BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Next up on WKRG’s “33 Teams in 33 Days” spring special is the Elberta Warriors.
WKRG sports director Simone Eli and weekend sports anchor Gerhard Mathangani provide an inside look into the Warriors, who are looking for their first playoff berth in school history. This season marks the fourth in school history, since joining the AHSAA in 2020.
Elberta went 2-6 in Class 5A, Region 1. Head coach Nathan McDaniel enters his fourth year leading the program. The Warriors are riding momentum into offseason working after ending the year with a win over Citronelle.
The Warriors are doing “skill development” over the traditional spring practices this season. Skill development does not involve helmets, pads or hitting, but allows coaches to work with athletes for two hours per week over several months. Schools opting for skill development can also start fall camp early.
McDaniel tells WKRG this year’s team features several returning starters and there is “a lot of confidence.”
“I think at Elberta the identity has always gonna be the same, it’s got to be that hard nosed group of guys who do things the right way,” said McDaniel.
McDaniel added his team is going to the do the little things right.
“I believe if you do that continuously, that eventually you are going to see that come to fruition,” said McDaniel. “There’s other teams in this area that have made a living doing that. That’s what we have to get this place to. We’re still a young program, only four years old, but at the end of the day that young excuse needs to go out the window. It’s time to take this thing to the next level.”
2022 Record (notable wins, losses):
- 20-14 win vs. LeFlore
- 28-27 win vs. Citronelle
- Corbitt Williams, LB
- Cole Ulrich, DB
- Brady Harrison, QB
- Tristan Ferrera, OL
Williams returns as the heart and soul of the Warriors defense. Harrison, a star receiver last season, makes the move to quarterback. Ferrera will provide a veteran presence in the trenches.
The four veterans are fired up to get this season going.
“I think we are a real hungry team, we have been pretty close in the last couple of years” said Williams. “I know it doesn’t look like that, but just teams we’ve played, I feel like we have been in a lot of dog fights that we just didn’t come out on top of.”
Williams added the team is “all really hungry to get somewhere and win.”
“I think we’re ready to just finally get started, start winning a lot more games” added Ulrich. “We’re just ready to compete more.”
Ulrich says the weight room has been a point of emphasis for him this offseason.
“I think I improved the most with my strength, I think I got a lot stronger and faster,” said Ulrich. “I think I got more competitive in the weight room.”
- vs. Robertsdale (jamboree)
- vs. Gulf Shores (region) — October 13
Link to full schedule.
Wednesday will feature the Foley Lions. Follow along WKRG’s “33 teams in 33 days” throughout the next five weeks. Each team will be featured during the 6:30 p.m. newscast on the weekdays and during the 10 p.m. newscast on the weekend.