Football and family make for winning combination at Westside
The number 12 is special to the Risper family.
Spoon Risper’s father wore the number, and then Spoon wore it, followed by his brother.
Now Spoon, the head coach at Westside, gets to see his oldest son, Scooter, wear the number for the Seminoles. Scooter is a junior for his father’s team, which opens its season Aug. 18 against Howard.
“That’s amazing to have your son play for you,” Spoon said. “A lot of coaches that coach their kids they tend to go overboard in trying to show the other players that you’re not going to treat them any differently, which I don’t. It’s joy to have my son every day, and to see him actually enjoy playing for his dad, it’s special. Opportunities like these come once in a lifetime; well in my case, I have two other sons, so three times in a lifetime.
“We’re a football family. My wife, she loves football. My daughter, she cheers for football, she loves football. Football is kind of like 24/7 in our house. It’s music, we love gospel music; we’re in a gospel band, and we love music and football, and that’s pretty much how our lifestyle is.”
Scooter is a wide receiver/quarterback for the Seminoles, who finished 6-5 last season with a young roster. The Seminoles reached the playoffs in 2016 for the seventh time in Spoon’s eight seasons as their head coach.
Spoon has a 64-27 record with the Seminoles.
“It’s pretty cool because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I have to take advantage of these opportunities,” Scooter said of playing for his father. “It’s a football family. My little brothers are coming up, and they’re going to be a part of his team, and it’s just a great feeling.
“He’s tough on me, but you know he’s going to have your back at the end of the day. He’s tough on me because he knows my potential and knows what I can do.”
Spoon is excited about the potential of this year’s Westside team. He mentioned senior defensive back Tavores Pearson, who has an offer from Army, and senior tight end/wide receiver/defensive lineman Omar Jones, who is getting looks from Auburn, as leaders for the Seminoles.
“We went through our growing pains last year. We played a lot, a lot, of young kids, but now they’re starting to grow up. We’re interested in seeing how far they’ve come,” Spoon said. “Any experience helps. Our kids have gone through the tough part of getting the game experience and the experience in how Friday nights are when the team is depending on you instead of standing on the sidelines.”
Westside Seminoles 2017
Head coach: Spoon Risper.
2016 record: 6-5.
Returning starters (offense/defense): 8/8.
Players to watch: Omar Jones (Sr., TE/WR/DL); Tyshaun Freeman (Jr., RB); Emanuel Boone (Sr., OL); Jay’Shaun Booker (Jr., OL); Brenden Anderson (Sr., WR); Landon Emery (Jr., WR); Scooter Risper (Jr., WR); Jaylon Barden (Soph., WR); Victor Dixon (Soph., QB); Tavores Pearson (Sr., DB); A.J Banks (Jr., DL); Quintaevious Brown (Jr., DL); Jehlen Cannady (Soph., DB); De’Angelo Mack-Haynes (Sr., LB); Anthony Jordan (Sr., LB); Nathaniel Brookins (Jr. DB).
Aug. 18 vs. Howard
Aug. 25 vs. Southwest
Sept. 1 at Northside
Sept. 15 B.E.S.T
Sept. 22 Peach County
Sept. 29 at Jackson
Oct. 6 vs. Rutland
Oct. 20 Pike County
Oct. 27 vs. Central
Nov. 2 Kendrick