Grovetown High School principal Penny Jackson wanted to dispel a rumor at the school's informational meeting held Monday at Patriots Park.
Columbia County's newest school, which will open in August 2009, will not have a swimming pool on the second floor. The Warriors will field a swim team during the school's first year, but won't practice in any body of water on school property.
Jackson's comments drew a laugh from the estimated 200 parents and future Grovetown students who filed into the gymnasium. There were no more rumors regarding who would be Grovetown's first athletic director and football coach.
Jackson introduced Todd Booker as the school's AD and Rodney Holder as its first football coach. Booker is the assistant principal and assistant football coach at Burke County. Holder was an assistant football coach at Greenbrier and led the baseball team for two seasons.
Booker said he has received about 150 e-mails since being named AD. Likewise, Holder's inbox has stayed full.
The pair won't be able to make any hires until after the teacher transfer requests come through. But that hasn't kept them from eyeing potential Warriors coaches.
"We'll have in mind who we'd like to talk to for some jobs," Booker said. "Hopefully, the teaching spots are there that they can use."
Holder said three football games are already locked in on next year's schedule and that he plans to have a full slate. The football team will be the only athletic squad at the school not participating in Region 3-AAAA for its first season. Holder said he would try to schedule games with other first-year programs.
Grovetown will play at Walnut Grove to open the season and will later play host to Walnut Grove. The Warriors will play at Allatoona High School in late September.
Holder said Grovetown wouldn't shy away from traveling to Atlanta for games next season. The road trips might not get a lot of support from fans, but Holder said the trips offer athletes more exposure.
"Our kids at Greenbrier, when they played in Atlanta this year, they got exposure," Holder said. "Everybody wanted to say, well, negative this, negative that about Atlanta, where in reality we knew it was going to expose our kids more."
After Jackson addressed the crowd Monday, she directed those gathered to various corners of the gym to meet with the new coaches and administrators.
One of the biggest draws early was new band director Brian Toney, who currently is the assistant band director at Greenbrier. Toney said he expects his group to be ready by the fall.
"If they're going to have football, we're going to have a band," Toney said. "And it looks like they are going to have football."
Booker fielded questions about whether certain sports would be offered and what potential athletes needed to do. Holder told potential football players to begin working out in their current school's weight room and to spread the word about Grovetown.
Seniors for the 2009-10 school year have the option of staying at their current school or graduating at Grovetown. Holder is calling his push, "Investing in Warriors.
"They're going to go back in these schools and tell them all the great things they heard tonight, hopefully," Holder said. "I kept telling them all night, we've got to sell this program."
Jackson unveiled two logos for the school. One is a "GT" crossed by two sabers, similar to that of the University of Virginia Cavaliers. The one Jackson prefers is the blue star made famous by the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.
Jackson favored the star for its marketability. And she already has a Cowboys sweatshirt bearing the logo.
"I think of it as a Warriors sweatshirt," she said.
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