Back in the summer of 2001, as Lee Chomskis was preparing to lead the Evans High School football team into battle, the first-year head coach picked up a book and started reading.
Considering Chomskis was forced last week to resign from his position with the Knights, maybe he chose the wrong book.
If Chomskis could turn back the page, he might have selected How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Instead, Chomskis read The Junction Boys, which features the descriptive subtitle, How 10 days in hell with Bear Bryant forged a championship team.
Jim Dent's book details Paul "Bear" Bryant's 1954 preseason training camp with the Texas A&M University football team.
To sum it up, Bear was brutal. At that time, the legend-in-the-making was in his first year with A&M, and his introduction to the Aggies is the stuff of legend.
Bryant loaded 111 players on two buses and trekked to Junction, Texas. After 10 grueling days of practice - in sweltering sun with no water breaks - only 35 players were left to make the return trip to College Station.
During the past two seasons, the Evans football program has had a number of players jump ship, but Chomskis swears he didn't take a page from Bear's book on coaching.
"I've got a tough approach, but The Junction Boys was out of line. If the Bear was still alive, he probably would say the same thing," Chomskis said with a laugh. "Our practices weren't even close to that."
Some people at Evans thought that Chomskis and Bear had a little too much in common.
Chomskis demanded discipline. The Knights were expected to meet certain standards, and if they didn't, they suffered the consequences.
Sometimes Chomskis would yell during practices, or bench players during games. Imagine that.
Also, Chomskis was deemed by some to be arrogant and unapproachable.
Then there is the issue of an occasional curse word or two, which is politically incorrect, at least when the blue language comes from a coach with a losing record.
It seems that about a dozen or so disgruntled parents didn't like Chomskis' style, and Evans Principal Don Brigdon concurred with that minority opinion - Brigdon gave Chomskis a choice to resign or be fired.
Chomskis made waves and then got swept away in the vicious undertow.
It's a shame that he never really had a chance to build a program.
The bitter irony is that some hard-nosed coaches are afforded time to work their magic of turning boys into men. Many of those taskmasters become legends.
In Columbia County, Terry Holder is the prime example. The former coach at Evans and Greenbrier was brusque enough to make a drill sergeant blush, but he was a winner, so critics kept quiet.
Chomskis, on the other hand, posted a 1-9 record in his first campaign with the Knights. That, coupled with what some considered a prickly personality, was enough to put a target on his back.
There was another football coach who went 1-9 in his debut season with a squad. Other than his record, that coach was similar to Chomskis in other ways.
But Bear Bryant wasn't booted out the door in '54. He led those browbeaten Junction Boys to an unbeaten record two seasons later.
More than two decades had passed when Bryant and his first A&M team held a reunion. Bear tried to apologize to his players for being so mean, but the Junction Boys wouldn't allow it.
Here, the comparisons between Bear Bryant and Lee Chomskis end.
The ex-Evans coach offers no apologies for his two years with the Knights.
"I know this program is better than it was when I got it," he said.
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