Warriors adjusting to new coach


Josh Jones

Coach Smalley is optimistic for the new season.

Jake Nicholas, Writer

The Osceola Warrior football team is adjusting to life after legendary coach George Palmer retired last May after 26 years, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The team is now coached by longtime assistant coach Kevin Smalley. Smalley played for Palmer on the Varsity team for four years, and was the defensive coordinator for the last 6 years. “It has been a really easy transition as Coach Smalley being the head coach,” stated linebacker Logan Kleinhans. “It was really nice to hear that Smalley was hired because everyone on the team respects him and he is a great leader.”

Jaden Celeste, a sophomore on the team, explained that Coach Smalley “makes every player feel like they have a lot to offer to this team. Every day when I see coach in school he always goes out of his way to say hey and ask how my day is going.”

Although 21 seniors graduated last spring, the team has still kept all of their same offensive and defensive schemes from the Palmer era. The Warriors run a Wing T offense which focuses on three running backs who anchor a strong run game. However, leading rusher Travis Wateska graduated, leaving a big hole in the backfield for the coaches to fill. “It will be hard to replace Travis,” explained Celeste, “but we have a good amount of young talent who are ready to make this team even better.”