WYOMING EAST Warriors
Coach: Jimmy Adkins (second year)
2020 Record: 1-4
Offensive starters returning: 6 (QB Jackson Danielson, WR-RB Chandler Johnson, OT Blake Cook, OT Charlie Stewart, WR Eli Fralin, RB Tristan Hall
Defensive starters returning: 6 (DE Chandler Johnson, DL Blake Cook. DL Charlie Stewart, DE Eli Fralin, DB Caden Cook, LB Tristan Hall,
Team offensive numbers: Rush – 140.4 Pass – 66.8 Total offense – 207.2 Points per game – 19.4
Defensive ppg: 36.2
Review: If coach Jimmy Adkins remembers 2021 as what would be his first normal year as the football coach at Wyoming East, it is certainly understandable.
After all, there was nothing normal about 2020. Adkins was officially hired March 3, the Warriors were humming right along as conditioning began to ramp up for the upcoming season and then covid shut everything down.
The season started but not with scheduled opener Mingo Central but Pendleton, a very good Class A team and the late addition (and road game as opposed to a home opener) resulted in a 28-0 loss for a team coming off its first playoff appearance since 2014.
Three more losses followed, including another shutout and a blowout loss rival Westside, before Wyoming East righted the ship with a blowout win over River View. Then, Wyoming County (which at one point played a state best fourth game earlier than anyone in the state with that loss to Westside, Sept. 22) entered red on the covid color map and the season was essentially over.
Returning first-team all-state running back Caleb Bower seemed to pick up steam with 277 yards and six touchdowns against River View when it was all shut down. Senior Brandon Simpson was penciled in to start at QB but was injured and touted freshman prospect Jackson Danielson was inserted into the lineup and showed flashes, including four TD passes versus Westside.
Players to watch: You can’t label a player like Chandler Johnson. Namely because he doesn’t necessarily have a set position on offense. You might see him at wide receiver (he had a team-high 132 yards receiving last year), or running back (12 carries, 30 yards) or even as a wildcat quarterback. Adkins could probably use him on the line if he wanted too. Speaking of the line, rising senior Charlie Price is a lineman to watch, his size (6-2, 245) adding to that of returning starters Charlie Stewart (6-3, 260) and Blake Cook (6-5, 335).
Players who will surprise: Caleb Bower, one of the most prolific running backs to come through Wyoming East, has graduated. He was a three-year starter and made 36 career starts at the school.
Those players don’t come around often. It will be a more committee like effort this season with a lot of players getting an opportunity. Adkins has several players who more resemble the fullback of old. And he paid homage to one of those throwback fullbacks when he said Ethan Walls was a player who reminded him of Mike Alstott, the former Purdue and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback.
Rush: Caleb Bower 92-656-8 Pass: Jackson Danielson 16-39-3-325-4 Receive: Chandler Johnson 9-132-1
Preview: Adkins is hoping a year makes all the difference. Last season he took over late and then the coronavirus struck. Now he has the advantage of an entire off season and the result has been 16 weeks of continuous workouts.
Danielson, a sophomore, has grown to 6-3, 165 pounds and should continue to improve in the program with a year’s experience under his belt.
Last year the Warriors had trouble finding consistency on the offensive line. The potential to line up Charlie Stewart and Blake Cook on the same side (both have spent a majority of their short careers at tackle), giving the Warriors a true strong side, would give the Warriors an intriguing look on offense, given the size of many of the backs.
One thing that Adkins wants to shore up in short order was a defense that gave up over 50 points twice and gave up over 36 points on average.
9-4-20 at Pendleton County 0-28
9-11-20 Nicholas County 14-16
9-18-20 at Greenbrier East 0-56
9-22-20 at Westside 32-57
10-22-20 River View 51-24
9-4-21 Mingo Central
9-11-21 at Nicholas County
9-17-21 at Herbert Hoover
10-1-21 at River View
10-8-21 Shady Spring
10-15-21 Point Pleasant
10-29-21 at Independence
11-5-21 at Liberty
Coaches Quote: – “We are going to have a young team but a lot of these guys have gotten an opportunity to play and it’s their time to step up and play.”
Coach Jimmy Atkins