By RUSSELL COOKS
Sandy Creek didn’t have to look far to find a new head football coach.
A few weeks after Chip Walker stepped down to take the same position at Newnan, assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Brett Garvin was named head coach for the Patriots. Garvin served 16 years under Walker, whose tenure included state championships in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
When asked how he felt about his new role, Garvin said, “It is a lot stuff that you have to deal with as a leader of a program. I have more respect for Coach Walker and all the leaders of large football programs throughout the country. With that said, I am really enjoying the journey and I am excited about the future of Sandy Creek football.”
Garvin noted that continuity on the defensive side of the ball will be aided by the continued presence of Eddy Householder, who Garvin called a mentor. The two have coached together 21 years.
“From an offensive standpoint, we want to build off of the success of our offense and add some more wrinkles that will allow us to open up our attack more,” said Garvin. “So, during my interviewing process, I want to find an offensive innovator that can capture the heart of our attack as well as expand on it. We have several different candidates that fit that mold.”
Sandy Creek has already had 12 players to sign college scholarships and another 4-5 are expected to sign. But plenty of experienced players are returning.
“We have a great deal of talent in some areas; however, we will be starting a new quarterback. So, we will take some lumps early on, but I am confident that we will get up the curve pretty fast,” said Garvin. “On the other hand, we will three of the five offensive lineman (Sam Barcyzak, Reggie Crosland, and Ryan Crosland) returning and we have a host of running backs( Dealo Parson, Jordan Clark, and Rashad Amos) and wide receivers (Judah Johnson and Amin Shaheed) that have a great deal of playing experience.”
Defensively the Patriots expect to have 8-10 players with extensive playing experience back on the field in 2017.
“Taylor Hodge and Mark Penson will be returning on the defensive line. TJ Peavy will be returning at linebacker and Brian Branch and LaCory Ryals in the secondary,” said Garvin. “So, we really feel good about the future of our football program.”