For West Hempstead’s returners, it’s chemistry over quantity.
The Rams (6-4) bring back two starting linemen in Elvin Argueta and Emerson Maldonado and two running backs in Daryius Hall and Corey Terry who have built relationships with each other in the backfield. They’ll work together to try to pick apart defenses in Nassau Conference IV.
“They know what to do, they know how to hold that line down and open up the holes for me,” Terry said.
For the linemen, preparation started before they put on their cleats for the first time this summer and it’s led Argueta to peg the line as the team’s best asset.
“Our line is at its strongest point this year because we were all in the weight room, which I really liked,” Argueta said. “Even the coaches said we don’t make mistakes; we run the plays well.”
Coming up behind those strong bodies, Terry said he’s welcoming the expectations that come with being a returning playmaker in the backfield.
“You’ve got to take everything I learned from last year at the position to this year, but now I’ve got to work a little bit harder because now I’m being looked at [as a leader],” Terry said.
That includes taking the lessons from last year’s semifinal loss against eventual champion Locust Valley.
And from what Terry has seen so far, he wasn’t afraid to lay out his aspirations.
“We’ve got a good time team year,” Terry said. “I’m not going to say that we don’t. There are other good teams out there, but we just gotta step over them.”
Junior Timmy Shanley will be the quarterback, while lineman Ryan Charles and defensive lineman/fullback Brandon Pierre are two newcomers pegged to make an impact.
Together with the returners, they’ll form a formidable threat to the rest of the conference as the No. 5 seed and believe they could surpass last year’s semifinal appearance.
“We can make it back,” Hall said. “We can make it farther than we did last year.”