LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Beginning last season losing their first four wasn’t the way Nanih Waiya wanted to begin the 2012 campaign.
But after those first four losses, the Warriors rattled off six straight wins en route to the school’s 8th straight playoff birth.
Continuing the postseason streak remains an expectation, but Nanih Waiya wants more than that this year.
“Our expectations are high as always,” head coach Tate Hanna said. “We have a good group of seniors and a good group of kids and the first couple days of practice so far have been sharp.”
“We’re trying to go all the way this year,” junior Jamarlo Smith said. “Our expectations are high. From the first day of practice, everyone is giving 110%. Trying to get to that next level and past the second round of the playoffs. We’re trying to get to the top this year.”
Head coach Tate Hanna returns a strong bunch including juniors Jamarlo Smith and Stewart Ball.
But one name that won’t be back is quarterback Luke Rosamond, who had been a staple of the Nanih Waiya offense for the last three seasons.
Coach Hanna has Stewart Ball ready and waiting to take over the signal caller duties.
“He’s had a lot of experience and he’s played a lot at backup quarterback,” Hanna said. “I think he has some things our quarterback in the past didn’t have. We look for great things out of him. He can throw, he can run and he’s a great leader.”
“Luke was always clutch,” Ball said. “Whenever something needed to happen, he could do it for us.
“It’s a great responsibility (as the new starting QB). Luke was a great player. It’s going to be tough, but I hope we can accomplish big things.”
One unit that has less to worry about is the defense, as the Warriors bring back an experienced group on the other side of the ball.
“We Ended the year starting a lot of underclassmen,” coach Hanna said. “Defensively, we’re looking at 8 or 9 guys returning as starters and 11 or 12 that have experience on defense. Defensively, with all of our speed, we should be able to keep teams from scoring.”
Nanih Waiya will once again begin the season against Union on August 23rd, before hitting the road for two straight at Clarkdale and Lake.