The Waccamaw Warriors hope the old cliché, “third times a charm”, is the case for the 2019 football campaign. Two years ago they were 0-10 and only improved that record by one win last year.
Head coach Shane Fidler returns six starters on offense and 4 starters on the defensive side for a team that was in many close games last season that he knows could have went either way.
“The key for us this year is can we finish off those games that we were in late last year,” Fidler said. “If we can finish those games off, our season would look much different than it did on paper. If you look at the games we lost close, we would have been a playoff team.”
Fidler said his entire squad is motivated to overturn the outcome from the past two years and he is pleased that the participation in his offseason program was the best since he took over as head coach.
“All offseason our goal was to find that edge to finish off those games in the 4th quarter,” Fidler said. “That was a driving motivation for our team all summer in our workouts, conditioning and practices.”
The Warriors will be a young team this season but Fidler will not let that define them as they search for success.
“The key right now is we are going to be young,” Fidler said. “We will be breaking in some new starters, but will be faster and a lot stronger. There will be a lot of great things moving forward. We lost quite a bit of senior starters from last year, but the kids we replaced them with are talented. They are raw, young and will need to get seasoning early especially with the quality opponents we have early. We are excited to see what they can do.”
The Warriors will have a new quarterback under center after last year’s starter Brandon Stecz graduated. Junior Denson Crisler, last season’s backup, won the job during offseason workouts.
Crisler is ready to get the season started as he leads the team onto the field.
“To start off on a good foot, it all starts with your leadership and I think we have a strong core going into this year,” Crisler said. “That’s something like we never had before, and I think we are going towards that direction. We just have to keep grinding to get where we want to be. We just want to make the playoffs and play into December.”
“He is a great leader,” Fidler said. “The kids trust him, that’s the key. That’s what we saw back in June. He won the job. He earned it through his performance, not only in 7-on-7 or in the weight room, but in his performance as a leader for the team. That is a very critical component to that position. “
Senior wide receiver Tyree Funnye can see the progress from the summer workouts that will help the team win the in fall.
“During the summer we worked hard putting in a lot of work and hours to prepare ourselves for the things we have to do to win football games.”
Coach Fidler has been pleased with practices leading up to the Warrior’s first game Aug. 23 against Carvers Bay.
“Looking back at my first team periods from year one, our first team period from last year and our first team periods from this year, you can see the progress,” Fidler said. “Now it’s about the mental part of believing that we are a good football team and they are. They just have to believe it and do the little things to make the season successful. “
8/23 HOME Carvers Bay
8/30 AWAY Aynor
9/6 HOME Andrews
9/20 AWAY North Charleston
9/27 HOME St. John’s
10/4 AWAY Georgetown
10/11 HOME Bishop England
10/18 AWAY Manning
10/25 AWAY Acad. Magnet
11/1 HOME Hanahan