The Weddington football team is 5-0 on the season, but the Warriors have had to deal with far more adversity so far this spring than their undefeated record represents.
After winning its first two games of the season against Sun Valley and Charlotte Catholic, Weddington had its game against Piedmont, originally scheduled for Week 3, pushed to later in the year after a Panthers player tested positive for COVID-19. After playing Parkwood on Mar. 19, the Warriors had their next game against Marvin Ridge cancelled thanks to contact tracing protocols.
The Warriors were set to play the Panthers on Monday night, but Piedmont ultimately had to forfeit the game because the team didn’t have enough healthy players to field a full roster. Weddington will now play its final regular season game Friday night on the road against Cuthbertson.
Despite the challenges the 2021 spring season has brought them, the Warriors still look like the class of the 3A classification. Offensively, the duo of junior Kyle Parsons and senior Trey Gordon have racked up 490 rushing yards and five touchdowns on just 63 combined carries.
In the passing game, senior quarterback Dante Casciola’s favorite target in 2021 has been junior Landyn Backey. The 5-foot-11 receiver has caught eight passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns — all three of which came in a victory over Parkwood a few weeks ago.
Head coach Andy Capone spoke with The Enquirer-Journal on Monday about the shortened season, his offense and his expectations for the rest of the year.
Question: You were supposed to play a makeup game Monday against Piedmont before that was cancelled. How frustrating is it that your team has had to go through several of these scenarios this season?
Answer: It’s definitely been a little frustrating. We feel like we haven’t gotten into a good rhythm as a team. I think it showed on Friday with how we didn’t finish the game against Monroe the way we wanted to. We feel like we haven’t gotten into a game rhythm. We just want our kids to be able to play every game they can. It’s an unfortunate situation, but hopefully we’ll be out there Friday and hopefully headed to the playoffs with a little rhythm going on.
Question: Despite not developing much of a rhythm, Kyle Parsons and Trey Gordon have run the ball really well. How do you feel like they’ve handled the workload offensively?
Answer: Catholic was a tough game offensively, but the last two games ... against Parkwood I thought we had pretty good balance offensively. I think Dante threw four touchdowns that game. And then Friday, we wanted to establish the run, and Trey and Kyle both came out and did a great job of establishing the run with our offensive line. If we can run the ball, we feel like we’re going to be successful, and it kind of sets up everything else we do. It was good to see because the running game has been so important to us. They’ve done a great job stepping up in Will’s absence. We thought we had some really good back heading into this year, and Trey and Kyle have really stepped up, and Makiya has helped out there and on both ends. We feel good about the run game. We just have to continue to work that balance and get the ball to people in space and see how that goes.
Question: Landyn Backey has come on strong this season. How important has he been to the team’s success?
Answer: He’s really taken a big step forward. This is his third year on varsity, and since he was a freshman he’s gotten some good game reps. We expected a lot from him, and he’s really stepped up and really bought in to understandings the playbook and moving around, whether we start him off in the backfield or in the slot or out wide. He’s a guy we feel like we need to have touch the ball at least four or five times a game minimum because he’s going to break a big one. He’s done a great job on both sides of the ball and even during practice gives a great scout look for us and never complains about getting in and doing what we need to do to succeed as a team. I think he’s hopefully primed for a big postseason run. He’s going to be a big player for us. He’s extremely dynamic and can run well after the catch. He’s been a big help for us.