Today we begin our countdown to the high school football kickoff. Over the next four weeks we will publish all of our rankings and all-state teams for the entire state and each individual classification. We start with our No. 10 team, the Warren Central Vikings, who have an opportunity to move up the 6A ladder. Solid every season, this year’s team is one of the more experienced in Vicksburg in several years.
No. 10: Warren Central Vikings
Head Coach: Josh Morgan
2019 Record: 6-6 (Class 6A First Round)
Starters Returning: Offense: 6 Defense: 7
Players to Watch: RB Kentrick Thompson; ATH Antonio Thomas; LB Darius Smothers; LB Taylen Smith; DB Tevin Bell; FS Jason Williams
Coach Speak: “It was definitely an accomplishment to make the playoffs last year and we know our kids keep getting better and more experienced,” Morgan said. “Our guys are more experienced, mature, and battle-tested. We are working to find a quarterback and adapting our offense around him, but we return two really good running backs who are both explosive. I’m excited about our defense due to us having a lot of experience back, especially in the front seven. Our defensive backs (Bell and Thompson) are the two best we’ve had playing at the same time and that should be huge for us.”
Outlook: Warren Central has reached the playoffs out of Region 2-6A as the No. 4 seed in each of the last two seasons. Unfortunately, they opened the playoffs in each of those seasons against the eventual 6A state champions in Horn Lake and Oxford. This year’s Vikings team returns a roster capable of getting out of the first round and making a run in the playoffs. The biggest question mark is under center with the graduation of Parker Kivett but two explosive running backs return to lead the offense. Kentrick Thompson (573 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns) and Antonio Thomas (270 yards, 2 touchdowns) are back to lead the ground game along with three returning offensive lineman. The tight end, Quentin Pollard, missed most of last year due to an injury but should be a weapon in the passing game. With seven starters back on defense, expect the Vikings to once again be stingy on that side of the ball. Linebackers Darius Smothers (93 tackles) and Taylen Smith (50 tackles, 6 sacks) are very good. Smothers led the team in tackles a year ago and Smith led the squad with 18 tackles for loss. The secondary should be strong with Tevin Bell and Jaylin Thompson. Free safety Jason Williams (3 interceptions) also is back after leading the team in interceptions.
Season Opener: Sept. 4 vs. Vicksburg.