FNF: West Jeff looks to take the “next step” after first playoff appearance in 8 years

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NEW ORLEANS — Willie Brooks’ first season as head football coach at West Jeff, ended with a 4-4 record and the program’s first playoff appearance in 8 years.

The Bucs lost to Mandeville in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs.

“I tell our kids; now we have expectations in the program. Last year they played with no expectations. this year, let’s learn to play with expectations and that’s the next step,” says Head Coach Willie Brooks.

Coach Brooks says West Jeff returns 16 starters in 2021.

For West Jeff to sustain its new success, the offense will lean on second-year quarterback, Caivyn Johnson.

Johnson threw for 1200 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

“He needed that confidence. He needed me to have confidence in him. He was a first-year starter, and the program has been down for so long and I put a lot of faith and trust in him and it paid dividends for us down the line because he was able to have confidence and mature within the offense. So, I’m looking for him to take the next step. He has a lot of colleges looking at him and we’re going to need a big year from him,” says Brooks.

Senior Running Back, Jireh Childs, returns from injury to share the load with fellow senior, Joshon Barbie.

Defensively, West Jeff’s strength lies in its front seven.

Much of the offseason has been spent exposing its new look secondary to some of the area’s top offenses.

“We played against a good St. Aug Purple Knights team in the spring and those guys got a lot of work against a quality opponent. This summer we worked out against Landry, Archbishop Rummel, Shaw, and some of the better teams around the city. So, those guys have got to get real good real fast,” says Brooks.

Something they will spend the next several weeks doing as Coach Brooks and his staff continues their first full offseason at West Jeff.

The Buccaneers open the 2021 season with Holy Cross on September 3rd.

For the full schedule, click here.

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