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Changing the culture
Coach Johnson pleased with practice approach
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The talk around fall camp for the Warren County High School team has centered around changing the culture. Coach Tommy Johnson and the Pioneers aren’t satisfied with being mediocre.
With that in mind, coach Johnson and his team have approached each workout this week with something to prove. Every practice rep has added importance. Every drill is designed to be competitive. Every Pioneer gives his all each play.
The change in the climate is visible and coach Johnson believes the effort his team is giving now should translate onto the field when games begin Friday, Aug. 23.
“The thing I’m excited about is the attitude of the team going into practice,” said Johnson. “We’re working hard and wanting to be successful in everything we do. Guys are requesting extra reps just to make sure they’re doing it right.
“We’re expecting to execute correctly and going out on the field with a purpose each day.”
Practicing twice a day, coach Johnson has had plenty of time to evaluate his team on offense and defense. Both will be debuting new schemes this fall, which means players are having to learn new plays and techniques on the fly.
The transition has looked seamless though as players have embraced the balance offensive coordinator Chris MacKeown is striving for and the sound defensive principles coach Johnson is preaching.
The success has only added to the confidence level of the Pioneers, something that was soaring coming out of the offseason when the team performed admirably in camps and 7-on-7 scrimmages.
Senior tight end and linebacker Drew Davidson, who is going through his fourth fall camp under coach Johnson, can sense the team is growing each day and getting better.
“Everything is changing. The attitude of the team is great,” said Davidson. “We look sharp on both sides of the ball. We’re organized and everything is running smoothly.”
While the entire team seems to be progressing at a pace that pleases coach Johnson, a few Pioneers are standing out in team and individual drills.
Many of the team’s seniors realize the time is now and are seizing starting spots on each side of the ball. Senior D’Andre League, a cornerback and all-purpose offensive player, continues to make plays every time he touches the ball. League could be a factor as a receiver, running back and returner for the Pioneers.
Davidson and fellow seniors Lee Carden, Logan Wanamaker, Ethan Turner and Cameron Lusk could all see their names atop the depth chart at positions on both sides of the ball.
Carden has started at safety since his freshman year and is one of the team’s top playmakers at wide receiver.
Wanamaker and Turner are terrors in the trenches while Lusk hopes to carrying the load at running back while also working as a linebacker and rush end on defense.
The Pioneers will get a chance to make plays this Saturday in front of their faithful fans at Nunley Stadium when the team holds an intersquad scrimmage as part of the Boys 2 Men football event.
The WCHS football team is set to bring a full day of football to an end when the team takes the field at 6 p.m. The event begins at noon with youth league football. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-12.