Young, athletic Warriors in camp
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 3, 2012 1:49 PM
Youth abounds in the Eastern Wayne football camp.
A majority of freshmen and sophomores seem to be challenging the returning veterans, what few there are, for possible starting roles when the Warriors scrimmage later next week.
"Our freshmen and sophomore classes are athletic and they got after it hard, but it's a matter of how ready are they to play football?" third-year EW head coach Guy "Bubba" Williams said.
More than 60 players have reported to practice each morning in New Hope. Nine seniors graduated off last year's team, which finished 3-7 overall and 3-3 against Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference opposition.
The Warriors' defense unit returns intact.
Offense is a question mark.
And five seniors must provide leadership.
"Positions are open, which is every day for us," Williams said. "We've got a junior and sophomore quarterback battling for the starting job. We're a little light on offensive and defensive linemen ... lacking depth there. We're replacing two linebackers.
"I've got some younger kids who want to push (experienced players) out of the way, so we'll see what happens."
Eastern Wayne has spent the week installing its offense and defense, and putting the team through conditioning drills. The N.C. High School Athletic Association mandates that teams must spend the first five days in T-shirts, shorts, cleats and helmets.
Full-body contact begins with the sixth practice.
Williams has scheduled scrimmages against future conference foe New Bern, Jacksonville, Lejeune, East Duplin and could see county archrival Southern Wayne. He expects those matchups to give him a barometer on how the Warriors will fare.
"We'll figure out a few things there," Williams said. "It's going to be a confidence thing and I said that last year, but we didn't play with confidence and we had some attitude problems. I think this year's attitude is better, but you really don't know until you face adverse situations."
The Warriors kick off their 2012 campaign Aug. 17 at home against perennial power Wilson Hunt.