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Dooly County High School introduces new football coach

VIENNA— On Monday night, Dooly County High School held a meet and greet to give the community a chance to hear from newly announced Head Football Coach Ashley Harden.

As a veteran in the head coaching ranks in the state of Georgia, Harden has spent time at Butler, Jenkins County, Twiggs County, Northeast, and Stewart County.

According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, over the course of his nine seasons as a head coach with those different schools, Harden has amassed a 41-52 record so far in his career, with his programs posting winning records in five of his nine seasons in charge. He also won a AAA coach of the year award in 2010 by leading Butler to a 7-3 record after the team had gone 0-10 the previous season.

“I have always thought Dooly was a great place. They have been fairly successful over the years football-wise,” Harden said as he opened up his presentation. “We’ve got decent facilities, and from what I hear and what I have seen in playing and coming here scouting games, the fan support is pretty good.”

Harden also added that the players have been “really awesome” so far in his experience at Dooly.

Harden began his presentation by talking about his program philosophy and what he is expecting from his Bobcat players this season.

“The average man is not successful, so we want uncommon guys. The average football team is not successful,” Harden explained. “We want uncommon players… players that are going to do things the right way in the classroom, do things the right way on the football field, and do things the right way in the community.”

Later on in his presentation, Harden went into aspects of his coaching philosophy.

“Shaping young men into the best citizen and athlete possible by instilling in them love of family, self discipline, pride and respect” is that coaching philosophy according to Harden.

“Those are the things that we are trying to incorporate in our young men. The football stuff is easy, but if we don’t produce good fathers, good husbands, good community members, we failed these kids,” he explained.

“Football is going to stop… for some it may be high school, for some it may be college, for some it may be in the pros, but at some time it is going to stop. When that stops, you are always going to be a part of somebody’s community,” he added.

Coach Harden also went on to talk about the four Ps that he wants his program to be centered around: Positive experiences, Player-centered environment, Protection of health, and Public perception.

He concluded his presentation by touching on his main goals for the program: 100 percent graduation rate, producing productive citizens, the team participating in community events, and earning high academic honors.

The Dooly football team is scheduled to begin summer workouts this week, and the Bobcats open the 2019 regular season at home against Worth County on August 30.