WARRENTON, Ga. -- "We're ready," exclaims new Warren County High School Head Coach Marleau Blount in regard to the 2009 football season.
The Screaming Devils will get their first challenge of the season this Friday night when they play host to Johnson County at Albert Massey Field in Warrenton. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Coach Blount, who replaces former head coach Lee Hutto, says his new job is sinking in and "it feels pretty good." Hutto is now head coach at Washington-Wilkes.
During Hutto's three years at WCHS, he always wished he could have at least 40 kids on the football team, because it would have allowed for some depth. It never happened during his tenure.
Coach Blount, however, has been fortunate. He has gotten that number up to 44.
"That number reflects both varsity and our junior varsity," said Coach Blount. "Numbers is something that we've been in need of here at Warren County for a long, long time. I guess you could say we just got lucky. All I know is that those numbers will help our football program."
Coach Blount said he has been "very pleased" with the practice sessions this summer and believes his team is ready for whatever they might encounter this season.
"Our kids have really been working hard in the weight room and on the practice field, getting ready for the season," said Coach Blount, noting, "We're ready."
The coach believes in his team with everything in his soul.
"This team will be better than we were last season," said Coach Blount. "It feels good to be able to say that and really mean it. We'll be more competitive because we have a little depth and because several of the kids got a little experience playing last year. We're going to build on that this season."
The Screaming Devils, who made it to the second round of the Class A State Playoffs a year ago, participated in several passing leagues this summer.
"In all of those leagues, we did real well," said Coach Blount. "I was very pleased."
Warren County will have as many as 20 players this season with experience on either the offensive or defensive side of the football.
Another plus is the fact that the team will be faster.
"We've always been blessed with speed at Warren County, but we're going to be even faster this year than we were last year," confessed Coach Blount. "Even our offensive line will be much quicker."
The Screaming Devils, who perform out of the Wing-T, will run and throw the football. They will be led by junior quarterback Dondrecus Dozier.
"He's back with us this season and is bigger, stronger and faster," said Coach Blount. "We're looking for big things from him this season."
Tay Erwin, meanwhile, is back for his senior season and is expected to create havoc all year long for opponents with his fleet-footed speed at running back. He also will play some at quarterback.
"He's something special," said Coach Blount of his star running back. "He's so gifted. Tay Erwin is the best under 5-9 football player in the State of Georgia."
Coach Blount said he believes his team has "an excellent" chance of making the playoffs again this season.