YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Valley Christian football team is coming off a playoff appearance in Division VII last year.
The Eagles are back to work this preseason and with 36 total players, conditioning is crucial for this young team. Head Coach Jomont Ware has just nine total linemen this year, which has changed their offensive mindset.
“We’re going to slow it down on offense, we’ve been running all summer so they should be in pretty good shape,” said Ware. “Some of those young guys eventually have to step up. We’re going to huddle up, come up and run our plays, last year it was more of a fast pace.”
Last year, Valley Christian’s line paved the way for the likes of Milan Square and Altwjuan Beck-Lindsey. This season, junior Tyrone Lindsey will take over the reins as a dual-threat quarterback. Up front, junior Eric Davis is one of the leaders in the trenches along with senior Warren Harris.
“We got a lot stronger in the weight room, we’ve been hitting the weights a lot,” said Warren Harris, senior lineman. “I think we’re more prepared mentally so we’re not nervous.”
“Ya I’m prepared for [the bigger workload],” said Eric Davis, junior lineman. “A lot of hard work we’ve got to do and that’s basically it.”
“I always talk to the linemen, I tell them like don’t think about yourself, think about the team what’s behind you,” said Tyrone Lindsey. “We’re behind them. they’re going to get us where we need to go.”
The Eagles have their eyes set on a return trip to the postseason. In fact, they’ve been conditioning since June and despite the small numbers, they plan on making some noise in the Portage Trail Conference.
“We just have to start communicating more, work harder, and push ourselves as best we can,” said Izaiah McKinley, junior running back.
“We’ve been playing big cats since we were younger, so we’re ready,” said Harris.
“I think you can compete anywhere if you have the heart and you have the grit,” said Ware. “These guys have the heart and grit. We’re not going to back down for anything. As long as we play together, stay together, and have faith in God, I think we’ll be OK.”