Niagara Gazette — Along the way he’s plucked coaches who have N-W ties to assemble a strong staff to assist him. There is Ed Schiffert, who has coached with Brayley for the last 15 years and is the brother of the Falcons’ coach, and also former N-W player and coach John Gansworth.
“You don’t have to do a whole lot of thinking to realize success breeds success,” said Brayley, who also receives coaching help from Brian Peck and Hank Smith. “So we’re trying to create that winning culture at Wilson.”
The Lakemen are still developing, entering their ninth year in federation, but their philosophy is showing promising signs. Wilson, which play in Class C, had a team-record-setting 13-5 2012 before regressing to 2-15 last season.
The decline had much to do with being young, which they are no longer. Wilson boasts 14 seniors and returns most of its starters, making Brayley enthusiastic.
“With more mature players, we have the opportunity this year to dictate the pace to other teams instead of having them dictate what they want to run,” Brayley said. “We’re encouraged by that.”
The roster as a whole is front and back heavy. Brayley likes the goal-scorers and defenders he has. He said it’s just a matter of finding the guys who can capably transition the ball between those two strengths.
Senior Tim Walch, the 2013 first-team All-Class C defender, will co-captain the squad with senior midfielder Kevin Daunce. Walch is do-everything player — he led the team with 86 ground balls last year and can move up as the power-play quarterback — while Daunce is defensive-minded gritty player who outworks everyone on the field.
Senior Justin Westmorland is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound hard-nosed competitor who will side with Daunce to add punch at midfield. He led the Lakemen in takeaways in 2013. Brayley sees the scoring potential at midfield coming from sophomore Jacob Rice.