HSFT Stop #44: Winona Christian

WINONA, Mississippi (WCBI) — Winona Christian finished last year 4-7 with a first round playoff exit. A season like that is not up to the Stars’ standards.

“This year our kids are a little more hungry because this place is not used to losing,” head coach Ken Chandler said. “When I was here before I won. When coach Graham was here in his six years he usually had a winning record so I had a down year he had a down year and the kids are like ‘okay that’s over with now lets go far.'”

The team lacked experience in 2022 and the Stars are still young but the seniors are stepping up as leaders.

“Just encourage them,” senior wide receiver Reese Johnson said. “They get messed up I just keep telling them to keep their head up, you’re doing a good job for us putting your body out there so it helps a lot.”

The most important leadership comes from head coach Ken Chandler. He’s been coaching high school football for 34 years but still cares about each player he coaches and gets fired up to lead them under the Friday night lights.

“Seeing how excited he gets, gets the whole team pumped up and ready”, senior guard Braden Stanford said. Even last Friday at the scrimmage we were all ready to go because of how ready he was.”

“It means a lot to have a coach that’s excited and there for you at all times and ready to help,” Johnson said. “He says if you need me call me so that means a lot to this.”

Chandler has been around the block but doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“I’m still excited, I’ll be 58 next month and I think I’m going to go several more years,” Chandler said. “I’m ready to roll.”

Winona Christian takes the field for the first time Friday against Benton Academy.

Categories: 2023 High School Football Tour, High School Sports, Local Sports, Sports