Two weeks off led to some tired legs and exhausted players when the Pioneers got back on the gridiron Monday.
Matt Turner wasted little time getting his Warren County football team acclimated to the training program they were on before the TSSAA dead period. The only problem? Two weeks of rust had to be knocked off first.
“Typical Monday, post-dead period blues,” said Turner. “Lots of a shell shock. I don’t think they knew we were going to be getting into the X’s and O’s so quickly. It was definitely a shock to the freshmen and rightfully so.
“It’s the first time for the freshmen to be on the high school practice field and in the locker rooms with the varsity guys. They handled themselves well.”
Despite the long layoff, Turner did see a big bright spot. The varsity Pioneers didn’t need a refresher offensively.
“The varsity retained a lot of what we did prior to dead period, particularly our offensive install. We picked up where we left off and they responded well,” said Turner.
Warren County worked out for three hours Monday. Turner stressed conditioning throughout the workout, hoping to build back some stamina that may have been lost over the dead period. It was just the start of more work to follow.
The Pioneers will be busy during their first week back. Warren County will have five workouts this week, including Friday’s Lift-a-Thon fundraiser.
Pioneer players are currently taking donations for the Lift-A-Thon, which will consist of players looking for their max lift in the bench press, squat, power clean and dead lift. Contributors can donate per pound lifted or make a flat donation.
Turner is hopeful the community continues its passionate support for football, one he’s seen only grow since taking over in March.
“It’ll be a good opportunity for the public to come out and see our guys and our facilities,” said Turner. “We’re going to do the dead lift Wednesday because doing four max lifts in one day is a bit much. On Friday, we’ll do squats in the weight room and the bench and power clean in the facility.”
The event is set to start at 5 p.m. Donations can be made at the event.
With just 44 days until kickoff Friday, Aug. 23 against DeKalb County, the roster is starting to take shape. Turner is hopeful to have a completed varsity roster by next week, with players currently not with the team needing to contact members of the coaching staff as soon as possible.
Freshmen can continue to come out through the summer and into the first week of school, though they’re encouraged to come to this week’s workouts to prep for the season.
It won’t be long before the lights come on at Nunley Stadium. Turner already has visions of a packed crowd – his slogan, “Fill the Hill” already litters many social media accounts of coaches and players. Before then, the Pioneers will have to survive the dog days of summer.
Monday was the first step.