2016 All-County Coach of the Year: Cantrell led Wildcats to record-setting season
Posted On:
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
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The News Courier 12/24/16 by Jonathan Deal

West Limestone didn't have the biggest team. They weren't the fastest or most athletic group in the state.

The 2016 West Limestone football team had something an outside wouldn't notice and took more than two years to earn it.

“It” is hard to put a finger on. Some would call it chemistry or unselfishness. Whatever “it” was, it carried West Limestone to its first nine-win season in school history. The architect behind one of the most successful team's in school history was third-year head coach Jordan Cantrell, who is the News Courier's 2016 Coach of the Year.

“It was about all of them,” said Cantrell. “There were only 33 of them that could withstand the high expectations we had and be held accountable for that. There was a bond like no other among these guys. That's why we had the best team in school history.”

Cantrell had a rocky start to his coaching career, playing five playoff-bound teams in his first five games. After starting 0-5, Cantrell's team finished the season 3-2 and carried momentum in to last season. That team went 8-4 and upset a ranked Saks team on the road in the first round.

“We were a close group then, but we were young,” said Cantrell. “We knew that they were going to be something special, because they bought in when we were 3-7. The effort and bond was always there. We knew that we were building something.”

Most of the players from that 2015 team returned for this year, including All-State selections Chase Lancaster and Reed Blankenship. With expectations at an all-time high in Lester, Cantrell's team met them and more.

West Limestone finished the regular season 9-1 with victories over Tanner, East Limestone and Deshler. They beat a talented Madison County team in the first round of the playoffs and narrowly lost to Cherokee County on the last play of the game in the second round of the playoffs.

As close as this group of players are it made it that much tougher to lose one of their own when senior Cole Smith was killed in a car accident Thanksgiving night.

“They are the closest group of young men I've been around,” said Cantrell. “I know we didn't win a state championship, but I don't know of any other organization in football that was close as this group. It's really helped us get over some tough times the last few weeks.”

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Our West Limestone Football Family is very proud of Reed Blankenship for signing with MTSU to play football. UPDATE WITH PHOTOS 2/2 MS Scholars Bowl Spirit Award Winners MSG All Tournament Team MSB All Tournament Team JVG All Tournament Team
JVB All Tournament Team VG All Tournament Team VB All Tournament Team Band 16-17 *Updated 1/30 District and All-State Band Results MSG MSB VG VB County Champions Congratulations BETH CARTER! Sugar Creek Update 1/26 Congratulations Buford Bates! Congratulations Tina Hendrix Congratulations Andrew Thornton! Congratulations Lauren Baugher! Reed Blankenship named 4A Back of the Year! SkillsUSA Local Winners Experience gives Bozeman edge over competition All Area Girls CC Runner of the Year: Cassidy Winter ASWA All-State 4A: Reed Blankenship & Brayden Craig 2016 All-Huntsville Region: Reed Blankenship Decatur Daily 1A-4A All Area: Reed Walker, Austin Hobson, Jackson Gowan, Cody Smith, Brayden Craig, and Reed Blankenship All County Offense: Cody Smith, Austin Hobson, and Reed Blankenship! All County Defense: Reed Walker & Brayden Craig All Area Girls CC: Reilly Hooie, Brie Hughes, & Katie Serrato All Area Boys CC: Nick Roberson All County Volleyball: Ashlynn Brackeen & Ja'Hanna Harris 2016 All-County Coach of the Year: Cantrell led Wildcats to record-setting season 2016 All-County Player of the Year: Blankenship exceeded lofty expectations WLHS Spelling Bee Results Mrs. Craig, Mrs.Thrasher, our faculty, and staff are pleased to announce Eriel Gibson and Reanna Pipes have scored 30 or higher on their ACT exam. Congratulations! We are very proud of you! A big thank you to the Athletic Booster Club & Ed Winter for repairing our sound system and speakers. It sounds great! Charlotte Craig Luisa Brown First Place Smart Art College Counts Contest! Miss Merry Christmas We Mourn the Death of Cole Smith. American Education Week Football 2016 Cross Country Girls finished 3rd and Boys finished 8th in the State! First National Bank Advisory Board School Bus Safety Week Wendy's High School Heisman Winners Moon Phases Rap WLHS Won First Place in County FFA Forestry Competition NASA presentation to 6th Grade Griffin Holt awarded National Merit Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation!!! Kayla Griffin, Homecoming Queen Talent Show Winners Volleyball 2016 Cheer 16-17 Reed Blankenship commits to MTSU FFA 16-17 Welcome to our New Faculty & Staff 2016 Boys State 2016 Girls State 2016 First National Bank Student Advisory Board State Board of Education recognizes addition of West Limestone High School to the ALSDE/A+ College Ready Program for 2016-2017 (1 of 2 schools in Limestone County receiving this honor) West Limestone #2 in Limestone County when it comes to graduating students who are ready for college.