November 17, 2008

Swope helping lead Westlake resurgence

Austin Westlake running back Ryan Swope and his teammates got off to a slow start this season. However, as Swope himself put it, Westlake is "taking care of business" and as a result the Chaps have reached the second round of the state playoffs.

After losing their first three games of the season, Westlake won six of their last seven to earn a three-way tie for the district championship. Friday night, Westlake took the next step towards a state title with a 42-21 win over San Antonio Stevens. Swope explained the reasons not just for the slow start, but also for the resurgence that Westlake is experiencing.

"I think the lack of experience coming in was a big factor," said the 6-foot, 195-pound Texas A&M commit. "We had a young team and a young quarterback. We didn't have a lot of experience on the offensive line. We had some tough, hard games like Lake Travis, A&M Consolidated and Cedar Park. We just knew that we were getting better week by week, though.

"Once district came on, the offense came on and the defense came along too. We really bounced back and we took care of business in district. There was a lack of mental errors like stupid penalties and turnovers. Tanner Price hooked up with Mike Walker and our fullback Jeff Ballew has been running the ball real well. The defense has been shutting down the run and pass."

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