WM coaches excited about future coming out of spring practice
West Monroe Rebel football wrapped up spring practice on Tuesday with position battles on offense still to be determined while solidifying some positions across the board.
On offense, West Monroe has to replace all five starters on the offensive line plus quarterback Slade Bolden has graduated and moved on to the University of Alabama.
Offensive coordinator Glenn Hunt said he went into the spring expecting five of his returning linemen to step up into the starting roles. Hunt also went through this following the 2009 season replacing all the starting offensive linemen.
Victor Cutler (senior), Chaz Trichel (Junior), Shawn McDonald (transfer from West Ouachita who will be a junior), TJ Bush (Junior), Blake Everett (Junior) have stepped up running with the 1’s in the spring as the Rebels also built some depth. There main objectives will be blocking for junior quarterback Garrett Kahmann and senior running back Cameron Wright. Kahmann got a lot of playing time a year a go backing up Bolden. Hunt has not been shy about saying he believes Kahmann “will be one of the best to ever put on the WM helmet."
Wright broke out as the go-to running back for the Rebels at a time where 2017 running back was supposed to be a question mark. Wright ran for over 1,000 yards. At wide receiver, the offense has a very talented group including Michael Worley, Michael Hamburg, Charley Norman, Blain Holloway, Zach Murphy, Jerry Day, and Latavian McFee.
Junior Cayden Pierce worked at several different positions this spring and could play on both offense and defense this coming season. Pierce has experience at H-Back, quarterback and wide receiver in recent years.
“(Pierce) has gotten bigger and stronger,” West Monroe coach Jerry Arledge said. “He could play some defense for us as well.”
Special teams is back in good hands as kickers Reece Aultman and Carson Jones are both back and one may take on the punting duties in 2018.
On defense most of the 2017 defensive backfield returns with interception leader Brooks Miller comes off two shoulder surgeries and should be even better in 2018. Carson Jones and Zak Knox also return after getting a lot of playing time during a semifinal run in the playoffs last season. At linebacker, the most decorated linebacker in school history, John Bailey Gullatt has graduated and the recent switch to the 4-2-5 defensive alignment will have a new vibe to it.
Stepping into the linebacker spots will be Sterlington transfer Chandler Moncrief and Tanner Zordan. Zordan played a good bit in spots last season for the Rebels.
“Zordan played a lot as a backup (in 2017),” Arledge said. “He has been starting for us in the spring. Chandler Moncrief has good ability. We feel like he will get better with more chances at playing time. We have the 7-on-7 competitions this summer.
The Rebels will be loaded with experience in the defensive line led by D-1 prospect Dalvin Hutchinson. Hutchinson started for the Rebels for the first time last season and become all-district and all-state selection.
Hutchinson has already garnered college offers from Memphis, UL Monroe, New Mexico State, UT-San Antonio, UL Lafayette, Tulane, Northwestern State, McNeese State, among others.
“Dalvin has great feet for a big guy,” Arledge said. “Ethan Swanner is recovering from injury. Malcolm Moore returns after starting at defensive end for us and Andrew Gleason had ACL injury but his rehab is going ahead of schedule.”