There’s an age-old phrase that says, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
The saying is said to date back over 2,500 years to Aesop, the Greek fable writer. Simply put, it means don’t assume something is going to happen before it does.
The phrase comes to mind when I think of Warren County football fans. After one win over a surprisingly punchless DeKalb County squad, Pioneer faithful are already examining the schedule and declaring all the wins.
This week’s game should be easy, I’ve heard some say. The Pioneers are going to coast past White County.
Cookeville might be tough in Week 3, but we should be able to beat Shelbyville and Coffee County after that. At worst Warren County should be 4-1. If we can sneak up on Cookeville, there’s a chance at 5-0!
My response to all this talk is another time-honored phrase, “Hold your horses.”
I’m as giddy as the next guy when it comes to Pioneer football victories, but I’ve also seen first-hand how WCHS football can bask in overconfidence. I find it a mystery how a team that’s had just one winning season since 1984 can think it’s going to win just by stepping on the field, but it happens consistently.
The last time the Pioneers beat Smithville in the opening game, in 2014, they lost their next three to Shelbyville, Cookeville and Coffee County, showing little effort in the process.
The last time the Pioneers started 4-0, in 2007, they got crushed by a plodding Coffee County team, 40-0.
The most glaring example of overconfidence came in 2005 when the Pioneers were 5-3 and entering their last home game of the season against Coffee County at 1-7. The Red Raiders could have saved gas money and stayed in Manchester because coming to McMinnville was a waste of time, Pioneer fans boasted.
Unfortunately, Coffee County made the trip and decided to play football. Warren County opted to play patty-cake and was stunned by an awful Red Raider squad, 24-21.
The Pioneers lost to Riverdale to finish the regular season 5-5, then lost in the opening round of the playoffs to end the year 5-6 and extend the string of losing seasons.
To show there is in fact a moral to this story, I will dig into my bag of sayings for this one, “The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
I believe the Pioneer football team is fully capable of beating White County this Friday night. If Warren County keeps playing with relentless intensity, the Pioneers will win and improve to 2-0.
Just don’t expect White County to roll over for a belly rub because the Pioneers won a football game.