2019 Player to Watch: Ben West

BCH Sports

The Albany Lions are a top 10 team again in 2019, and quarterback Ben West is one of the reasons people are so high on the Lions. Dusty tells you why he’s a Player to Watch this season.

5 losses to open a season generally does not result in a happy ending. However, for Ben West, the storyline has become nothing short of incredible as the Stamford transfer has turned to an Albany star.

“Last year, I was definitely a little timid going in but being able to come in and start and go four, five rounds deep in football and of course we just got out of the state tournament in baseball, that’s pretty huge and I think I’m really comfortable now and I think this year will be a lot better than last year,” Ben West said.

After the 5 opening losses in 2018, West found his groove at the right time with the Lions, winning 9 consecutive games, including two victories over district rival Hamlin, to lead the Lions to the State Semifinals before falling to Gruver.

“Hopefully we won’t start 0-5 again but, if it does, so be it. We’ll just come out in district and in the playoffs,” West said. “I think we’ll have a really stout team this year, it will be hard to replace the five seniors we lost.”

“Definitely what I’ve been taught is to never get down, always have good language, be a leader all the time no matter what. Even when we started out 0-5, I still tried to be the best leader I could, we did that. All the seniors, all the juniors, all the varsity players stepped up and we came out and won nine in a row. That’s going to be the goal this year, even if we face adversity, just come through and fight through it,” West said.

West’s numbers were absurd in his first year at Albany, throwing for 2,679 yards and 37 touchdowns. West will eye putting up even larger numbers in 2019 as he and the Lions embark on their quest for the State Finals.

“Last year, they didn’t know me at this time so they weren’t really comfortable with me at the time but I think going in comfortable and knowing that I’m going to be their leader, I think we’ll be a lot more comfortable and I think we’ll come out firing a lot better than we did last year,” West said.

West believes he can limit the number of turnovers he and the Lions created in 2018. If they are able to do that, they could very well be the last team standing in the Big Country once again.

“Last year, I had a lot of turnovers. I’d definitely try to limit those. Even if they do come to get a lot of turnovers, if we keep winning I don’t care that much about my own stats,” West said.

“Mainly, my own goal is the team goal to go to state, a district championship first and go through the playoffs and go to state, that’s all I care about.”

Ben West, a BCH Sports Player to Watch.

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