Before taking the job as Augusta Prep's first football coach, Harry Bacheller met with some of his fellow coaches in the Atlanta area to get their thoughts on building a football program from the ground up.
Most had similar advice.
"They all said they would have done it a lot slower," Bacheller said.
Bacheller and Cavaliers athletic director Tom Holodak are trying not to move too fast with their nascent program. Augusta Prep football will be launched at the middle school level and, depending on the participation during the first year, might be played on a limited schedule.
Bacheller, an assistant football coach at St. Pius High School in Atlanta, was in town Wednesday to meet with Holodak. The two expect to meet about once every couple of weeks until Bacheller officially takes the reins in May.
The meetings will include discussion regarding how to solicit funding for field lights and other needs to make Prep's soccer field football-ready. There also will be talk of participation numbers, equipment, next spring's practice, and instituting a weight-training program.
Bacheller's trips to Martinez also will give him the opportunity for face time with Augusta Prep parents. On Wednesday, that meant taking in an area youth baseball game.
Holodak said he expects to schedule future meet-and-greets for Augusta Prep parents and will send out a letter.
"There might be some people on the fence, and then once they meet the coach, say 'Hey, he's great,' " Holodak said.
Bacheller expects a staff of four coaches when his team takes the field next fall. Cavaliers tennis coach Chris Dickson, who has been running football clinics at the school this fall, probably will join Bacheller's staff. And Bacheller said he'd like to bring on one of his fellow coaches from St. Pius.
Once in place, the staff will have a few months to implement Bacheller's two offenses -- the option-based veer and the Delaware, a variation of the Wing-T.
"The advantage is, the (opposing) team has one week to prepare," Bacheller said. "They have to pick their poison. If they stop one package, we go in at halftime and come out with the other one."
Bacheller said he also might introduce the spread, which utilizes multiple wide receiver sets.
His defense might be a little easier for his players to pick up.
"We'd like to find 11 kids who know how to line up properly and recognize the other team's formation and have all 11 come to the ball in a bad mood," he said.
Bacheller said he understands his multiple offenses are tough to learn quickly, but that's not his goal. He wants the middle school players to have a firm grasp of the system when they move on to high school, even if it means sacrificing a few wins early on.
That's his blueprint for building a program, including a strong weightlifting program. And his history with start-ups was the selling point for Holodak.
"That's why we brought him in," Holodak said. "The attraction is that he's built stuff before."
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