Only the dead period will stop the Warren County High School football team from working to get better. The Pioneers were back grinding Wednesday night, participating in the third week of Nunley Nights.
The weekly workout, which was planned to be held at Nunley Stadium before weather forced it indoors each of the last two weeks, has been a tremendous hit with players. New coach Matt Turner has increased the program's numbers in short time and those showing up have been competing in every drill.
Wednesday's workout added some new individual competitions, including a two-on-one blocking drill where players tried to beat a double team to get to a center circle. Lineman Dillon Haley had an impressive showing in the drill, resembling a part-time breakfast cook serving pancakes to his teammates.
Turner isn't waiting until August 23 - when the Pioneers debut at home against DeKalb County - to see if he has winners. Each drill is set up to have a winner, and players are working hard to come out on top.
Three weeks of workouts have shown Warren County is starting to build a good blend of powerful blockers and athletic playmakers.
In the trenches, Dellan Watson continues to turn heads, with his imposing figure - 6-foot-7, 300 pounds - standing out. Haley and Douglas Wells have been nearly unbeatable in one-on-one tests of strength. Garrett Ashburn and Eli Fults are big, mobile blockers. Kaden Jordan and Noah Martin are still working back from injuries, but both should play big roles this fall.
CJ Taylor is already a house-hold name among Pioneer fans. It's easy to see why. The do-it-all junior looks more explosive during workouts, signaling hope he can improve on his 500 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore.
He should have help.
Eli Buchanan is emerging as a senior leader, one capable of playing a number of positions on both sides of the ball. Ditto for Dante Elam, an impressive athlete making strides in workouts. Xander Lee is a chiseled, 230-pound wrecking ball who has shown the ability to run the ball in the past. Lacedrick Cox was a welcome addition in the spring, though the rising senior is spending the summer with the basketball team, where he was all-district as a junior.
Warren County will conclude its June workouts with next week's "Dawn of the Dead" event Friday, June 21. It is the final workout before the TSSAA's mandated dead period to start July.