Posted: Friday, September 21st 2012 at 6:51pm
Warriors riding high but know focus is a must (Video)
By Morgan Lee Editor
CLEVELAND -- White County football is officially turning heads -- at least outside the Warriors’ locker room.
Last season, the Warriors went 3-7 as they underwent a coaching change and the shift in offensive and defensive philosophies that Bill Ballard brought to Cleveland.
Three games into 2012 White County has already equaled last season's win total and is off to its best start in 37 years.
It’s the kind of start that has caught the notice of high school football fans throughout northeast Georgia -- and yet few around Cleveland are amazed by the kind of domination that has marked much of the Warriors first three victories.
“We’re not necessarily surprised,” White County quarterback Will Brock said. “Last year there was just so much change, and that took some getting used to. But we’ve grown together as a family, and we trust each other, and that’s been big for us.”
Earlier this week Access North Georgia.com sports editor Morgan Lee caught up with members of the Warriors squad and coaching staff to talk about their success so far and the 2012 campaign. To watch the video presentation, simply press “play” below.
That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of buzz surrounding the Warriors’ squad these days, and that buzz has even raised a few notches this week, as White County prepares to host 2011 playoff program Blessed Trinity on Friday.
“It’s going to be a physical game, and it’s going to be a playoff atmosphere here on Friday,” senior lineman Brett Westmoreland said. “We’ve accomplished a lot, but we’re not satisfied at all. We want to be an elite level team, and we’re on the way to being there. We just have to keep going week by week and not let up on anyone.”
That certainly includes this week, as White County faces a Titans squad that returns a number of players from last year’s Class AA second round appearance -- including 26 seniors on the roster. Blessed Trinity is also coached by Tim McFarlin, who led Roswell 1998-2007 -- his stint including a share of the Class AAAAA title in 2006.
“Coach McFarlin is one of the quality coaches in Georgia,” Ballard said. “He does a fine job, and he has a really good, strong, solid team. We’re excited about the opportunity. It’s going to be a good test for our guys.”
Blessed Trinity (2-1) has taken out Westminster and Hart County, the Titans only loss coming in a 24-7 decision to Lovett. Blessed Trinity features a balanced offensive attack, that is equally adept at the run and pass.
“I know that they’re a good team; we’ve heard a lot about them and are excited to play them,” Brock said.
Brock’s growth in marshaling the triple-option should have plenty of White County fans excited, as the senior has played a key role in the Warriors’ early ascent.
“Will’s had really good start to the season. He’s getting better and better on his reads,” Ballard said. “It took him a while to pick up on what he’s supposed to do, but he had never run it before, and he’s really growing at the position.”
“When (our offense) is clicking it’s fun to run because the defense sometimes doesn’t know what’s happening,” Brock said.
Certainly plenty of people around White County and beyond are noticing what’s happening on Friday nights at Warrior Stadium. Keep playing like they have so far this season, and that interest will only continue to grow.
BLESSED TRINITY at WHITE COUNTY
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Warrior Stadium, Cleveland
-- RADIO: 1350 AM, wrwh.com
-- BLESSED TRINITY (2-1, 0-0 Region 6-AAA): Bye last week after defeating Hart County 24-10 on Sept. 7.
-- WHITE (3-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated Fannin County 35-28 last week.
-- HISTORY: This is the two teams' first meeting.
Link: Click here for a look at all of Friday night's high school football contests...
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