Just days before the first official football practice of the 2015 season, Warren County’s Terrance McCormick was thrust into the head coaching role as Dr. John Ward retired for health reasons.
McCormick could’ve played it one of two ways – keep things the same so no one had to adjust to a new system, or make an overhaul aimed at the 2016 season. He chose the latter.
The Eagles had just a few weeks to make a night-day change from the single-wing to the spread. But the payoff could be coming this year.
“We gradually, gradually, gradually got better as the year went on,” McCormick said. “This year, the kids are able to grasp everything and we were able to install our offense and get that going.
Can the offense improve?
Warren County scored 14 points or less in eight games last year, but new quarterback C.J. Davis has a good grip on the spread offense. The defense last year wasn’t bad – only three opponents broke the 30-point mark – but it tired late in losses.
“We had an opportunity to actually work the kinks out of the offense now. Last year the defense was on the field a lot and that’s because the offense wasn’t clicking at that time,” McCormick said. “This year I think we’ll be real, real solid on offense.”
Who are some players to watch?
Greg Lewis was an all-conference defensive back and Darius Southerland was a 1,000-yard rusher. Both players can play anywhere.
What’s an expected team strength? Weakness?
Known for having a large offensive line, this year is no diferent for the Eagles. Three starters stand 6-foot-3 or taller and three are around the 300-pound mark. The secondary is also rock-solid with Southerland, Lewis and Matthew Mayes.
The team’s youth is a small concern for McCormick, where many sophomores will be relied upon.
“We’re only returning five seniors,” McCormick said. “We’re young, but we’ve got a lot of talent.”
More on the Eagles
Last year: 3-8 (1-4 Northern Carolina 2A)
Five year average: 5-7 (2-4)
Preseason N&O rank: Unranked
Coaches: Terrance McCormick (Head coach), Brian Fuller (Off. coordinator/QBs), Maurice Crump Jr. (Def. coordinator, DL), Lee Hargrove (RBs), Howard Baskerville (OL), Herley Moss (LBs), Shawn Peebles (LBs)
Contributors: C.J. Lewis (Soph., QB/K), Darius Southerland (Sr., RB/WR/S), Cornell Hendricks (Jr., WR), Dontez Waddell (Soph., OL/DL), James Collins (Sr., OL/DL), Dustin Fountain (Sr., LB), Justin Fountain (Sr., LB), Greg Lewis (Sr., DB/WR), Matthew Mayes (Sr., CB)
The main number: 16 – The Eagles defeated Southern Vance last season to stop a 16-game losing streak in the series that dated back to 1996
Aug. 18# at Lee County, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 vs. at Northern Vance, 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 2 vs. at Northampton County, 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 9 BYE
Sep. 16 vs. Northwest Halifax, 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 23 vs. Weldon, 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 30 at Louisburg, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7* at Roanoke Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14* at Franklinton, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21* vs. Southern Vance, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28* vs. South Granville, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4* vs. Bunn, 7:30 p.m.
Note: *Conference game; #Thursday game.