The Wolves ranked 10th nationally in the annual preseason Division II football poll, breaking into the top 10 for the first time since 2017.
The Wolves finished the 2021 season in the second round of the Division II NCAA Playoffs, ranking among the top 15 in their league. The head football coach for the University of West Georgia, David Dean, expects the program to be very strong this year.
“We want to play well each week,” said Dean. “Well enough to get into the playoffs, then our ultimate goal is to win a national championship.”
Harrison Frost, record breaking quarterback from the 2021 season, will be returning for his final season playing as a Wolf.
“As far as what we can do offensively, we are going to do more with him,” Dean said. “We put a lot on him as far as checks and getting us in the right situation.”
“Because he understands the game so well, we are able to do that,” Dean continued. “That is a big positive for us from an offensive standpoint.”
A few freshman recruits who joined the program this fall will help lead the team to victory while also making an impact at the University of West Georgia. Micah Thurman from Northside Warner Robins will play linebacker, Carson Yancy from Alabama will play cornerback, Cameran Brown from Northside Warner Robins will play as a backup quarterback and Festus Davies from Dacula will play outside linebacker.
“The rest of our signing class that we had last year were fortunate enough from a depth standpoint,” Dean said. “We could register those guys and let them have an opportunity to grow in the program.”
The Wolves have a chance to go undefeated this season after going nine to three last season.
“Ultimately an undefeated season is our goal,” Dean said. “We have to stay healthy, have a lot of luck and a lot of things go our way.
“This league is very very hard,” Dean continued. “Hopefully in the end when we finish our 10 game regular season we will be 10 and 0 and headed to the playoffs.”
Valdosta State is one of the team’s main rivals. Since 1983, West Georgia and Valdosta State have played each other in the Gulf South Conference. Their last competition was held on Nov. 27, 2021. Valdosta won with a 66-35 score. The Wolves will attempt a comeback against Valadosta in the Hall of Fame game on Oct. 22.
West Florida, West Alabama and Delta State are some other competitive teams.
“Valdosta State had a great year last year, beat us twice,” Dean said. “We got to get in a position where we can knock all those guys off this year.
“The two top premiere teams for us right now according to preseason polls are Valdosta and West Florida,” Dean continued. “That is always a positive when you can play teams like that at home.”
The season opener against Carson-Newnan was held yesterday, Sept. 1. The Wolves will face Morehouse in their next matchup on Saturday, Sept. 10.
Tickets can be purchased at uwg.athletics.com/tickets or via the Hometown Fan App. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets online for a quick and secure process due to the stadium going cashless at the gates for the 2022 season.
“I am really excited about the season, I think we have a good group of players,” Dean said. “They play the game because they love it, it is going to be an exciting group to watch each week. I can promise folks that.”