The Meridian Star
The East Central Community College Warriors are coming into Week 3 with more bumps and bruises than just an 0-2 record.
After a tough and physical game at East Mississippi Community College last week – a 59-0 blowout – naming 22 starters is proving to be a difficult task for head coach Ken Karcher as injuries have riddled the depth chart.
With less than 24 hours before kick off, Karcher couldn't name a starting quarterback to take on Copiah-Lincoln in Decatur to open the 2013 home state.
“We're quite banged up,” he said. “I'm not sure either of our quarterbacks are healthy to play in the game, so we might have to play someone that's played another position … we'll see by game time what happens.”
Despite the injuries, the match up wasn't ever going to be easy as the Wolves are the reigning MACJC champions. Additionally, Copiah-Lincoln enters the week ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA poll, making it the third straight week of the Top 10 competition for the Warriors.
“You definitely wish you weren't opening up with Itawamba, East Mississippi and Co-Lin all three now in the top 10,” Karcher said. “We're just encouraging [our guys] to fight hard. They've done that for two weeks and I'm proud of them for that.”
The hole on this week's depth chart won't just be at quarterback. Both lines have taken a hit with injuries from last Thursday and practice.
Even with the banged up team, Karcher said his preaching to the team hasn't changed. Warrior football is about what they can do, how they gel and grow as a program – the opponent, still doesn't matter.
“I know I sound like a broken record,” Karcher said. “I'm not really worried about Co-Lin, they are a great football team, but right now it's about trying to get our units to gel and get our players in the best position we can with the talent we have.”
With an already young team – 44 freshmen – inexperience is everywhere and having to use fill-ins will create more, but Karcher said as with JUCO football, having a “senior team” doesn't really every happen. This week, and even this season, he said, is nothing the Warriors can't over come.
“We're going to continue to have an upbeat attitude, looking forward to continue to build this program,” Karcher said. “We'll continue to work through these tough times as we try to find a way to play a football game.”