Building back Warren County football to its glory days of the 1980s won’t be done overnight. New Pioneer Scott Smith realizes the task at hand will be a long process and he’s hopeful his latest idea may help with the process.
Coach Smith and the Pioneer staff will be overseeing the first Warren County football skills challenge this Saturday on the Warren County High School practice football field. The event – originally scheduled to be held at Nunley Stadium – will begin with registration at 9 a.m., followed by kids taking part in a kick, punt and pass challenge starting at 9:30 a.m.
The event is free to kids ages 8-15. Coach Smith is hopeful a large number of potential future Pioneers will come out and show their skills.
“We want to be a resource for Warren County. We’ll be there helping out and hopefully getting players introduced to Pioneer football,” said Smith. “I think this is a way to get Warren County football visible to our upcoming freshmen, our middle school players and our youth football players.”
The event will be split into four age categories (ages 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15) with awards given to the top three finishers in each division. Each participant will get one throw, one kick from a tee and one punt in the contest. The winners will be decided by total distance accumulated in the three events.
Coach Smith believes the traditional kick, punt and pass contest is just a start of trying to get younger kids excited about Warren County football.
“We want everybody to know that we don’t think Warren County has went quietly into the night as a football program. We’re going to do things for kids that hopefully get them excited and enthusiastic about football in this community,” said Smith.
The event was moved to the WCHS practice field after a conflict with another event at Nunley Stadium. Smith chose to move the venue instead of postponing the event until July.
After being hired in January, Smith has gotten off to a quick start with the Pioneers. During offseason workouts, Smith was able to keep participation numbers in the 80s as several prospective players seemed to be interested in the new coach. The numbers didn’t seem to dip when the Pioneers went through spring practice and held their own in scrimmages against Page and Forrest.
Coach Smith believes his team still is a work in progress, but the players are sharpening their skills and starting to adapt to Smith’s style.
“We have a very long way to go, but we are working hard to get better,” said Smith. “I believe people will see a well-prepared team this fall.”
Smith mentioned how several of his team’s varsity players have been attending several college camps. The Pioneers will be able to do camp work starting in July.