In Play with Tom Markowski

Top games: Zeeland West continues to run the T-formation, and win

Football   | Tom Markowski

State Champs! Sports Network



Zeeland – It’s more of the same for Zeeland West this season as the Dux continue to wear down teams with their tight T-formation offense and, often, a rested defense.

West is the only program to have lost just one game in the past two and half seasons. West is 6-0 and is 32-1 going back to the start of 2013.

The Dux will host Byron Center (5-1) on Friday for what will be, in all likelihood, the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green Division title. Both teams are 2-0 in the division with three game left.

As is most seasons there is no one standout player for coach John Shillito but one can’t overlook the leadership qualities and experience of quarterback Casey Brinks. He was the starter on the team that went 14-0 and won the Division 4 title in ’13. He also started last season when West lost to Muskegon in the Division 3 semifinals.

 For those curious on which division West will fall into this season, Shillito said he’s team in on the bubble and it’s possible he and his staff won’t know which division they’ll fall (Division 3 or 4) until the final weekend of the regular season.

Back to Brinks. He’s 6-foot and 175 pounds, and his main responsibility is to manage the offense. Another senior, running back Darius Perisee, leads the team in rushing with just over 1,000 yards and the best player is probably Zach VanValkenburg (6-4, 235), a three-year starter who starts at defensive end and offensive tackle.

But is all starts with Brinks. It’s his execution that gets the offense started.

”A lot of it is good leadership,” Shillito said. “And it’s also about taking care of the football. Also, when asked to do that one big play, and do it, that’s tough. He’s even keel.”

Brinks’ twice brother, Riley (6-0, 205), starts at guard and linebacker, and is a returning starter. But another key to West’s success is the play of two first-year starters, offe