Head Coaches in the league predict coming in third this season in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division, hoping to further improve on their 7–4 record from last season. In their first game, the Golden Rams won a nail-biting 20–19 game against Bentley University last Saturday.
“I think we can compete for our conference championship and get to the playoffs,” said Coach Zwaan when asked about his expectations for the team. “We haven’t been to the playoffs the past couple of years, and we need to get back there.”
In the season opener against Bentley, West Chester was behind the whole game until sophomore running back Jayden Williams scored a go-ahead touchdown with 53 seconds left. This speaks to the resiliency and potential of this group as they were able to claw their way back to victory through both the ground and air.
Speaking of “ground and air,” this perfectly encapsulates the performance of fellow sophomore, Cooper Jordan, the quarterback who led the game winning drive. He was 19 for 27 passing while throwing for a career high 292 yards and one touchdown. He also did plenty of damage with his legs as he led the team in rushing attempts and yards with 16 and 102 respectively. He was awarded for this showing by being named the PSAC Eastern Division Offensive Athlete of the Week.
This performance portends big things as an encore to his freshman season when he threw for a team high eight touchdowns and also rushed for the second most on the team with three. They’re going to need big things from him this year if they hope to challenge for the conference championship and he already looks prepared for the task.
Also helping the team reach that goal of vying for the championship, Coach Zwaan listed a group of players who he expects to have big seasons. These players include the aforementioned Cooper Jordan, tight end Thatcher Miller, wide receiver D’Shaun Seals, running back Daquan Robinson, offensive lineman Caelan Krasley, defensive lineman Ayyub Dail, defensive back Sterlen Barr and kicker Sean Henry.
Alongside the in-house improvements from the previous season’s roster, the Golden Rams are getting some reinforcements with their 2023 signing class. All in all, they signed 31 new players with 17 being on offense, 13 being on defense and one being a special teamer. Coach Zwaan highlighted linebacker Connor Noble, defensive back Shane Mosley, wide receiver Julian Jordan, defensive back Brody McAndrew, wide receiver Darrell Brown and running back Trey Blair as some new incoming players that he is excited to coach this year. Noble and Mosely were even first and second on the team in total tackles against Bentley the first game, with 14 and 13 respectively.
West Chester looks to continue implementing these new players and building off of their preexisting chemistry as they move through the beginning of their season.
Colin Bradley is a fourth-year English major with a minor in Journalism. CB953277@wcupa.edu