Warriors looking to build off opening victory against Cougars

T.J. Washington

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando coach Bill Hall was pleased with how his team performed in the season opener last week, but he wants his team to keep improving as the Warriors get ready to play at Jefferson, West Virginia.

Hall said his team needs to understand that they have to work hard in practice in order to play better in games. He said he feels like they are starting to understand that and apply that to practices.

“When you put in work Monday through Thursday, in terms of the right mentality, what do I have to change to get better at during practice?,” Hall said. “Because I can’t just snap my fingers and all of a sudden Friday night I change things from last week. I have to have done those things in practice. It has to be a point of emphasis. So it takes a maturity level from student athletes that ‘we got to do this in practice.'”

Sherando put up plenty offensive yards in its 58-8 victory over Jefferson County. The Warriors used a balanced attack, including six touchdowns from junior running back T.J. Washington. Sherando junior quarterback Hunter Entsminger was also 10-for-11 through the air.

Hall said even though the Warriors jumped out to a quick lead with the running game, he wanted to make sure that Entsminger also had the opportunity to throw the ball, too. He said it’s important for the team to have a balanced offensive attack.

Bill Hall

Hall said Entsminger has improved a lot since last year.

“Hunter is a pretty special quarterback,” Hall said. “And obviously a year under his belt, he understands what the whole offense is doing. He’s one of those quarterbacks we’ve had like (former Sherando quarterback) Ross (Metheny) and like (former Sherando quarterback) Reid (Entsminger). He can get us in and out of plays good and bad. He can get us to a good play. He can get us out of a bad play. So when we started to score early I still wanted to give him some opportunities to put the ball in the air.”

Not only did the Warriors have a big offensive game against James Wood, but they also had a very solid game defensively.

“I think (defensive assistant) coach (T.J.) Rohrbaugh does a really good job,” Hall said. “I think we’ve really highlighted the kids that we have this year. So we have a pretty athletic second and third level on our defense. And it suits our strengths in terms of the types of kids they are.”

Jefferson is coming off a 52-13 loss to Millbrook last week. Hall said he thinks the Cougars changed their defense a little because of the type of offense that Millbrook runs.

He said he expects to see man coverage in the secondary, which presents a challenge to Sherando’s offensive line. He said that it also opens up the possibility of pulling off big plays.

“When you play man that puts a lot more people in the box,” Hall said. “That puts a lot more pressure on you to execute in the box. …You have to understand that not every play’s going to go. There’s going to be some negative plays when you get that much pressure and that much people in the box. But you got to stick with it, and when plays do happen they go big and you score.”

Hall said Jefferson quarterback Corbin Pierson is an athlete they will have to watch out for.

“He can spin it and he’s a good athlete,” Hall said. “They run him, too. He’s a big kid. They got a lot of good skill guys, and they’re big up front. I think they’re just getting their feet under them, but they show a lot of potential.”

Washington said that he feels good about the Warriors’ chances because they have a lot of strengths on the team.

“We can block, we can run,” Washington said. “We got speed. We got moves. We got a good quarterback. We got good receivers. We got a lot of athletes on the team.”

The Warriors are trying to get off to a 2-0 start to the season, before facing even tougher competition over the next few weeks.

Hall said that as long as his team understands what it takes to be successful week in and week out, he feels good about what they can accomplish.

“We talk about being 1-0, and the average people think that means we’re going to win the game this week,” Hall said. “To us, 1-0 is win the period, win the rep that you’re in, the individual assignment you’re in. So if we can live in that moment, if each play has its own life, then good things happen when you add 140 plays up together.”