Gators, Vikings set tone in spring

Published 12:10 am Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring has just started. Spring football is a month away. Football itself, however, is in the air.

Vicksburg High coach Tavares Johnson and Warren Central coach Josh Morgan addressed the Vicksburg Rotary Club on Thursday, sharing both their approach to the profession and the state of their teams.

Johnson, who is entering his first season on the Gators’ sideline, spent less of his speech talking X’s and O’s and more of it focusing on the big picture. Johnson spoke of setting the tone for his players, who he hopes will do the same for the rest of the student body.

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“My vision is real simple. I would like to have my football players be a beacon of the community,” Johnson said. “When they walk down the street, I want them to be like a lighthouse for a ship in the ocean.”

Johnson also presented a camoflauge T-shirt to Vicksburg Warren School District superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Swinford, who attended the presentation with her coaches.

Johnson said the camouflage was symbolic, and would be a theme for the Gators in 2012.

“The camoflauge shows us it’s time to go to work. Time to stop complaining, lace up the bootstraps and go to work,” Johnson said.

Morgan, entering his third season as head coach, turned his speech into a state of the union address on Warren Central football. He noted both the highs of the program, like the addition to the team’s fieldhouse, and the lows of last season’s 1-10 record.

“We talk about the eyeball test, where you look at the field and say, ‘That looks like a football player.’ The last few years, we haven’t passed the eyeball test,” Morgan said. “We can’t pick our kids, but we can work to get them bigger and faster and stronger. They’ve made tremendous gains.”

Morgan touted some of the successes of the ninth-grade and junior varsity teams.