Region 7-AA // Ratner Memorial Stadium, 335 Warrior Path NE, Calhoun, GA 30728
At the helm
(First year here and overall)
The Warriors return 5 off., 4 def. starters.
Nix said the Warriors have already demonstrated big gains in the weight room, and he believes a transformation on the field should follow in due time. He credits the progress to a change in overall work ethic among players, and that is a tremendous asset for Nix, a first-time head coach at age 37.
This is year one of an attempt to rebuild a program that is 2-38 in its past four seasons and can count on two hands its winning records from more than 30 years of football. But with just three nonregion games, there is a small window to make corrections before the fight for the postseason starts.
Spidey sense tingling
Although he's not limiting expectations concerning winning games, Nix is more focused on how the Warriors play them. He wants all-out effort every week, and if players give that, they'll definitely improve on last year's 554 points allowed and likely win at least a game or two.
Here I come to save the day!
Nix is extremely pleased with North Paulding transfer Brent Silvar (6-1, 210), a senior QB/S who has become a team leader in a short amount of time. He'll be helped in the team's pistol wing-T offense and its 4-3 defense by junior TE/DE Dawson Lackey (6-3, 215). Senior OL/DL Mario Coria (6-0, 260), a Calhoun transfer, recently squatted 525 pounds, while senior DL Dorian McDonnell (6-0, 215) has a motor like that of his cousin, Atlanta Falcons standout Vic Beasley, Nix said.
Up, up and away!
The Warriors have come a long way since Nix was hired in March, and he understands as much as anyone that they have a long way to go.
But he's on board for that ride, and he believes he a lot of people are coming with him.
In his short tenure, the former UAB TE has taken on some major fundraising projects — overhauling the weight room, starting a nutrition program and purchasing new uniforms and helmets — that required not just players but the community to buy in.
As for the Warriors, they made his work worthwhile by showing up for a four-hour training regimen four days a week during their summer vacations, and since the start of classes, they have taken advantage of the school's zero period as a training hour.
"I truly believe in the weight room and nutrition, and I think those two pieces can get you there," Nix said. "That's a big thing that we've done here we've changed the culture. There's a lot to be changed here, and there's a lot we have changed here."
Nix believes potential talent was wasted in recent years, so he has made putting players in their proper positions a priority. And after describing video of last year's defense as "hard to watch," he has emphasized fundamentals.
He thinks all of those things will lead to more competitive games, which is one of the stops on the journey to winning. But he understands he and his staff can only take players so far.
"At the end of the day, it's up to the kids," he said. "On Friday night when the lights kick on, you've got to believe. I can't play for you. That's what we're waiting as a staff and a school to see: How are they going to respond?"
Aug. 19 Murray County lost, 55-13
Aug. 26 Southeast Whitfield lost, 42-0
Sep. 9 LaFayette lost, 56-24
Sep. 16 Pepperell lost, 69-0
Sep. 23 Chattooga lost, 63-8
Sep. 30 Dade County lost, 55-35
Oct. 14 Armuchee lost, 43-3
Oct. 21 Model lost, 58-7
Oct. 28 Rockmart lost, 61-0
Nov. 4 Coosa lost, 52-0
0-10, 0-7 Region 7-AA
(All times 7:30 Eastern)
Aug. 18 Murray County
Aug. 25 at Southeast Whitfield
Sep. 8 LaFayette
Sep. 15 at Pepperell
Sep. 22 Chattooga
Sep. 29 at Dade County
Oct. 13 Armuchee
Oct. 20 at Model
Oct. 27 Rockmart
Nov. 3 at Coosa
Region 7-AA games in bold