By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Pioneers ready to work
Clay Thompson
File photo Clay Thompson, pictured catching a touchdown last season in Fayetteville, will be one of many young players who will be counted on to take the next step this fall. The Pioneers begin spring practice Monday and will finish the spring with a scrimmage Friday, May 18 against Grundy County.

Almost six months to the day the Pioneers last hit the gridiron, coach Tom Moore is getting the team ready to put on the pads once again.

The Warren County High School football team is set to start spring practice Monday, the first of nine dates the team is set to hit the field over three weeks.

The Pioneers saw last year's season end Oct. 26 with a 56-7 loss to Oakland, which fell in the state semifinals.

Warren County lost a number of key contributors from last season, including record-setting quarterback Isaiah Grayson. With holes to fill, coach Moore plans on focusing on fundamentals this spring.

"Spring practice is a time to improve. We're looking for a number of younger guys to step up and be ready to play high school football," said Moore. "This group is committed. They have been fun to coach so far. They need to improve everyday."

One person who believes last year's 3-7 campaign will help the younger Pioneers is a player who was a big part of each win. Grayson believes his former teammates are ready to take the mantle.

"The upcoming group is very determined. They're putting in hard work and really trying to get stronger and faster," said Grayson. "They really want to prove everyone wrong and try to get Warren County back to the old days of winning a lot of games."

One area where the Pioneers can lean on for experience and talent is in the trenches.

"The offensive line is a strength of the team. It's virtually impossible to be successful without strong play on the line," said Moore.

Along with fundamentals, strength and conditioning will be at the forefront. The offseason has seen several players make big gains, but Monday will be their first chance to apply their hard work.

"Strength and conditioning is critical. We can't afford to miss days," said Moore.

The Pioneers aren't expected to be at full strength for the spring. Many players expected to fill roles this fall are currently playing spring sports. With spots to fill and knowing there are more athletes waiting in the wings, Moore is encouraging students to give football a try.

"There are some good young athletes in our school," said Moore. "We have a good environment and would love to have them join us. I've noticed nearly all of our kids are encouraging each other to be successful. That's what you need to be a team."

Moore asks any prospective student interested in playing football this season to come see him as soon as possible with spring practice beginning this week.

The Pioneers will conclude the spring with a home scrimmage Friday, May 18. Warren County will welcome the Grundy County Jackets to Nunley Stadium.