WARRENTON - Dave Daniels became coach of the Screaming Eagles of Warren County High School football team just three hours before their Friday scrimmage.
He replaces Marleau Blount, who resigned that afternoon. Superintendent Carole Jean Carey explained the change.
"Coach Blount resigned on Friday before the scrimmage game, and took full responsibility for practicing students without physicals," she said. She said school officials chanced upon the information.
"It was just by fluke and we hate it," she said. "We absolutely know that coach Blount didn't do it with any malicious intent."
"We're gonna have a great year in football," Carey said. Daniels, who had been serving as defensive coordinator, stepped into the head coaching job just in time for the scrimmage against the Butler Bulldogs.
Carey said there were no problems with student health while some players practiced without physicals.
"He regretted that some had slipped through and he took full responsibility, and we did a self-report to Georgia High Schools Association and we will be fined, but we can still play all competitive sports because we self-reported and took action," she said. Carey said the new principal, Dr. Kaveous Preston, chose Daniels to step into the vacant coaching position.
"He is a very experienced coach," she said of Daniels, "and he is national champion weightlifter and he also teaches weightlifting."
"Dr. Preston has observed practice and had heard him instructing students on techniques and knew that the kids respected him and related well," the superintendent said.
"We met with the booster club last night and Mr. Daniels was received very well," she said. Carey said the booster club plans many new initiatives, including a preferred parking option.
"And now, the booster club will be feeding the football team, the band and the cheerleaders all together," she said.
"We're working on a plan to allow tailgating beginning with our homecoming game," she said. That contest is Oct. 21 against the Washington-Wilkes Tigers.
"The booster club has ourfield looking really good so it will last through the season once the grass goes dormant," she said. The club has repaired some signs and other projects.
"We'll look like a first-class stadium before the first game," she said.
The Screaming Devils are on the road Friday vs. the Glascock County Panthers in Gibson, and return to Warrenton and Albert J. Massey Field on Sept. 2 to greet the Harlem Bulldogs.
Carey stressed the positives during the program's transition. She said a corrected program is being printed this week. "Our membership drive is going well," she said.
"We have a real good number of booster club members already." The boosters are selling some spirit T-shirts that should prove popular, she said.
"We have in the works a fantastic project with Joey Kaney, who is our statistician and he's putting together a book that goes back to the '40S with statistics on each game," she said.
She said the book will contain photos and "all the statistics that we can possibly find." She said the book will be "something really, really fantastic."
"Everybody who's had a part in football in Warren County in the last 50 years is gonna want one," she said. Carey said Kaney is a professional statistician.
The superintendent said high school teacher Scott Swann is making more material available to the press and the public on the school's Web site.
Swann told The McDuffie Mirror that results of each Friday's game will be posted by Friday or Saturday at www.screamingdevils.blogspot.com.