Last May, Warren Central visited a college campus in the southern half of the state for its spring football game. This time it’s going north.
The Vikings will head down Highway 61 toward Cleveland on Friday to Delta State University, where they will wrap up spring training with a game against Lafayette.
This is the second year in a row that Warren Central has played its spring match on a college campus, having faced Laurel at Southern Miss in 2021.
“Any time we get the chance to take our kids to a college campus, I think that’s a big plus,” Warren Central head coach Josh Morgan said. “You put them in front of college coaches in a really nice atmosphere, with a college stadium, a college campus, and you play a really good opponent. It just worked that way and we jumped on it when we had the opportunity.
Delta State’s McCool Stadium will host multiple teams in a jamboree on Saturday. Friday night, however, the Vikings and Commodores have the place to themselves. They will play two quarters with regulation rules and timing, and two more with a clock running. Junior varsity teams will also get a few sets of plays during break quarters.
It’s the same format that Warren Central has followed with all of their recent spring opponents, and the one Morgan said has been very beneficial.
“We wanted to make it work as a full game so we could film everything. It comes with all your situations and clock management, so we like that format,” Morgan said. “It did us good. We get a taste of a real game and everything that goes with it.
Although they keep score against an opponent, winning and losing is not at all what spring play is about.
The Vikings will take a few weeks off after this game and return in early June for summer conditioning and 7-on-7 drills. Friday night is all about player evaluation and maybe building momentum for the next one. off-season phase.
“That’s the goal, it’s to do good and have that momentum before the summer. Hopefully some of the questions we had in the spring we will have answered by then,” Morgan said. “We wanted to play a match against someone else and we are very grateful for this opportunity.”
The Vikings have plenty of questions to answer ahead of the season opener against Forest Hill in the Red Carpet Bowl on August 26. They lost 16 of their 22 starters last season, including four of five offensive linemen. Three of the linemen who died — Dontavious Bell, KJ Miller and Colt Lee — were selected to the Mississippi Coaches Association Class 6A All-State Team.
Entering his 12th season at Warren Central, however, Morgan and his team established a pattern of roster replenishment without missing a beat. Warren Central has qualified for the playoffs in 10 straight seasons, which is one of the longest active streaks among current Class 6A teams.
“I don’t think, by any means, our closet is bare. We have grown over the years. We knew this day would come. It’s just their time now,” Morgan said. “When you have a really good program, that’s the kind of mindset you have. You might have to wait behind someone, but when it’s your turn, we’ve had guys who were eager and able to get into those places and able to sustain the success we’ve had. It was no different this year.
The spring training period and game, Morgan added, was a great opportunity for returning and rising players to make an impression. It’s also a chance for coaches to really see what they’re working with — and what they need to work on — as fall approaches.
“We have a lot of guys we feel good with. It’s just about figuring out what they can do to gain depth, seeing who’s going to make the most of their opportunity, who’s going to step into their shoes, and what kind of identity we’re going to have,” Morgan said. . ” It’s a big problem. We treat spring very seriously. It’s more than a dress rehearsal. We try to see what we have.
WARREN CENTRAL AGAINST. LAFAYETTE
• Friday, 6 p.m. at Delta State University
• Spring football game