Tommy Lopez

About Tommy Lopez

2014 High School Football Tour: Vardaman

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VARDAMAN, Mississippi (WCBI Sports) - Vardaman is unique in a couple aspects. Its sweet potatoes for one, and the contrast of age and experience the high school football team has had.

No team wants to go through a winless season, but the Rams did so with an inexperienced and young group. Now, they have enough experience to move on.

“It gives us an opportunity because we had so many good years that last year will help us improve from what we didn’t do,” senior linebacker and fullback Brady Pendergreph said. “Everybody is ready to win.”

“It was really a disappointment because we’ve had so many good years but last year everybody didn’t want to cooperate and work hard,” senior lineman John Moore said.

Last year no players had played two full seasons and one starter was an 8th grader

“We think we’ve got a group now that wants to work hard that doesn’t want a part of another season like last year and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen,” head coach Larry Gann said.

Gann, now in his second year, was the head coach at Vardaman in 1979, back when they didn’t even have playoffs. He’s got an old-school, tough-as-nails mentality.

“When you played us before if we didn’t when you were still real glad the game was over,” he said. “We would light you up. We’ve worked on getting tougher.”

The Rams have seven returning starters on both offense and defense, many of those guys play both sides of the ball. Junior Brandon Walker is back at quarterback

“He’s come a long way. That sucker is tough,” Gann said. “He didn’t miss a snap. Obviously, our protection, we hope is a good bit better this year.”

One thing is for sure, Vardaman is ready to win.

“It feels great knowing my whole team will be back and I’m hoping to do a lot better than we did last year,” senior tight end and defensive end Kent Casey said.

“There’s a to proving to it, showing that a young team can and will come back stronger,” Moore said.

The season begins Aug. 22 hosting East Webster.