Vikings retool roster, build team chemistry in summer workouts

Published 8:00 am Saturday, July 2, 2022

The summer workout period is always an important time for high school football teams to figure out their identities and see if anyone can emerge as a playmaker.

For a team like Warren Central, which is replacing 16 of its 22 starters, it’s even more important.

The Vikings wrapped up their summer work this week with a handful of workouts. That followed several 7-on-7 sessions over the previous month that helped them build on the spring practice period in April and May.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

“I think it builds on to what we did in spring,” Warren Central offensive coordinator Rob Morgan said. “We’re trying to add on and figure out, before we get into the season, who can do what and where we’re at. Trying to fill in pieces, figure out what those pieces are and what we’re going to look like.”

Warren Central hosted three 7-on-7 sessions at Viking Stadium that pulled in several schools from the surrounding area. Yazoo County, Raymond, Jefferson County and Madison Parish attended the final one on June 23.

Although the sessions are laid back, Morgan said they are very beneficial in building team chemistry among the skill position players on both offense and defense. With so many new starters in the lineup on both sides of the ball, every rep helps.

“This is a big team chemistry building thing. It’s good for quarterbacks and wideouts to figure each other out. Your defense is out there talking and communicating,” Morgan said. “We try to use this as a getting better type of deal, and getting your team to know each other, and coaches getting to know their players and players getting to know their coaches because we are losing so many.”

One area that the 7-on-7 games did not help is the offensive line. Warren Central is replacing four of its five starters there, including three who were on the Mississippi Association of Coaches Class 6A All-State team last season.

Morgan said the coaching staff got a good look at the reconfigured line during the spring and they liked what they saw. He said the new linemen are actually a veteran group that simply hasn’t had a lot of game experience yet.

“I was very pleased and encouraged by the O-line in the spring,” Morgan said. “The majority of those guys are seniors this year. They just hadn’t played yet. They’ve at least been around the program and understand what’s expected of them.”

Warren Central will take next week off as a “dead week” mandated by the Mississippi High School Activities Association in which no workouts are allowed. After that, the focus will start to shift to preseason preparation.

Preseason practice officially begins Aug. 8, although weightlifting and conditioning sessions continue through July.
Warren Central will play a scrimmage Aug. 19 at Madison Central, and the season opener is Aug. 26 at home in the Red Carpet Bowl against Forest Hill.

“After that (dead week), everything will be geared more toward the fall camp and getting ready for the season,” Morgan said. “This is kind of an end checkpoint for the beginning of summer.”

2022 Warren Central schedule
Aug. 19. — p-at Madison Central, 6 p.m.
Aug. 26 — r-Forest Hill, 8 p.m.
Sept. 2 — Vicksburg
Sept. 9 — at Germantown
Sept. 16 — Open date
Sept. 23 — *at Oak Grove
Sept. 30 — *Brandon
Oct. 7 — *at Northwest Rankin
Oct. 14 — *at Pearl
Oct. 21 — *Terry
Oct. 28 — *at Petal
Nov. 4 — *Meridian
p-Preseason scrimmage
r-Red Carpet Bowl, at Warren Central
*MHSAA Region 3-6A games

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 139-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest