Warren football sweating 2-A-days this week
VINCENT – Football practice is underway for the Warren Warriors and in addition to having a brand new head coach, the Warriors may well have a new look on the gridiron when they open their season later this month against Parkersburg.
After years of running an offense which relied heavily on putting the ball in the air, first year coach Anthony Fish makes no bones about what type of offense he wants to run in 2014.
“We are going to go back to basics, line up in an ‘I’ and run the football,” said Fish, who arrived in Vincent after spending the past few years as an assistant at Alexander. “We will throw if we have to, but we want to be able to run the ball.”
Early numbers have been impressive as more than 60 kids filled the practice field Wednesday evening as the Warriors held their third practice.
One of the first major decisions Fish will need to make will be deciding on a signal caller to replace last year’s first team All-SEOAL quarterback Austin Klintworth.
At least three players are battling for the position in senior Andrew Henthorn, junior Justice Johnson and sophomore Bryce Gandee.
“All three of them are perfectly capable of doing what we need them to do,” said Fish of the quarterback trio. “Now we’ve just got to let them work and see where they fall in.”
Henthorn has the most experience of the group and his leadership skills have impressed his new head coach early in practice. “We had a 7-on-7 last week and when Andrew took the field he owned it,” said Fish, who takes over a squad that went 3-7 in 2013. “He brings just a little bit of swagger to that position and sometimes you need that.”
Much of the Warriors goal to run the ball revolves around a talented, experienced, offensive line anchored by big 6-foot-2 inch 298-pound tackle Brandon Pahl.
“We’ve got a lot of experience on the line and they are looking pretty good out here so far,” said Fish, of the guys in the trenches, who will once again be coached by veteran coach Al Riffey.
More than likely the featured back in the Warren offense will be senior Jared Isner, who came on strong in the final six games last year after missing the first four games to injury.
Fish himself will run the Warren offense while Jason Johnson will once again be the defensive coordinator.
With the season opener a little more than three weeks away, Fish figures to have plenty of time to get to know his personnel in efforts to develop some all-important team chemistry.
“I see myself as a leader that has a little bit of football knowledge,” said Fish who spent 24 years in the Ohio Army National guard in addition to 20 years with the Athens City Police Department. “It’s an honor to take the position here and I look forward to getting us back to that winning tradition that Warren had for so many years.”