There was more than just football on the minds of the Dale County Warriors Monday as they opened fall practice. It was the first time they took the field as a team without former Head Coach Todd Horne. Horne died as a result of a two vehicle accident last week in Ozark.
Assistant Coach Wesley Locke will run things on the sidelines this season, as Dale County tries to take a senior-ladened squad to the playoffs.
A few of the players told us that this was the year Coach Horne was waiting for when he took over in 2006, as he began to rebuild the program.
Though they say the past few days have been tough, the team shares the focus of realizing their former coach's vision.
Locke said, “I think about him (Horne) every day. At night when I go to bed, I think about Coach Horne. I’m dedicated this season to him.”
The players look at this season as a way to honor their coach as well. Wide Receiver Justin Brown said, “It’s like football is all we’ve got left. Come out here and do this for Coach Horne. Do it for us.”
Linebacker Seth Davis echoed that thought. “Practice gets everybody’s mind off what we’ve been going through,” Davis said. “It’s just going to be right. When August 29th comes and G.W. Long comes over here, everybody’s going to know what we’ve been working for.”
The Warriors will open the season against G.W. Long at home. That matchup will kick-off our first Friday Night Football show of the season.