WEST ISHPEMING, Mich (WJMN) – The Westwood Football program has found its new leader, naming Jacob Wolf as the team’s next head coach.

Wolf has most recently spent time as the junior varsity head football coach at Westwood High, while also taking the reigns in the weight room as the head strength and conditioning coach.

“I’m ready to get to work,” said Wolf. “A lot of tradition, a lot of standards have been built and upheld throughout the years recently and I’m excited to carry that on and build that. I know that there’s a lot of work that has to happen between now and August, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Wolf takes over for legendary head coach Scott Syrjala, who spent seven years on the sidelines at Westwood pushing the program to prominence. In Syrjala’s final season, he led the Patriots to a 10-2 record, capturing a West-Pac Conference title and the program’s first district title in school history. Wolf says Syrjala is a big reason why he’s in the position he is in today.

“He’s a guy that took a chance on me seven years ago,” said Wolf. “I’ve learned under his wing and I remember the first meeting I had with him, we had all the coaches there, I probably filled up 10 pages of notes in a seven-hour coach’s meeting just learning and developing a lot of my philosophies and thoughts from him.”

Wolf says he plans to continue building the program through the ‘Westwood Way,’ which is a standard built on three main core values.

“The ‘Westwood Way’ in a relentless effort in everything we do, good people make good athletes, and an uncommon commitment to prepare,” said Wolf.

Wolf, a graduate of WHS in 2008, says he’s proud of the strides the program has made since he took the field wearing a Patriots jersey.

“That success, that brings a smile to my face,” said Wolf. “I think back to when we were here and just certain things of 5-6 kids doing things right in the offseason, now we have 30-40 kids at times working hard and doing things the right way.”

The Patriots are already hard at work preparing for next season, hitting the weights hard during their offseason program.

“These last few years, I think of guys like Nate Beckman, Blake Hewitt, Ashton Bergman all those guys in that class,” said Wolf. “Up to even last year, we had Zach Carlson, Travis Uren, Zach Beckman, guys like that leading the way. There are a lot of guys that have done things the right way for a long time and laid a great foundation in the offseason for me and all of our kids to follow and the standard is to continue that.”

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