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Turner holding football meeting

Matt Turner has put out the call. He's looking for the next great gridiron Pioneers.

The Warren County High School football team will hold a parent and booster meeting Tuesday, March 30 at the WCHS auditorium. The meeting is open to all parents of kids who will be going into grades 9-12 next year, along with interested supporters of Pioneer football.

"This is an important first meeting for Squad 53," said coach Turner. "We're still finding out all the things we'll be able to do this spring and summer. Hopefully, by the end of April, we'll have clear guidance from the state and can lay out the summer schedule.

"We're welcoming all boys and girls interested in playing football or want to be a part of our program. We want to build on the momentum we have as a program and in the school."

The TSSAA has recently confirmed that teams will be able to participate in 7-on-7 events and hold spring practice. Turner is still finalizing dates for spring and summer events for the Pioneers, including holding hope for having an intersquad scrimmage sometime this spring.

Turner has completely rejuvenated the Pioneer program, winning 12 games since taking over before the 2019 season. Before Turner's arrival, Warren County had won just 12 games in the previous five years.

Last season, Warren County broke a 30-year streak of losing seasons, started 8-0, achieved a top-10 ranking in 6A and earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2008 (the Pioneers got automatic bids to the postseason in 2015-16).

Players have loved the leadership of Turner, with many coming back after graduating to watch practices and help the team. "I loved playing for him," said CJ Taylor at Tuesday's voluntary workout, where over 40 players were getting in offseason lifting.

Turner is hopeful the Pioneers can add even more players to the program going forward. While Warren County was a force last season, the team did it with an Iron-Man roster, playing with less than 30 kids by the end of the year. Many of the team's starters played both ways - lots of those being seniors.

Coach Turner welcomes all interested players to come to workouts now, which are going on daily after school.

The Pioneers will be moving into a new region next season, one devoid of the Murfreesboro schools. Warren County is set to face Coffee County, Shelbyville, Cookeville and Lebanon in its region matchups next year.

Warren County has also added lots of new teams in out-of-region matchups, though its season opener will stay the same. The Pioneers and DeKalb County Tigers will kick off the 2021 season on Friday, Aug. 20 at Nunley Stadium. Warren County has won the last two matchups, taking a 9-7 lead in the border battle.

The Pioneers will also play White County for the first time since 2018 this fall. Warren County and the Warriors will meet at Nunley Stadium on Friday, Aug. 27.

Warren County's longest road trip this season will come in Week 3 as the Pioneers travel to West Tennessee to play Ridgeway. The Pioneers follow up with Mt. Juliet - a rematch of the playoff thriller from last fall - in Week 4.

Warren County will also face Siegel (Week 6 on the road) and Franklin County (Week 9, also away) in out-of-region games.

The Warren County Sports Authority will offer more information on the spring and summer football plans in the coming weeks.

To hear coach Matt Turner talk about wrestling and building programs locally, check out the WC Sports Authority Podcast:

NOTE: Originally, this story listed the meeting date as April 30, as provided by the WCHS staff. It will be held Tuesday, March 30. That has been corrected in the story and on the social media pages for WC Pioneer football.

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