SMITHVILLE, Mo. — Still soaked in the aura of championship season, an early morning offseason workout with the Smithville Warriors begins diligently focused on turning the page.
“Be thankful for the opportunity to get better today,” Jason Ambroson, head football coach at Smithville, told his players.
Smithville claimed Missouri’s 2021 Class 4 title in dominant fashion, shutting out Hannibal 31-0 at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri.
“This isn't a complacent group,” Abroson said of the 2022 Warriors.
Going into a new season, the team added new starters on both sides of the ball.
“[We had a] Big senior class last year, we have a big senior class this year. And for some of those kids, they believed in the process, they believed in being a good teammate," Ambroson said. "They worked really hard, now they get a chance to come out here on Friday night."
Warriors quarterback Andrew Hedgecorth says the locker room embraces the challenge of defending their throne.
“We want to keep the legacy going,” Hedgecorth said. “I think it shows that we weren't just a one team, one year type thing last year, like this is a program that's been built for six, seven years now behind Ambroson."
Outside linebacker and tight end Kevin Pylypczuk agrees, already plotting on where to put his next state championship ring.
“We've been working real hard this offseason to prove that we are not a one team, that we can do it multiple years in a row,” Pylypczuk said. “I think it's more motivation, you almost want to fill up [your] hand.”