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WCHS football shows commitment with midnight practice in full pads
Football photo day.jpg
WCHS junior Dayton Jernigan gets a gif made in front of a green screen during football team photo day Sunday at Nunley Stadium. Jernigan is the only returning starter on the offensive line.

High school football teams were allowed to begin full-contract practice on Monday.

Warren County High School coach Matt Turner didn’t want to waste a minute on getting started.

As soon as the clock ticked past midnight, the Pioneers were on the practice field in full pads hitting, tackling, and getting used to high-speed collisions.

“It was good to get after it a little bit, but we have a lot of work to do,” said Turner. “We have a scrimmage this Friday against South Pittsburgh and East Hamilton.”

The midnight practice was part of Commitment Camp that began at Nunley Stadium with team picture day Sunday afternoon. The plan was to spend the night at the stadium, but a heavy rain saturated the ground so activities were moved to Warren County High School.

During the all-night event, Turner had players write on a piece of paper, what, if anything, was holding them back from making a complete commitment to Pioneer football. Players were allowed to burn that piece of paper during a candle-lighting ceremony.

Monday morning featured a grueling 2.2-mile run to the top of Harrison Ferry Mountain for conditioning. Some players seemed exhausted and ready for a little rest by the time a cookout rolled around Monday night at 7 p.m. Players were dismissed until practice Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Turner himself looked tired by 8 p.m. Monday after only getting a few minutes of sleep during the night. He stayed at the high school with the players.

Turner hopes Commitment Camp helps to continue the culture of winning which was established with last year’s 8-0 start and 8-3 finish, the team’s first winning record since 1990.

The Pioneers are now looking to put together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1982 and 1983 when they were coached by Bobby Newby. Warren County finished 8-3 in 1982 and followed that with a 10-2 record in 1983 in a season that also included an eight-game winning streak.

The scrimmage this Friday is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at South Pittsburgh High School.