Twichell has amassed a 19-7 record in his two years leading the program

VANCEBORO - Like its two Craven County neighbors, New Bern and Havelock, football is feverish out west at West Craven, too.

The Eagles have had a steady few seasons of winning seasons and head coach Mike Twichell Jr. looks to make that a long-time trend.

While West Craven lost many solid players off last year's 2A Eastern Carolina Conference championship team, many also return.

Offensive lineman Josh Crump heads that list of returners as well as the likes of Latrell Campbell, Laqueze Campbell, Jon Ward, Tyquan Kearney and others.

Crump, who picked up college scholarship offers this week from Elon and Charleston Southern, said it's all about getting ready to be better when fall rolls around.

"I feel like this team has a lot of potential," Crump said. "Yeah we have a lot of young guys but I think we can get 100 percent out of them and many of them can help us."

Twichell has amassed a 19-7 record in his two years leading the program, but like most coaches this time of year, he is using his time to rep the fundamentals and get guys back ready for football.

"I'm looking for guys that want to learn and we've got them, we've seen it," Twichell said. "All this drilling and fundamentals - it's going to pay off."

West Craven will have the target on its back as champions from a year ago, its first season as a 2A school since dropping from 3A.

As with anywhere in Craven County, expectations are there but Twichell welcomes it.

"We've had guys emerge this winter as leaders in the weight room and it's carried over to the practice field already," Twichell said. "The older guys get the younger guys to commit and buy in and we feel like we have quality coaches and quality players and we expect to win a lot of games."

Crump also feels that the team has a lot of strengths at multiple positions on the field.

"The biggest thing for us is just effort," he said. "When you have talented guys they just have to give 100 percent and you can be unstoppable."

 Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at jordan.honeycutt@newbernsj.com