Countdown to Kickoff (Wayne): Pioneers hoping to restore glory in 2017
WAYNE (WCHS/WVAH) - After a five win season in 2015 Wayne followed that up with a four win campaign in 2016. Not something we've grown accustomed to seeing from a Pioneer football program that dominated Class-A football for years.
"I think over the last couple of years we've come up short in a few situations," said head coach Tommy Harmon. "Those experiences are in the kids who are playing now so hopefully we can get over the hump this year."
"It's been a shock for everybody," said Hunter Edwards. " I think we took for granted the history of the program but this year I don't think we're going to be doing that."
Now in his 21st season as Wayne's head coach Tommy Harmon has been around the block.
He didn't win a game his first season at Wayne. Now after two average years he's reminded exactly how special life was when Wayne was at the top.
"Let's stop and think about this for a minute," said Harmon. "If you won the championship every year there wouldn't be much excitement to it anymore. If you win one you want to win two. If you win two you want to win three. It's a never ending cycle."
That 'never ending cycle' has put Tommy Harmon and his staff in 7 state championship games. They've won 3 titles. And they didn't suddenly forget how to coach. Something Harmon's players understand.
"They are still the same coaching staff that won all of those games," said Edwards. "All those state championships. They are the same people. It's just been a rebuild these last two years."
"Other teams have been better," said Grayson Pratt. "They've trained harder. But this year we trained really hard and are looking to go out and get some wins."
Wayne once again has a young team. Only five seniors on the 2017 roster which means if this is the year that the Pioneers turn it around those five seniors will really have to lead.
"It's really important for us to be leaders especially when there are only five of us out there." said Pratt. "We have to go out there and be leaders, teach them everything they need to know so that in these next few years they can come out and be leaders when they are seniors."
"No one is going to accuse us of being on steroids." said Harmon. "We've got some guys who have gotten quality playing time the last couple of years but we are by no means an old team."
Wayne opens up their season at home against rival Tolsia.