By Ray Hamill — Eureka head coach Jason White will hand an historic start to freshman Magnum West on the offensive line this weekend, as the Loggers head to Ukiah to take on the Wildcats on Friday night.
West, according to White, will be the first freshman to ever start for Eureka, but has been impressing enough this season to warrant the move.
“He’s just much more physically mature than other freshman,” White said of the 6-foot-2, 195-pound West. “And that enables him to hang with the older players.”
West has seen plenty of action in recent weeks, but will get the start this weekend against the 2-2 Wildcats.
It is the first time White has ever even brought a freshman up to the varsity squad in his seven years in charge of the program.
Former head coach Garett Montana never started a freshman in his several years in charge either, and the coach says that before that there was a rule against playing freshmen.
Which makes West’s emergence all the more historic.
“He just keeps getting better and better,” White said.
West will start at guard.
Loggers building momentum
The Loggers will be hoping to build on last week’s impressive performance against Shasta as they get set for Ukiah, which struggled against Kelseyville earlier this season, a sign that this year’s Wildcats might not be as big a challenge as they have been in the past.
Still, White and his players won’t be taking anything for granted against the NCS Division-III school.
“Offensively they kind of mix it up, but they’re a little more reliant on the run,” the head coach said. “Defensively they move around well.”
A young and inexperienced Loggers team has shown plenty of progression throughout their first five games, taking a big step last week in a 35-21 win.
And White will be looking for more of the same this week.
“For us, it’s about execution and building on our last two performances.,” the head coach said. “We were much better against Shasta than we were against Montgomery, and we had to be.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Loggers have played well for the most part and have held their opponents to just 14.7 points a game over the past four weeks.
They have, however, allowed their opponents maintain drives by giving up a lot of third and fourth downs, something White will be looking to improve upon at Ukiah.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.