Changes On and Off Field For Warsaw Football

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
By Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
There has been some coaching changes for the Warsaw Wildcats. Also, there are improvements to the field, thanks to the passing of the bond issue, that are coming later on next year in 2020.
The Wildcats were 2-8 last season and Head Coach Ryan Boyer hopes this season will be a defining moment in the program.
In his third season at the helm, Coach Boyer said, “Consistency is the big thing right now. The kids we have know our expectations.”
Coach Jared Steenburgen, assistant  football and wrestling head coach has left the school to follow other options. Michael Gragg, the head football coach at California last season has signed on as an assistant coach. Also, Matt Gardner, voluntary assistant line coach,  is new to the program and has already made his presence felt with the linemen.
Seven on seven is a fun time and helps the coaches simply get a kind of  feel to where the players are over the summer months. Voluntary practices start in a couple of weeks, but right now it is very early in the process. Coach Boyer laughed, “The kids think we are already making lineup decisions.”
Buffalo, who should be a real force this season and the Skyline Tigers, who are athletic and have a good passing quarterback, came up on Tuesday for the second seven on seven of the season.
In a somewhat surprising move, several kids who may not play other positions, have shown an interest in taking on the kicking duties. That is good news as a good kicker can change the outcome of a game in a hurry.
Sophomore Brady Slavens, who started the last two games as a freshman last season, gives the Wildcats a true option quarterback, something Coach Boyer has been looking for the last two seasons. Senior Matt Couzens may have a better arm and could play some, but looks to be used as a receiver. He has muscled up in the weight room and will be a valuable piece of the puzzle next season.
Lane Bates and Tristen Reynolds look to stabilize the line. Coach Boyer commented, “We may be a little more athletic up front this year.”
Big shoes will need to be filled in the backfield with the loss of Kieon Davis. Zach Chapman will probably get the call as the number one running back, but things could change over the summer.  Speaking of that, the Dog Days of Summer could never be truer as the fastest creatures on the field thus far have been the stray dogs who wander on the field during practices. 
Off the field, new lights and a few other things will make the field look better. After the season, the track will be torn up and replaced. Whether on not they hold track meets here will depend on parking and other needs that MSHSAA requires.
Cross Country is the other sport that has to go on the road every time out. However, Coach Boyer went on to say “We are looking for a place to hold Cross Country meets.”
In about three to five years, the football field will need a serious overhaul as the seams are showing wear and tear and the turf is wearing out. About ten years is the average life of a field without repair work being needed. The fact that the field is up on a hill doesn’t allow much room for expansion for the new track and other projects. However, a bathroom on the other side of the field would be nice. Where the rest rooms are now used to be the concession stand which is on the other side of the field from the home bleachers.
The MSHSAA new classifications shouldn’t effect the Wildcats. The Wildcats have the same schedule as last season just the locations have changed naturally. Below is an early look at the schedule. The first three are on the road. The Cole Camp game is usually a pretty good indicator of where the program is in relationship to other teams. The first home game appears to be homecoming. Midway is a long ways off, but at least we do not have to make the long trip to play Father Tolten this year as they come here this time around.
August 23  Jamboree -home
August 30 Midway- away
September 6 -Knob Noster-away
September 13- Cole Camp-away 
September 20- Sherwood- homecoming
September 27- Buffalo-home
October 4- Butler- away
October 11- El Dorado Springs-away
October 18- Father Totlen-home
October 25 Skyline- home