2018 meeting: Alto 48, Westwood 28
West's stat line: 16-of-24, 183 pass yards, 2 touchdowns; 12 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery
ALTO – Most football pundits would agree that quarterback is easily the toughest position in football. No other position comes with more pressure, demands, or expectations.
Enter Harmon West. Alto's two-way player quarterbacks both the offense and defense on Friday nights. When he's not driving his offense down the field, he's locking down opposing offenses at linebacker.
West helped steer the Yellowjackets from a 6-7 record in 2017 to an 8-4 finish last season. Last year, he was a first-team all-district player at linebacker, while making second-team all-district at quarterback.
The 6'1, 192-pound senior has accumulated 200 tackles in the past two seasons. He added quarterback duties to his list last year and passed for nearly 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns. West showed he could create havoc in the backfield with three tackles for a loss against Westwood in 2018.
He continued to showcase his skills for pursuing ball-carriers – finishing the season with 20 tackles for a loss, five sacks, and six forced fumbles. In his junior year, West earned an honorable mention at linebacker in the Texas Sports Writers Association all-state team.
Entering this year, West made the Tyler Morning Telegraph's “Preseason Dream Team” at linebacker. Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine expects West to make another leap in his senior year, after his selection as the District 10-2A-I Preseason Defensive Most Valuable Player.
West anchors an improving defense. In his sophomore year, his team gave up 417 total points (worst in the district). Last year, Alto reduced its 32-points- per-game allowed to 23. The team boasted the second best defense through district play, including back-to-back shutouts of Hawkins and Union Grove.
With unbridled admiration, Westwood Head Coach Richard Bishop called West talented, physical, and nasty.
“He's physical,” Bishop said. “He's that type of kid with that mentality: 'I'm going to duck my head and run over you.' There isn't any juking you. When he blitzes he's going to try to snap your head back. He's the kind of kid you want playing for you on that side of the ball.”