Warriors prepare for home opener against 0-2 Eureka team
With thunder barking in the sky and a heavy downpour pelting his players and soaking the grass field Wednesday afternoon, Whittell head football coach Phillip Bryant brought his Warriors inside and went back to the drawing board.
Bryant drew formations on the board and quizzed his players on assignments and where they’re supposed to lineup ahead of the Warriors home opener Friday, Sept. 8, against Eureka at South Tahoe Middle School.
The team made it onto the field later in the afternoon when it wasn’t raining as hard and got in some reps with a wet ball in preparation for game time where accuweather.com calls for 70 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“We spent time polishing,” Bryant said. “I didn’t want the kids out there in that weather. We wanted to make sure we recognize sets and the tendencies for Eureka and make sure we’re comfortable with the game plan. Hopefully it rains early and shuts off at night.”
And that game plan involves speed vs. size. Bryant hopes his Warriors win that battle.
Eureka (0-2) is big and physical and likes to lean on defenses with their large line and running backs.
“They’re not real quick, but they have lots of size,” Bryant said. “They like to pound on you and dominate the clock. We hope to be able to use our speed to counter their size.”
Whittell will use its rushing attack that averaged over 10 yards per carry in its season-opening win over Mammoth.
Dalton Warswick led the charge with 137 yards on 12 carries, quarterback Isaiah Womack had 65 yards on six carries and also completed one pass to Nicholas Buchholz for 38 yards and Corey Huber gained 59 yards on seven attempts. Warswick, Huber and Womack each scored two rushing touchdowns apiece.
Whittell officials will get to South Tahoe Middle School Friday afternoon to prepare for the game and it will be the first time the Warriors play on the artificial turf, something Eureka does with every home game they play.
“We’ve been over there, but we can’t practice there,” said Bryant, while the field at Whittell is being completely renovated and won’t be ready until the 2018-19 school year. “They have to play on the same field as us and they have turf on their home field. But we can’t spend time worrying about things we can’t control.”