Covenant Christian builds new program on the little details

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Covenant Christian lineman run through drills during an August practice before their first ever football game.

INDIANAPOLIS – Someone from the outside might or not be surprised by the small oversight made as the first game for this new football program approached.

For Larry McWhorter, it was just a detail he wasn’t used to having to worry about.

After all he spent nearly two decades as head coach of the established program at Zionsville High School, where the small details were perhaps taken for granted. No, it’s nothing on the field but rather on the heads of his players.

“Somehow we neglected to get helmet decals,” said McWhorter of his Covenant Christian High School football team. “We knew we wanted them, we talked to our helmet manufacturers in the spring, we thought everything was set up and it just kinda faded out of everybody’s mind.

“Now here we are just three days away from a game and ‘Oh, yeah, helmet decals, we’ve got to take care of that item.'”

It might not be fair to be harsh on McWhorter or his staff for the oversight considering they are embarking on what is always a difficult project for any: Building a football program from scratch.

That's what the veteran coach is doing with 27 players in 2014 as the program begins at the junior varsity level. Their first game is, of all days, a Monday against Trinity Lutheran on August 18th and is one of many on not-so-typical high school game days.

"We'll it's been a lot of work," said McWhorter on starting up the Warriors' program. "Maybe more than I imagined as I've never done this before."

A number of his players can say the same as the team consists of a few players who are new to football or rediscovering it after a long break. To get the accustomed or re-acclimated to the game, McWhorter has tried to use the same approach he had when he led a more experienced Eagles team for 18 years in Zionsville.

"Character, commitment and confidence," were what McWhorter listed as the baseline philosophies of his new program. "We wanted to make sure that in all phases of their life whether it's the spiritual phase or whether it's a family, home or school or on the football field that as young men they are building their character, were able to commit to things and see them through.

"Then become competent and live up to their potential, what God-given talents and abilities we have. Let's develop those."

McWhorter and his players have had the chance to do so over the last few weeks in preparation for their nine games this fall. As expected, a number of the Warriors' practices are based on simple technique drills to try to impartĀ  the simple fundamentals on these players as they get more of a feel for the game.

"We've struggled in some areas, that being a new team and everything but as the weeks have gone on we've slowly began to progress on the small things," said junior running back and defensive back Jake Namisnak. "Overall we've been able to see who can really come out and play."

For Cross Colgrove, that's a chance that means a lot to him. Having played football while at Plainfield High School his freshman year, the building of the Warriors program gave the senior lineman one last shot to get on the gridiron again.

"It's kind of sparked a passion for me in football all over again," said Colgrove of getting the chance to play for Covenant Christian.

Just imagine what it will be like for him when all the little details get hammered out-and a decal ends up on his helmet.