The Warrenton football program will continue its summer workouts with its annual trip to the Southeast Missouri State University team camp next week.
The Warriors will participate in six scrimmages next Thursday and Friday against teams from St. Louis and southeast Missouri.
“The kids always love it, and ever since I’ve been coaching, I’ve given the kids the option of where we go,” Warrenton Head Coach Steve McDowell said. “You can’t beat the cost with it being $90, and it’s just nothing but football. We get three scrimmages on Thursday and three scrimmages on Friday, and we’re done by Friday at one and on the road. It’s a short turnaround, so it makes it really nice.”
The Warriors lost a number of key contributors from last year’s team, and McDowell hopes participating in events like the SEMO camp will help his younger players.
“The guys we lost last year are going to be very tough to replace, so we’re looking for the younger guys to step up and fill those spots this year,” he said. “We’re hoping some of these kids can accept that challenge and fill those shoes.”
The Warriors will also have a new offensive coordinator, as Assistant Coach Scott Butler takes over this summer.
“Coach (Scott) Butler is going to take over the offensive coordinator duties, and we came to an agreement that we’ll keep everything the same,” McDowell said. “The terminology will be the same, so there won’t be any wholesale changes. But we’ll have to make a few changes with our personnel, which is what you have to do. You want to have the same system, but you always want to make small changes to what you’re doing to suit the strengths you have.”
Butler takes over an offense that will have to replace its quarterback, top two receivers and four offensive linemen.
Running backs Dylan Smith and Logan Dowd are expected to lead the group this fall.
The Warriors have been preparing for their trip to SEMO all week with shoulder pads and helmets, and have scrimmaged with Wright City twice this month.
The weight room also has been a near-daily routine.
“We’ve been doing pretty good,” McDowell said. “The numbers have been holding steady, and that’s the biggest thing right now because you have families going on vacation and things like that. But so far we’re pretty pleased with the progress we’ve made. We’ve made some real progress in the weight room, and we’re starting to see the strength increases that go along with that. And as far as practices go, we’ve seen some nice things on the field as well.”
After returning from Cape Girardeau next week, the team will get a week off during the mandatory dead week July 2-7.
McDowell hopes the final week of June will be as productive as the first three.
“SEMO is really accommodating, and the competition is great,” he said. “We see teams that you don’t really see, and they’ve added some more St. Louis teams this year, which is good. We’ve developed a really good relationship with the staff at Southeast, so it’s a place we’re just going to keep going back to.”