THE MEEKINS WAY: Westfield's formula has 'Stangs ready for Duncanville
For more than two decades, the Meekins’ name has been synonymous with Westfield High School.
Corby Meekins became the head coach in 2004, before brother Matt Meekins took over.
That is the model of consistency.
“Westfield is a special place for me,” Matt Meekins said. “Every day, I’m on duty before school and talk smack to the kids coming into school. I laugh at these kids and tell them that I’ve been at Westfield before their parents were even holding hands.
“These are great kids here. They are fun,” he said “It’s always a great day to be a Mustang.”
The ‘Stangs are 11-2 on the season and 7-0 in district play.
“Our early games got us prepared for the playoffs,” he said. “Games against North Shore and Hightower taught us a lot against really tough competition, along with our district foes.”
Next up is Duncanville Saturday afternoon. It’s the Class 6A DI Region II Final and a State Final Four berth is in the balance. They know each other well.
“We are familiar with Duncanville,” he said. “Last year, we gave ourselves a chance (28-21).”
Duncanville would go on to win the State Title over North Shore.
“It all starts up front with the offensive and defensive lines,” he said. “We have to protect the QB and open up some lanes. It all draws up nice, but if you don’t win the line of scrimmage, you don’t have a chance.”
QB Miles Dent has thrown for 1,800 yards and RB Taji Atkins has rushed for over 2,200 yards… 2,200 yards! WRs Austin Abram, Emmanuel Yancy and Desmond Dixon stretch the field, but it’s all about the trenches.
Ray’quan Bell, Joseph Peters and Ryan Anderson are the bigs. They control the line of scrimmage.
“Duncanville has a strong defensive front,” he said. “We are gonna need to get a push or have a stalemate up front to win the game.”
On defense, District Player of the Year Bryson Balka and Xavier McCray anchor the defense up front. Linebackers Breylon Wyatt and Keshawn Monroe are solid in the middle of the field, while Carson Williams and Joseph Albright patrol the secondary.
The names change, but the philosophy stays the same.
“They go out there and do their job,” Meekins said. “They just hit people. Play from the snap to the whistle and get ready for the next play. All of the other stuff is irrelevant.”
In last season’s game, both teams were heavily penalized for extra-curricular activities. The jawing, the personal fouls, the unsportsmanlike stuff.
“We just need to keep our heads,” he said. “That is extremely important just to keep our composure. I tell the guys, ‘Don’t let it be you’.”
Run the ball, play physical defense and play with pride and the Westfield Mustangs could take down the defending State Champs.
That has been the Mustangs’ winning formula for over 20 years… the Meekins Way.