynn said senior receiver/safety Sean Stewart (6-1, 158) is a key player for the Majors.
How will the Mount Vernon defense deal with the size of the West Potomac offensive line?
"Since we’re quicker," Stewart said, "we can fire off the ball faster."
Glynn also said senior Dannish Decardi-Nelson (5-6, 155) is a key player as a receiver and defensive back, and senior kicker Colin Amerau (6-0, 166) will be a weapon for the Majors.
More trash talking likely remains between West Potomac and Mount Vernon, but a win would be the ultimate statement.
"I know a lot of those kids," Sable said, "so it would be nice to knock them off — have bragging rights over them."