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Everlasting Joy - Reason to hope
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My first glimpse of the 2022 WCHS football team was a good one Friday night at Nunley Stadium.

What stood out for the Pioneers in their scrimmage against South Pittsburg?

Braylon Grayson. Grayson is tenacity in shoulder pads. He’s tough and physical and seems to embody everything that’s football.

When the Pioneers had the ball on their first offensive drive and desperately needed 4 yards for a first down, guess who got the handoff. It was Braylon. He churned through tacklers to pick up the first down and later scored on the drive. The kid has got it.

Nate Elrod isn’t bad either. The Pioneer quarterback showed he’s in control of the offense and even made plays when there were mistakes.

On Warren County’s first scoring drive, Elrod picked up a fumble in the backfield and gained 6 yards. This annoyed the South Pittsburg coaches, who couldn’t believe Elrod was able to squirm ahead for 6 yards on a busted play.

The Pioneers look stacked at the skill positions and there should be enough firepower to move the ball on offense. But success in football is dependent on stopping opponents, unless you can outscore everyone 42-41.

Warren County was playing without several key components on defense. Two of those key components were Dayton Jernigan and Levi Melton.

I had to raise red flags, at least a little, when the firstteam Pioneer defense was on the field Friday. South Pittsburg started the scrimmage with the longest drive in recorded high school football history.

OK, so it might not have been that long, but South Pittsburg held the ball for the entire first quarter and half of the second quarter. Fans in a hurry to see the Pioneer offense Friday night had a long wait because South Pittsburg marched down the field like a methodical snail.

I’ve been talking up this Warren County football team to anyone who will listen. I think the Pioneers will be steady on defense and hopefully create turnovers with some hard hits.

I remember John McCormick when he played football for the Pioneers decades ago. Now two of his sons are on this team. The McCormick family seems to grow a bigger type of boy. Xander and Chandler McCormick caught my eye with some tough plays Friday night.

Warren County starts the season with four straight games on the road. Could the Pioneers play their first home game at Nunley Stadium in mid-September and be a perfect 4-0? Why not?