The final touches will be applied to the football program Wednesday before the Pioneers break for the summer. Warren County will hold its last practice of the spring this week, wrapping up what coach Turner has deemed a “great” stretch for his program.
The Pioneers have been working hard to rebound from back-to-back, one-win seasons. Retooling the roster, and the coaching staff, has led to a revived team this spring, one that Turner feels is embracing the grind.
“We’ve had great energy, particularly in the first couple days and weeks we got back to the practice field,” said Turner, who will be entering his fifth season as coach this fall. “We’re really pushing physicality and they’re loving it. Where in the last couple years we may have assumed kids knew how to hit and how to get it, we’re just finding it out now.
“These kids want to work, they want to get better and they’re being physical every day.”
PJ Truax, a bruising runner getting ready for his senior season, has set the tone in many team settings. His rugged running style is tailor-made for new offensive coordinator Josh Harris’ running scheme. Silas Martin has also been a big part of the game plan, while speedsters Adrian Harris and Isaiah Robledo were showing their shiftiness in Monday’s workout.
“Josh has been a shot in the arm in terms of bringing new looks to the offense. Our running game is still similar, but he brings a lot of energy and experience and the kids are buying into it,” said Turner about his new offensive coordinator that has arrived in Warren County after years at Oakland.
Rising sophomore Jr Mares and Tony Mathis are helping pave the way up front, while Xander McCormick drew praise from his coach for his “night and day difference” in physicality and readiness since stepping off the field last fall.
Turner has also seen many kids step up to the challenge when it comes to battling for positions. Several spots are up for grabs after several starters graduated and the coaching staff is preaching a “best 11” mantra on both sides of the ball.
“We want to find out who are our best 11. The competition for spots has been evident already. We’re starting to see options emerge on where we can find spots for kids,” said Turner.
Warren County was hopeful it could wrap up spring with a scrimmage Thursday, but that idea has been shot down. Because school has been dismissed this week (including a final 2-hour day planned for Thursday), the Pioneers will not be able to have any more practices after Thursday’s final day. Turner noted that the team will be able to have a long holiday weekend before returning for offseason workouts next Tuesday.
The grind can never stop if the Pioneers want to succeed this fall.