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Predicting next year's Pioneers
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The sound you’re hearing is another school year passing overhead. Just like that, school is out and it’s time for summer vacation, a time when children have too much time on their hands and take their boredom out on the neighborhood.
Summer vacation is a time when the days are still 24 hours, but they just seem so much longer. I remember, in an effort to occupy the hours, I spent many a summer vacation day watching “The Price Is Right.” If trying to guess the cost of supermarket items isn’t a sign of acute blahs, I don’t know what is.
When summer vacation finally subsides and a new school year opens its arms, it will be time for more Warren County High School sports. This year was a fairly competitive one for Pioneer Nation. The football team was just two plays away from a 6-4 season, both basketball teams were around the .500 mark, and the baseball team fought Cookeville down to the wire in the district championship game.
Gazing into my trusty crystal ball, how do things look for Warren County’s major sports teams next year? It could be interesting.
I don’t want to be a continual downer, but it’s going to be challenging for the Pioneer football team in its new district with Smyrna, Riverdale, Blackman and other Midstate heavyweights. I’m convinced this is the wrong district for Warren County, but the Pioneers have to try and make the best hand with the cards they’ve been dealt.
Warren County football will be looking to continue its solid play from a 4-6 season. If you toss out one-sided losses to Cookeville and Rhea County, the Pioneers had a chance to win their other eight games entering the fourth quarter. We can only hope for such good fortune this coming season.
As for the Pioneer basketball team, coach Chris Sullens has held tryouts and set his roster. After an extremely young team last year, the Pioneers figure to be youthful again with only two seniors on the squad.
While coach Sullens is quick to remind Pioneer fans this is only year two of a five-year rebuilding plan, I look for the Warren County boys to really show improvement. If the Pioneers can reduce turnovers and get a little more muscle in the paint, the wins should start to accumulate.
As of yesterday, the Lady Pioneers basketball roster wasn’t set, according to coach Shea Panter. But if we operate under the assumption the team’s eligible players will all return, it could be a year where the Warren County girls contend with the district leaders with a solid mix of inside and perimeter players.
As is always the case with baseball, pitching will be the key for WCHS next year. The Pioneers didn’t have great pitching depth this season, but that seemed to be the tone around the entire district. Still, the baseball team has shown a knack for pulling out wins under coach Adam Childs.
I don’t think it’s fair to expect a winning record from our football team in this new power conference, but some of our other teams will have a chance to make statements next year.