Despite having a new coach every season for the last four years, the West Brunswick High School football team has found a way to remain one of the most consistent programs in the area.
This year will be no different as veteran coach Kelly Williamson takes over in Shallotte following the departure of Bob Hanna. While Williamson is fairly new to Brunswick County, he’s no stranger to the game of football after guiding South Carolina’s Latta High School to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, while winning consecutive independent school state championships at Dillon Christian (also in South Carolina) in 2008 and 2009.
“It’s a testament to the kids that have been in the program,” said Williamson. “They’ve been very resilient over the years with the all coaching changes and think they’ve adapted well to me. It shows a lot of character and my expectations are to compete. This is not just about winning and losing, it’s about building young men and I want to build my kids to be successful in life.”
Williamson’s familiarity with the Trojans’ football program has helped him transition to the job much more smoothly than others, as he most recently served as an assistant for the West Brunswick girls basketball team in 2014-2015, eventually taking over the reins as head coach during the midseason push.
During that time he was able to meet most of his future players and get a better grasp of how things were situated for a program with tremendous talent coming off a 3-3 record in the split 3A/4A Mideastern Conference.
With a 1,200-yard rusher back for his junior season in Anthony ‘Bubba’ Mcray, to go along with a number of experienced players at the varsity level, including quarterback Hunter Ashburn, Williamson is excited about the possibilities heading into the season.
“I’ve coached some good players over the years and we’re learning right now what it takes to make the next level,” Williamson added. “Good players make good coaches and I’m a competitive guy and they see that in me. I think you need to work hard to be successful from a mental standpoint, from a physical standpoint and we have a chance to be pretty good if we put those things together.”
Coming off their transition to the split 3A/4A Mideastern Conference two years back, the Trojans have shown ability to get in the win column. Now, Williamson is looking for his program to make the next step, which is to prevent too many highs and lows during the course of the year and to be competitive and consistent week in and week out.
As the Trojans build excitement and camaraderie with each day of practice behind their new head coach, West Brunswick’s players understand the challenges ahead and are willing to make the commitment needed for a breakout season.
“The most important thing is consistency and you have to be consistent in everything you do,” said Williamson. “That’s what I’m trying to teach them right now. We need to work hard in the weight room, on the practice field, in the classroom. We’re going to get our lifts in, our running in and to get to achieve those goals you have to go through the process. You can’t skip anything and it’s not supposed to be easy, but if we do that I think we’ll be fine.”
The Trojans will play five non-conference games before opening league play at home against Ashley on September 25. Both teams scrimmaged each other at the BB&T Jamboree on Friday, August 14.
West Brunswick 2015 schedule
Friday, August 21 @Socastee (South Carolina)
Friday, August 28 vs. South Columbus
Friday, September 4 vs. North Myrtle Beach
Friday, September 11 @ Whiteville
Friday, September 18 @ North Brunswick
Friday, September 25 vs. Ashley
Friday, October 2 @Topsail
Friday, October 9 vs. South Brunswick
Friday, October 16 @ New Hanover
Friday, October, 23 vs. Hoggard
Friday, October 30 @ Laney