Warren Central closes out training camp with scrimmage
Published 2:00 pm Thursday, August 17, 2023
Once high school football teams begin their preseason training camps in earnest, time seems to accelerate.
In less than two weeks, they go from putting on pads for the first time to playing their season opener. It can catch the uninitiated off-guard, which is why Warren Central head coach Josh Morgan said it’s important to keep a level head and key objectives in sight.
“We don’t prepare much for this jamboree because we’re still so focused on us, fundamentally. You have to be careful that you don’t get caught up in trying to go too fast,” Morgan said. “This is where we build our identity that’s hopefully going to carry us throughout the year. It’s important for us to make sure that we’re on point before we try to move too fast. That’s the fine line you’ve got to walk.”
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Morgan’s Vikings begin the regular season next Friday, in the Red Carpet Bowl against Clinton. This Friday, they’ll pass the final waypoint of the preseason when they host North Pike in a scrimmage at Viking Stadium.
Warren Central and North Pike will play two quarters with their varsity, followed by two more with the junior varsity. The JV teams will play with a running clock. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
Even though the result will not count, nor will the coaching staff do much scouting of their opponent, Morgan said a good jamboree week is still crucial to any team. Getting extra reps for young players and seeing how the team as a whole handles game week is a good evaluation tool.
“I think it gets overlooked. It’s important. It’s been really valuable to us to do it, because there’s just so many things that it’s really good for,” Morgan said. “I also think it gives you a leg up going into your first game with hopefully being a little sharper.”
One of the biggest question marks for Warren Central all offseason has been the quarterback position. Two-year starter Jack Wright graduated, and senior Ryan Nelson and freshman Nash Morgan are vying to be his successor.
Josh Morgan said both players will get time with the starters on Friday, and both are likely to play next week against Clinton as well.
“Nash and Ryan will both run with the ones. Both have done a really good job. We’re getting to where we feel good and have good packages for both,” Josh Morgan said. “We’re just interested in who gives us the best chance for winning.”
On defense, the primary goal is building depth and shoring up a secondary that lost a couple of starters. The Vikings are strong in their front seven with returning starters Julien Demby, Garrett Orgas-Fisher, Ronnie Blossom and L.J. Reynolds, but need to find some players who can give them a breather.
“We’ve got to get some depth at our D-line and linebacker area. We feel like we’ve got good quality there, we just need to pinpoint who’s ready to play right now,” Morgan said.
No matter the position group, Warren Central’s lineup is always in a state of flux. Morgan and his staff regularly rotate players in and out to build depth both for this year and the future. After Friday’s scrimmage, however, he hopes to have an idea of who will fit where heading into Week 1.
“I think we’ve got several (positions) that are solidifed and several that are really close. Time will tell. I don’t know if we’ll have a definite answer,” Morgan said. “But if we’ve got 22 that can play, we’ll play 22. We’re definitely looking and evaluating, and will give them that opportunity and making sure we’re putting the right people on the field.”
FRIDAY’S AREA GAMES
Adams County Christian at St. Aloysius, 7 p.m.
Tallulah Academy at Riverdale, 7 p.m.
Delta Academy at Porter’s Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
North Pike at Warren Central, 6 p.m.
Vicksburg vs. Laurel, 6:30 p.m., at Bay Springs