By Daniel Brunty The Winston County Journal

As the Nanih Waiya Warriors football team prepares for the upcoming season, they held their annual midnight scrimmage this past Saturday morning in front of a large crowd.

Head coach Tate Hanna and his Warriors gave their fans a preview of what is to come this upcoming season by going through their practice drills. The annual scrimmage allows the fans to gear up for the upcoming season and is always a treat for the players.

“We started having the scrimmage six or seven years ago, and the kids love it,” Hanna said. “It is a big start for football in the county, and we are the only team in the county that does it. We had a pretty big crowd tonight and they were excited about it. I think it is a good thing for the football program and the school.”

The Warriors got to an early start as they began the night with their warm-up exercises. They followed this up with special team drills, including punt kicks and returns, extra point drills, and kickoff drills.

Hanna then had his first string offense scrimmage against the secondary defensive squad. With the loss of four offensive lineman and the running back talents of Martin Johnson and Montrel Easley, the Warriors are looking for younger players to fill these roles.

A bright for the offense is the return of senior Luke Rosamond at the quarterback position. “I was pleased with how Luke looked in the scrimmage,” Hanna said. Rosamond had a great junior campaign in which he helped lead the Warriors to a 9-4 overall record and 7-1 in division play.

The offense ran their plays, trying to get the timing and sequences correct before regular season play. The players then switched up to allow the first string defense to play the secondary offensive team.

The Warriors will look to have a solid defense, returning a good numbers of players on that side of the ball. Losing Hunter Swart and only a few other players, the Warriors will have players with some experience to fill those roles.

Hanna ran his Warriors through multiple defensive sets and helped the younger players adjust to running them.

After the defensive scrimmage, Hanna had his team do conditioning drills, which included full field sprints. The team then worked on goal line defense and offense, which allowed Hanna to incorporate a package of play specific to this situation.

Hanna was pleased with how the team looked during the scrimmage. “We looked good overall,” Hanna said. “We still some things we need to work on, such as timing and other things, but that is to be expected this early in the season.”

The Warriors will have just a little time to prepare as they kick off with their season opener on Aug. 17 when they host the Union Yellowjackets. Warriors’ fans should be ready to see their team take the field in just a couple of weeks.