Newsome High junior quarterback Will Worth is more confident than ever of making a return trip to the playoffs this season, thanks to a successful sophomore year and plenty of brotherly love.
"We've won our district the past three years, but those seasons are gone," Worth said. "We are working hard to make it to state for the first time in school history. We have to take it one game at a time."
Worth, 16, led Newsome to an 8-4 record and a postseason appearance against Plant last season. The Wolves lost the game, but Worth came away with a taste of what it's like to compete against a football powerhouse.
"It was awesome," said Worth, who threw a touchdown pass to his brother Joe that tied the score in the first quarter. "It was definitely a great boost in confidence and makes me work harder to get to that level."
The Worth brothers teamed up for three of the four touchdown passes Will threw last season, including the first TD pass of Will's varsity career.
"My first TD pass was to my brother and it was a (TV) game," Will said. "That was definitely a thrill."
Joe Worth was a standout defensive player and tight end before graduating last school year. He is a football walk-on at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
"It's like a passing of the torch," Will said when asked about following in Joe's footsteps. "He taught me to work hard and never give up. That's contagious in the locker room and the weight room. My brother taught me as much as he could."
Newsome coach Ken Hiscock has no doubt the Worth family athletic tradition will be maintained this season.
"Will's character, work ethic and leadership is outstanding," Hiscock said. "He's a tough runner who can scramble and is very accurate when he throws the ball. He's a slinger with a strong arm."
Worth is a two-way player and feels his experience at quarterback is valuable when he moves to linebacker on defense.
"Being a quarterback makes the reads better on defense and vice versa," he said. "You get tired, but that's what you work on during the offseason."