Tireless Warriors earn first-team all-league honors
It was hard not to notice Joel Warnick and Luke Forvilly during the course of their junior football seasons at Whittell High – they never were on the sidelines.
Out of necessity and maximization of their athletic ability, the all-purpose Warriors impressed Nevada 3A Division II football coaches to earn first- and second-team all-league selections at various positions.
“It’s good to see those guys on there because they both deserved it,” said Whittell second-year head coach John Summers, who guided the Warriors to a 2-6 season and fifth place in Division II.
Warnick, a crushing blocker and tackler, made the first team as a linebacker and second team as an offensive lineman. More importantly for the Warriors, he anchored the special teams, never missing a play during the eight-game season.
“That alone is pretty tough right there,” Summers said. “Defensively, we would have struggled if he didn’t have the games he had. He’s only going to get better next year, and hopefully he has a little more support next year so maybe we can do a little more with him.”
Warnick, who led the Warriors in unassisted and assisted tackles, didn’t mind playing 48 minutes per game.
“It’s not really a choice because I have to do it. I guess it’s fun and it gets me more tackles,” he said.
Forvilly, a breakaway threat, was happy to avoid his teammate’s punishing blows.
“I kind of figured he would get first-team linebacker because he likes to hit,” Forvilly said.
Forvilly gave the Warrior offense quick-strike ability, while alternating between wide receiver, running back and quarterback. He scored a team-high nine touchdowns and three two-point conversions. Forvilly also caught 26 passes for 595 yards and despite limited rushing attempts, he averaged eight yards on each of his 20 carries.
Despite his impressive numbers, Forvilly was a second-team selection at receiver and defensive back, but a first-team punter.
“He did almost everything for us,” Summers said. “Although I thought he was as good as the first-teamers, kind of where we finished kind of hurt his chances of being a first-team guy.”
Forvilly said his defensive honor caught him by surprise.
“I was pretty happy about the defensive one because we had such a (bad) defense,” Forvilly said. “I thought I made first team as a receiver, and as a punter I kind of knew that was gonna happen because last year I thought I deserved it and this year I performed about the same.”
Their enormous contributions were complemented by the examples they set at the beginning of the season when they were among eight players at the first preseason practice.
“They just hung in there the whole time,” Summers said.
While numbers were an albatross for the program early in the season, Summers has the luxury of knowing his two all-leaguers headline a sizable returning core.
“We don’t lose any critical linemen. They were all freshmen and juniors this year, so they should only get bigger and better,” Summers said.
And don’t be surprised to see Warnick and Forvilly in the backfield together next fall.
“I’m looking forward to next year with him at fullback and me at running back,” Forvilly said.
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