DOUGLAS — Douglas football fans will receive a glimpse of what the team will look like under new head coach Jamison Wadley during the 2019 Meet the Eagles event, scheduled for Saturday night at 6 at Arthur Jarvis Stadium.
“I’m not real big on scrimmaging and that kind of thing at stuff like that, because it’s more of a laid-back, looser atmosphere,” Wadley said.
“I’m hoping we can put something together, just to get out there and run around some in front of everybody. It will be good for the kids and good for the community if we can.”
The Eagles aren’t playing a fall jamboree, so this will be their only event until the season opener at DAR on Aug. 30. Douglas’ first home game of the Wadley era is Sept. 13 against Crossville.
“Everybody I’ve talked to says it’s a real big event, and it will give me a chance to meet some other people,” Wadley said of Meet the Eagles. “It takes time to meet people and really get to know people, and that’s also going to help the program in the future.
“Once I can meet everybody and people can meet me and figure out who I am and how I do stuff, I think that’s going to contribute a lot in the future of getting a lot of guys back out here who need to be out here, or getting guys just in general, whether they’ve been out here before or not, to come out and play football.”
Wadley said he’s pleased the Eagle players have been open-minded and willing to work while adapting to his terminology, as well as how he wants drills and practice sessions conducted.
“We’re still working on our mindset and changing our mindset on things, on finishing stuff and doing things like that,” he said. “For the most part, I have felt better every day leaving practice than maybe I thought I would. That’s a positive thing.
“By the first game, I don’t know how much offense or defense we’ll have in. I’m not going to rush stuff and try to make up for lost time. I’ve got to keep realistic goals and stuff set.
“It may be week three, week four or week five before we’re actually getting into the playbook a little bit deeper. However long it takes is kind of what we’re going to do, and the kids understand that and they’re working at the pace with us of trying to be patient on some things.
“I’d rather have four or five plays on both sides of the ball that we do really, really well than to have 30 or 40 that we’re not real good at any of them. That mindset is kind of what we’re going in with.”
Wadley’s inaugural DHS staff includes three members of former head coach Bubba Jennings’ staff — Jason Whitis, Tim Stewart and volunteer coach Lawayne Garrett.
The men conducted Douglas’ summer weight training and conditioning program during the Eagles’ head-coaching transition.
“Coach Whitis, Coach Stewart and Coach Garrett did something they didn’t have to do,” Wadley said.
“From the time I got here, I’ve wanted the kids to understand and the people to understand how big that was for them to keep it going when nobody was telling them to do it, and they weren’t getting paid head-coach money or anything like that. They just did it because they love the kids.
“They’re three extremely hard-working guys, and they’re going to do a great job for us.”
Since Wadley took charge of the program, he’s added Skylar Baugh, Adam Lawrence and Andy Petty as assistant coaches.
Baugh, a Douglas graduate, is the school’s new varsity boys basketball coach, and Lawrence is the new JV boys basketball coach and Baugh’s assistant.
“Skylar is a good basketball coach, and Skylar’s a great guy,” Wadley said.
“Just watching him out there yesterday [Monday] working with some offensive stuff, people can label him as a basketball coach, but he’s a dang football coach. Right out there yesterday he was laser-focused, he was in it. Coach Lawrence is the same way.”
Petty is a former All-Marshall County offensive lineman who is student teaching at Douglas this semester.
“It was just a blessing to find Coach Petty,” Wadley said. “He kind of fell in our lap.
“He had been a part of Guntersville as a player and helping Lance [Reese] coach, so he’s been around a program a lot like I’ve been around, where the expectations are a certain way. A lot of tradition, a lot of winning. Going to do the small things right, and that’s the attitude we want to bring in here. It was awesome to be able to find him.
“Coach Petty, Coach Lawrence and Coach Baugh, those are three good guys to pick up, especially this time of the year. They’re really good.”