It’s not always easy to see the silver lining when you are playing sports and you get shut out. After the Pioneers' 41-0 loss to Mount Juliet on Friday night everyone seemed to be a bit deflated. The good thing is, there is always a silver lining!
Before we get into the Good, Better and Best, we want to take the time to thank our sponsor Douglas and Lanier Agency! Trevor and I really appreciate the love we have gotten from people now that it has been announced about us taking over running the WCSA site. If you haven't subscribed yet, I hope you will soon. You can get a full year subscription again and it is this page: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/plans-pricing
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Good- Glimpses of hope on offense
In the 3rd quarter, Matt Turner made the decision to move Nate Elrod to wide receiver and Alex van Vuuren to quarterback. This wasn’t for any reason other than trying to change it up. Pioneer faithful know that Elrod and van Vuuren split snaps in the pre-season, and both are interchangeable. This seemed to throw off Mount Juliet a little bit.
Van Vuuren was able to show off some speed with his feet while gaining some yards. Also, he targeted Elrod for an 11 yard reception. Jaythan Pleasant also was able to get in on the action with a huge 39 yard run to get to the Mount Juliet 8 yard line. Unfortunately, two penalties moved the Pioneers back several yards and they couldn’t capitalize.
When Matt Turner and the other Pioneer coaches have decided to change things up, the Pioneers have been successful. It’s always good to confuse other teams.
Better- Pioneer Nation showing up strong
The Pioneers have been the road team for four straight games. This could mean harsh environments for some teams, but luckily for the Pioneers, even being on the road can’t stop the Pioneer faithful from making the trip to games.
The first two games may have only been 30 minutes away, but there were hundreds of people packed into the stands and lining the fence.
During the Memphis trip, it was mostly parents who made the four hour drive, but there were a few people who weren't family members who were committed enough to make that trek.
Mount Juliet was not not much different. There were hundreds of fans, several students, along with the Pioneerettes, cheerleaders, and the band.
It’s nice to see packed houses again at sporting events since only two years ago there were capacity limits.
Best- 3 home games in a row
In our preview for Mount Juliet game we touched on this, but it is so important for the Pioneers that they get some home games under their belt. Not only is it exhausting to make the drive to different places several weeks in a row, it also is an issue that the Pioneers football team can’t even get a bus for the games until 4 p.m..
Coach Turner discussed this issue on the post game Facebook live on Friday night by saying that his team can’t get buses until 4 pm. This creates a problem, because the Pioneers didn’t get to Mount Juliet on Friday night until 6:15-6:20 for a game at 7 pm. The home games are also a benefit because the Pioneers usually play better at home and win more games.
This is the perfect time for the team to start clicking on all cylinders as they begin region play.
The Pioneers will be at home the next three weeks vs. Cookeville, Siegel, and Coffee County.