Finishing 4-6 would appear to be a losing season.
Veterans Head Coach Milan Turner would beg to differ.
In fact, he said, “This was an incredibly successful year. It’s probably one of the best coaching jobs I’ve seen by our staff in my 27 years. And I’ve coached in six state championships so I’ve been around really good football. I know what it looks like.
“I think it was probably the best jobs (of coaching) I’ve (ever) seen happen.
Turner’s assessment begins with Covid of course, every coach’s year did. That included having to quarantine players, and in fact, “Every week it was like who is it going to be,” he said. Coupled with that was the loss of two seniors with “devastating” injuries that ended their year. There were also “two or three pretty serious injuries that kept some key players out for two, three, four weeks,” he said, but also admitting: “Everybody experiences that sometimes.”
Nevertheless, it had its impact. The Warhawks did go from a 4-0 start to losing four straight, all by one score.
That was not the worst of it. The worst, he said, was the death of one of the players, D.J. McDowell, “just a great player, an awesome young kid.”
You put all of that together. You watch how the coaches and players respond. Then you assess, and then, he said, you can’t help but come up with “success.”
“What they (people) don’t see is the maturation process of these young men. What they don’t see is how those young men continued to come out there every day in practice and give a tremendous effort, rally around each other.
“They don’t see that locker room before the game, after the game or halftime or, what do your kids look like after all of that tragedy, after all of those distractions? What do they look like late in the ballgame, when it’s kind of getting away from you a little bit? Maybe you’re down some players, down some Covid quarantines, down some injuries and you’re playing a really, really good team. And it gets late in the game and it’s a three or four score difference.
“And I watched our kids continue to play with great heart and great effort. They never gave up. They never quit. Not one time.”
For more from Turner as the Warhawks go through their Spring workouts, click on the link below.