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Brooklet, Jackets welcome Kenny

New coach promises to build program

    The Fightin' Yellow Jackets have found their man.
    John Kenny was introduced as Southeast Bulloch's new head football coach during a press conference Friday in the school's media center. He told a room full of supporters that he was there not to just coach a footall team, but to build a football program.
    "I'll always like to call it a program," said Kenny. "That's what we're trying build. We're not trying to build a football team, we're trying to build a program. One that will last, time in and time out and that will be successful. There's going to be some lean years and there's going to be some years we're not so athletic — but if you get the program built, you'll be alright."
    Kenny comes to Brooklet by way of Spalding High in Griffin where he served as the Jaguars' offensive coordinator, a team that averaged 20 points a game in 2006. He told a crowded room Friday that, "spending seven months above of Macon was seven months too many."
    His last and only head coaching stint came beyween 2003-2005 where he compiled an 11-20 record at West Laurens, went 6-5 in his final season and nearly tripled his roster size before departing. He grew familar with the Yellow Jackets during that time as the two schools were in the same region and classification.
    "Coach Kenny was somebody who rose to the top," said Southeast athletic director Bobby Costlow. "He's an excellant teacher, he's an excellant coach. I think we found somebody who's going to be succesful in leading us into the future."
    Kenny's said there were many reasons to become SEB's third coach in three years, but one stuck out more than others.
    "Family, where to raise my boys (Matthew, 6, and Michael, 3)," he said. "The number one priority is family."
    A 1987 graduate of Effingham County, Kenny said returning to an area close to his own parents and coaching mentor Bob Griffith played heavily into his decision. Kenny played under Griffith at ECHS and later coached alongside him at Appling County. He said a lot of his coaching philosophies and systems are a result of Griffith's teachings.
    As for on the field, Kenny said the Jackets will base out of a 50 slant on the defensive side of the ball. On offense, be prepared for SEB to spread it out in multiple formations, a change from the Jackets' traditional Wing-T system.
    Kenny graduated from Valdosta State University and then spent time as an assistant for the Blazers, working with current Kentucky head coach Hal Mumme. He also coached a young quarterback by the name of Chris Hatcher, who was introduced as Georgia Southern's new head coach in January.
    The new coach said Hatcher's presence in Bulloch County didn't weight too heavily on his decision, but did add, "I have more hair and am better looking." Hatcher could not be reached for comment.
    Kenny takes over a Southeast team that went 2-8 last year and replaces Mike Ward who resigned at the end of the 2006 season. Ron Flott left the school in 2005 to become an assistant at Screven County.

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912)-489-9408.

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