All the coaches seem happy, and for the most part, excited about football.
“Every (player) puts in a lot of work when practice starts, coaches do too,” Allatoona coach Gary Varner said. “You know (the season’s) coming, and now that it’s here, you get that extra pop.”
The Cobb Football Luncheon, which is sponsored by the Marietta Daily Journal and Cobb EMC, this is the one time that coaching staffs from all 21 schools in the area congregate at one setting for fellowship and food.
And everyone seems to get a few laughs when coaches introduce their respective staffs with the most popular joke centering on how many tables the larger staffs can fill. Different college coaches from the state of Georgia come to Roswell Street Baptist Church to speak on their own experiences.
This year, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson spoke about building relationships through football.
“You get that (excited) feeling every year when you walk into this room,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. “You hear what is going on with other schools and you hear the college coaches talking.”
At every banquet, a coach mentions the thrill of being undefeated because the season hasn’t started yet. Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon jokingly said he will enjoy being undefeated for one more year and then “retire” before the Owls make their football debut Sept. 3 of next year against East Tennessee State.
“You get a group of coaches (at the luncheon) who are about to embark on a new season,” Bohannon said. “That’s the neat part of Cobb football and I’m humbled and honored to be a part of it.
Kennesaw State inaugural fall practice begins Aug. 18 with weight training and conditioning. Players will then practice for three weeks in full pads starting Sept. 8 before going back to conditioning and weight training.
First-year Walton coach Maurice Dixon experienced his first Cobb football luncheon.
Dixon takes over a storied program from former coach Rocky Hidalgo, who moved on to Glynn Academy, that is three years removed from making the Class AAAAA state finals.
“It was outstanding,” Dixon said. “It gave me a chance to meet all the other coaches and stuff.”
This is also the first luncheon for first-year South Cobb head coach Sherrod Rainge as well as Ryan Brady (Campbell), Matt Casper (Walker).
Friday was the first day teams could officially go to work to prepare for the 2014 season. They will practice in helmets and shorts for a week before donning full pads Aug. 4.
The regular season opener for most teams begin Aug. 22.
“It’s just about being safe and teaching proper fundamentals,” said Hockman, who led his team to the state semifinals last season. “That was the message given to us and we have to preach that.”