Relating an interesting bit of Warren County Middle School Pioneer football history, the 2016 undefeated Pioneer team’s Central Tennessee Conference or CTC Championship Bowl win over the visiting Tullahoma Wildcats made for a perfect season under the guidance of head coach Donnie Harris.
Interestingly, in 2006, the Warren County Pioneers went undefeated in the season and won the CTC Bowl under Coach Harris as well … that would be Coach Bill Harris, Donnie Harris’ father.
Coach Donnie Harris remembers watching his father’s team during that time.
It was fun to watch that team play,” Harris said. “They had a lot of very good football players, but they were also competitors. They stepped it up and played their best in the biggest games they had. It’s great to have an undefeated season, but to do it on the 10th anniversary of the last one, and that team being coached by my dad, makes it a little more special in our family.”
In the interim, head coach Greg Cotten took the Pioneers to a 2010 conference win, establishing a linear success pattern for the Warren County Middle School.
“I also heard from Coach Cotten yesterday,” Coach Donnie Harris added. “His 2010 team was the last to win the conference at the middle school and he congratulated us and is proud of what this team has done.
Reflecting on his son’s win Saturday, Coach Bill Harris remembers the road to success wasn’t always smooth.
“I think they worked hard all year long. They took their lumps last year with 16 seventh graders,” said Bill Harris. “They went through some rocky times with suspensions and injuries but never let it show on the field. I’m really proud of the team.”
On his team from 10 years ago, Bill Harris is pleased at the progress his team members have made since then.
“I feel fantastic when I get a chance to run into them,” said Bill Harris. “Some went on to coaching, like Cody Robinson at Duke.”
The 2006 team had four all-conference player honors: Michael Thrower, Cody Robinson, Caleb Northcutt and Tyler Glenn.
“Coach Harris is a very smart football coach but is also a great man,” said Thrower. “He truly cared about his players. Still to this day every time I see Coach and his wife they both hug me and ask how I am and also how my family is. He was a football coach that you wanted to play for. We were able to go undefeated because he made it fun and showed us what being a family meant. We played for each other. Some of my best friends today are from that team.”