2021 Warrior Football Season Preview with Coach Burns
I am here with Doug Burns, Coach of the Pocahontas County Warriors. Doug, can you give us an overview of how you see the team this year?
“I am very excited, I can’t believe we are upon another football season,” said Burns. “This is a good group of guys. We lost several players from last year’s team. On offense, I think we are only returning two starters from last season. Defensively, we are only returning probably four or five starters. So, we got a lot of holes to fill, a lot of positions to get young guys into this year. I am extremely fun to be around, fun to coach. They really have worked hard all off season.”
“It’s a big group of juniors this year, so I am very excited not only about this season, but next season too. Just a real strong class, I think we have fourteen Juniors this year. Some of those guys got some experience last year. The majority of them are stepping into starting roles this year, so, it’s going to be fun to see how they transition to that starting position on Friday nights. I like the way they worked hard this year in the weight room, and of course through the first few weeks of August. It is a good group of guys.”
Do you see this as a rebuild year?
“I don’t call it a rebuild year because these guys have really worked hard. We’ve got a real good nucleolus”
“We’ve only got four seniors, but those guys are going to be players we really lean-on. We got Cage Burdette coming back this year. He sat out last year. He’s a dynamic athlete. He can do a lot of things on both sides of the football. He’ll be one of our receivers on offense, and there may be some situations later on where he’s playing running back or maybe even quarterback some, so he gives us a little bit of that explosiveness that we didn’t have last year.”
“Frankie Burgess is another young man who has really come on. Of course, Frankie, he’s really started for us three years on the defensive side and he started last year as one of our receivers. He had added some weight this year. He looks really good so far and I’m expecting some big things from him.”
“We got Tucker McGee back. Tucker started on the defensive side for us last year, played quite a few snaps on offense and special teams. He’s gained some weight this off-season. He looks really good so far in camp.”
“So, I’m really excited to see how those guys do. That’s something we haven’t had as much in the last few years, you know, those bigger, tall, explosive receivers on the outside, and that helps us become more balanced as an offensive attack, and that should open up some running lanes too. And we’ll have Evan Hamrick, starting tailback. Evan has worked really hard in the weight room in the off-season. He is more the power back. He is going to do a lot of inside-the -tackles type running and probably you will see Frankie Burgess at running back also at different times, because Frankee gives us a little bit more speed -a little elusiveness in the open field.”
“And then up-front, we got Austin Morgan back. He suffered a knee injury last year, missed about half of the season. But he started for us as a freshman and he is really an exceptional player on both sides, the offensive line and the defensive line. We graduated four of our five offensive linemen, and of course, those guys played defensive line to, so there’s some new guys stepping in. Nathan Boylen, he’s a junior, hell be our starting center. Ryan Roy, he and Austin will be the guards, and also play linebacker on defense and then the tackles will be Logan Wimer, starting, and also Traves Lewis. And all those guys, like I said, have been doing really well in August. So, you know, I think we are formidable up-front. I think those guys can handle it.”
“The strength of the team, I think is depth. It’s something that we don’t always have at Pocahontas County. We have such a big junior class, fourteen guys, and those guys are upper class-men now, so they are ready to play on Friday nights and not everybody can start, and I told those guys since August 2nd when we started, there’s going to be guys that aren’t starting, but they deserve every opportunity to be on the field, and they will be. And, I think that gives us something, like I say, we haven’t had in the past, a chance to rest guys, take a series off, put somebody else in and not lose a step. So, that’s the big thing for us this year.”
“All-in-all, we got a few holes to fill, a lot of new faces. I know they are up to the task and up to the challenge.”