Ryle arrived at the school and assumed his duties four days before the team hit the field for spring practice.
It was an effect of Ryle’s late introduction to North Cobb Christian. Previous coach Harry Miles resigned after the season to move back to his native Savannah, and the coach chosen to replace him, Kenny Dallas, reconsidered less than a week after his introduction.
Even when Ryle did arrive after his hiring in April, he really couldn’t have the players practice as a team.
“We had a non-traditional spring practice,” Ryle said. “We had it where half the team was in the weight room, while the other half was on the field.”
There were two reasons for that.
First, Ryle had only one assistant coach — Mike Morris, the lone holdover from Miles’ limited staff — to help him for on-field activities because the other members of the coaching staff had yet to arrive.
The second reason was that Ryle needed the team to focus on having better strength and conditioning. It’s an area in which he believed the team was lacking, but one that can quickly be improved.
Ryle, who was the offensive coordinator at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas, said North Cobb Christian reminds him of what his previous school was when he first arrived there.
In Ryle’s final three years at Southwest Christian, there was marked improvement. After going 1-9 in 2010, the team posted consecutive 4-6 records and appeared ready to make another jump when Ryle moved to Georgia.
For North Cobb Christian, which won a team-record three games in 2012 and still has an overall record of just 6-40, the Eagles will need to find some players to make a big jump.
“Our numbers are in the low 20s,” Ryle said. “They aren’t were they need to be. But we have a lot of kids on the sidelines watching and trying to get an idea of what I am doing. Hopefully, some of them will come out in the fall. We just hope they aren’t too far behind (in the weight room).”
Ryle said with the limitations, he and Morris have slowly been implementing the new offense and defense. He said the Eagles will be about tempo and will try to run the ball downhill, out of a multiple I-formation offense.
Even with the limited numbers, Ryle said there are a couple of players who stood out. He said Zach Pruitt, a linebacker and part of the offensive and defensive lines, is a strong player that had a good two weeks of practice.
Ryle also singled out Zac Bollinger. Bollinger did not play football in 2012, but has shown enough athletic ability that he may challenge for playing time at quarterback this fall.