Archive for July, 2012

GHSA institutes new heat rules as high school football practice starts

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

The high school football season began officially Wednesday for several schools that plan to have their players in full pads on Aug. 1, the first day they are permitted to do so under a new policy being implemented by the Georgia High School Association to guard against heat related injuries.

The GHSA’s new Practice Policy for Heat and Humidity was approved by the organization’s executive committee in March. Though two Georgia high school football players died last year during summer workouts – Forest Jones of Locust Grove and DJ Searcy of Fitzgerald, who died while participating at a team camp at a facility in north Florida – the rule was crafted based largely on data collected during a three-year study which concluded at the beginning of this year.

The GHSA commissioned the study, according to executive director Ralph Swearngin, which was conducted by two University of Georgia researchers, Michael Ferrara and Bud Cooper. Members of the …

Continue reading GHSA institutes new heat rules as high school football practice starts »

Former Washington coach Cofield takes Douglass job

Rodney Cofield, the football coach who built Washngton into an Atlanta city power after years of losing, is the new head coach at Douglass, a former winning program that has lost 29 of 30 games.

Cofield was 97-46-1 in 14 seasons (1995-2007) at Washington and led the only three Washington teams to win 10 games (2004, 2001, 1997) since the 1950s. His players included five AJC Super 11 players, most recently Georgia cornerback Branden Smith. Washington had suffered 15 straight losing seasons until Cofield arrived.

Douglass had a winning history until the past five years, when declining enrollment took its toll. Its alumni include recent NFL players Jamal Lewis, James Davis, Stanley Pritchett and Ahmad “Batman” Carroll.

“That was one of the things that attracted me – the tradition,” Cofield said. “These people are hungry, and they’re ready to come back. Somebody said that if anybody can do it, I can be the man, so that’s why I got the call. I’m looking forward to it.”

Cofield was …

Continue reading Former Washington coach Cofield takes Douglass job »

Redan loses football coach over contract issue

For the second time this off-season, a DeKalb County school is looking for another head football coach after its first choice declined to take the job over a contract dispute related to school system budget cuts.

In May, Camden County defensive coordinator Bryan Love declined to take an offer by Class AAAA champion Tucker to replace Franklin Stephens just three weeks after accepting the offer. Love returned to Camden, and the Tucker job went to defensive coordinator Bryan Lamar, a Tucker alumnus.

This week, Terrence Amos, hired in March, declined the Redan job when faced with a cut in his teacher’s salary from his previous school in Alabama.

Amos, an Atlanta native who was head coach in 2011 at Jackson-Olin in Birmingham, went through spring practice with his new team. This month, he was offered an official contract and was surprised that it called for a 7 percent cut from his previous job and a smaller coaching supplement than expected.

‘’The principal [Greg Goodwin] …

Continue reading Redan loses football coach over contract issue »