Warriors ready to face district foe Judges

Aaron Banks

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando is playing the first of three straight road games today when it travels to Handley.

Sherando coach Bill Hall said he thinks his team is ready for the challenge of playing the last three regular-season games on the road.

“As much as you enjoy playing at home, I enjoy embracing whatever the situation is,” Hall said. “So they used to call us the road Warriors. So I enjoy being on the road. So I enjoy going to someone else’s place and executing, facing that type of adversity. And our guys, I think, embrace that.”

Sherando will be facing a 3-5 Handley team at 1 p.m. today in a Northwestern District battle.

The Judges have plenty of athletes, and Sherando senior Aaron Banks said the Warriors can’t overlook Handley.

“They’re a pretty athletic team,” Banks said. “They haven’t had the season they want so far. But you can’t take them lightly. So we’re going to come and play our hardest just like we do for every team.”

Handley uses two different quarterbacks. Handley’s Jacob Parker and Malachi Imoh. Usually, the Judges deploy Imoh when they’re in the wildcat formation, and use him mostly as a runner.

Hall said that his team has to prepare for both quarterbacks. He said the Warriors also have to be prepared to handle Handley’s speed.

“They have good skill guys and they’re dangerous in space,” Hall said. “It’s going to be imperative that we do a good job with our fits in the run game, and a good job in the pass game in terms of when to bring pressure and make sure we’re solid with that.”

Sherando’s offense has been led this season by junior quarterback Hunter Ensminger, who has thrown for an area-best 1,379 yards and 15 touchdowns. Sherando junior running back T.J. Washington has 673 yards on 109 carries and eight scores.

Banks leads the receivers with 21 receptions for 403 yards and five touchdowns.

The Warriors are coming off a 35-14 win over Kettle Run last week. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Warriors.

Banks said it was really important for the team to get back on the winning track.

“We definitely needed a win,” Banks said. “Coach (Hall) told us we hadn’t got a win in almost a month before that.”

The Warriors suffered two difficult losses back-to-back. They lost to undefeated Liberty, 31-28, and then to undefeated Martinsburg, West Virginia, 31-28.

Banks said he feels like the team has grown from their losses.

“We definitely learned a lot,” Banks said. “It was more like an effort thing. We played hard, but we definitely could have played harder. So now we know we definitely can’t take any team lightly.”

Hall said despite the win over Kettle Run he was still unhappy with how his team started the game.

The Warriors got off to a sluggish start, and Hall said he hopes the team learned from that.

“I don’t think we probably had the right mentality from the beginning of that game,” Hall said. “So I think some of our guys embrace that, but I don’t know if all of our guys embrace that we’re going to get everybody’s best shot. So you have to make sure that you’re ready for that.”