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Brooklet welcomes coach Kenny
New coach happy to be back in south Georgia
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New Southeast Bulloch head coach John Kenny, right, instructs junior quarterback Joseph Wilson during Thursday’s practice in Brooklet.

SEB FOR 8.03

John Kenny in action during Thursday's practice in Brooklet.

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    BROOKLET — They say you can’t take south Georgia football out of a coach. Apparently for first-year Southeast Bulloch head coach John Kenny, you can’t take a football coach out of south Georgia, either.
    “I enjoy south Georgia,” said Kenny about his arrival in Brooklet. “I’m from this area. I really believe that south Georgia is the best place to be in for football, and school. I’m raising my family here. My first priority is my boys being raised in a good school system and a good county.”
    Family comes first, and football is not far behind.
    “South Georgia football is the best there is,” said the coach.
    Kenny is not the only southern-raised coach that is new to the area. First-year Georgia Southern head coach Chris Hatcher also cut his teeth in south Georgia, both as a coach and a player, and this is not the first time Hatcher and Kenny’s paths have crossed.
    Not only did the two play together at Valdosta State — Kenny as a senior offensive lineman and Hatcher as a freshman quarterback — but Kenny also took his first coaching job as a graduate assistant at VSU where he had the opportunity to coach Hatcher for two more years.
    “I enjoyed it,” Kenny said. “Chris and I are good friends, and that’s just an added advantage (to moving to the area).”
    After leaving VSU, Kenny racked up experience in every facet of coaching. From position coach, to head coach to athletic director, Kenny has done it all. Being a head coach, he says, was always the ultimate goal.
    “(Being a head coach) has always been a goal of mine,” said Kenny, “always been a dream of mine. I’m glad I’m doing it at Southeast Bulloch.”
    One thing he has always brought with him as a coach is his style of offense. A stark contrast from the Wing-T that Yellow Jacket fans are accustomed to seeing, Kenny has one word to describe to offense that the Yellow Jacket faithful will see this fall: “Multiple.”
    “We try to be multiple so we can do a little bit of everything,” said Kenny. “First and foremost, we want to run the football, and we do it from a variety of different looks.”
    While establishing the running game is a priority, SEB will not be afraid to throw the ball, either. Mixing screens, three-step drops, play-action and any mixture of passing plays will, according to Kenny, “keep the defense honest.”
    Establishing new offensive and defensive philosophies is never easy for a coach new to a program, but luckily for Kenny, he has had some time. He and his staff introduced the playbooks to the team in the spring, so having more time to learn the new offense and defense has helped the team get off to a fast start at the onset of the first fall practices.
    “Fortunately, we had 10 days of spring practice,” Kenny said. “All summer long, we worked offense and defense. We didn’t just lift and run, we actually worked all our base stuff. Now we’re jumping in with helmets, but we’ve been doing it since spring. Now we’re just trying to get as many repetitions as we can.”
    Because he has run his offense for 15 years, Kenny says it has gone through a lot of changes. Due to the multiple nature of the attack, he says, it is easy to make it work with a variety of different types of skill players.
    The Yellow Jackets have less then a month before opening kickoff. Kenny feels as though he is in the right place at the right time. The 2-8 season of a year ago is long gone. SEB has a new coach, a new offense, a new defense and, most importantly for Jacket fans, a new season that starts off 0-0, just like everybody else.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.