OXON HILL – The Potomac Wolverines reached the 3A state semifinals in 2015 and 2016. Last season was supposed to be the year that they finally made it through the roadblocks to the state final game, but things did not go as planned.
Potomac ended last season with their worst record (5-6) in over a decade and the worst record under nine-year Head Coach Ronnie Crump, but said with the loss of seven defensive starters and five offensive starters from last season, Crump and the Wolverines will have to work together to reach that state championship game. But the talent has always been there.
“This program is built to have an attitude of trying to play 14 games a year,” Crump said. “The last three of the four years we won regional championships and made it to the state-semifinal, which wasn’t good enough for this program.
“I’ve been around here 20 years, and I’ve seen us get to that level before. We are just trying to get the program back to that championship level.”
One of the offensive leaders last year was junior starting quarterback Dominique Anthony. Anthony had 2100 total yards and threw for 22 touchdowns last season. Anthony believes that his squad can not only win states this season but also go undefeated.
“We need to the put ball in the end zone more and commit fewer turnovers,” Anthony said. “We need to work on catching the ball and executing plays. “We need actually to commit, come to practice every day, keep working hard, not taking any days off and just grinding every day.
“I, myself, can make better reads and study more, but we are strong at running the ball right now, and we just got a new offensive coordinator, so we need to learn new plays.”
Anthony will have the services of senior running back Kevin Hayward who is primed and ready for a big year. He averaged more than four yards per carry last season.
Hayward thinks that Potomac could have had a successful season last year if they “approached the game more seriously because last year they were playing around a lot.”
Hayward went on to say that the team did not take the practices seriously either. The players would hang out the night before practices, and it would affect their practice and game performance. However, this year’s team is more committed to achieving the goal of winning more games this upcoming season with a talented group of returning players.
“We got to take it one game at a time and work hard,” Hayward said. “If we look too far ahead at the championship, we could fall short. So we are just trying to take it one practice, one game at a time. I will be a leader, run the ball hard and set the tone on offense.”
One of the bright spots from last season was their defense, which allowed just under 17 points per game to their opponents. One of the defensive leaders on that team is five-foot-eight, 312-pound senior defensive lineman Nasiem Farmer.
Farmer was a force to be reckoned with on the frontline last season with 32 tackles. He expects this defense, along with the rest of the team to make it to the state championship game and go undefeated.
“Last year, we only won five games, but we had all the talent in the world,” Farmer said. “Our strengths on defense is everybody knowing their assignment and everybody executing our weaknesses like tackling, but we going to get there.
“It was just a lack of leadership last season. This season I plan on my fellow captains taking on the team and me. I feel I can set an example in the game, drive them and I won’t let anyone slack. I can study more. I can make sure at the team meetings everybody be quiet and lead the team on and off the field by getting good grades and showing them what a leader is supposed to be.”
Potomac’s road to the state championship begins on Aug. 31 at Gwynn Park High School.
“We just need to realize how close we are and our kids know that,” Crump said. “We have to the understand the seriousness of the type of program we are. They have to realize what they involved in. That’s how Potomac is and how it’s always been. That’s what it is to me, that’s what it is to the alumni and that’s what it is to the community. These gentlemen here just have to realize it and understand you in a good place.”