David Humphreys would bathe his Gordon Central team in OFF! insect repellant if he knew it would keep the injury bug away from his players.
It bit the Warriors hard during a winless 2013 season.
"We couldn't catch a break," Humphreys said. "We need to stay healthy. We'll have 40-45 guys on the team, and we had a few guys get nicked up in camp."
Quarterback Shyheim Williams made it through camp unscathed, thankfully, especially considering he missed the final seven games of last season.
"We went through eight quarterbacks from the start of spring practice until we finished our last game," Humphreys said. "We had to go change offenses because we didn't have a backup."
Williams injured his knee during the first half of the Warriors' game at Murray County. Humphreys took his offense to an adjacent practice field and installed new plays with linebacker Cody Jones playing quarterback.
"We had nobody left," Humphreys said. "I'd booted two backups earlier that week."
Humphreys said he sat in the meeting room and asked his staff if there's an offense in football that doesn't require a quarterback. They couldn't think of one.
"You can't fall into a victim mentality," Humphreys said. "I did that."
Hopefully it won't happen again.
"It was pretty bad knowing that I got hurt, and it was a big letdown for me, and it was pretty bad to go 0-10," Williams said. "I want to put last year behind because it was not a good year, and I want to show this year that we can win some games."
- David Uchiyama
GORDON CENTRAL WARRIORS
Head coach: David Humphreys (0-10 here; 60-43 overall)
Last year: 0-10
Returning starters (O/D/K): 4/4/1
Control panel: QB Shy Williams (5-10, 170, Jr.) suffered a knee injury in the third game last year, but he ran the option well early and has a solid arm. WR/S Bayley Whittle (6-1, 200, Sr.) is a bigger guy in the secondary and helps in run support. WR/DB Montana Rogers (6-2, 195, Sr.) started showing promise late last year.
New producers: C/NT Austin Green (6-0, 230, So.) had a great offseason and will handle both run-blocking and run-stopping duties. CB/RB Dakota Maddux (5-8, 165, Jr.) moved to running back during the offseason and has shown he can handle the load. WR/CB Bristol Bell (6-0, 180, Sr.) probably is the fastest player on the team and is ready for a breakout year as a deep threat.
Fact: The pregame routine includes a one-hour nap. The players eat as a team, hear a devotional, then return to the field house. "We turn out all the lights and make everybody take a nap," Humphreys said. "We wake them up and make them walk from the field house to the far goal post and back to wake them up."
(all games at 7:30 Eastern)
Aug. 29 - LaFayette
Sept. 5 - at Southeast Whitfield
Sept. 12 - Calhoun*
Sept. 19 - at Ringgold*
Sept. 26 - Lakeview-F.O.*
Oct. 3 - at Sonoraville*
Oct. 10 - Coahulla Creek*
Oct. 17 - at Murray County*
Oct. 31 - at North Murray*
Nov. 7 - Adairsville*