August 14, 2006
Albany -- The Albany football team struggled last year, winning just three games.
Across town, the Dougherty Trojans went all the way to the state championship game, and the Indians were hoping success was contagious when the hired their new head coach.
Former Dougherty assistant coach Reginald Mitchell takes over the Albany program this year, and the players say they couldn't be happier.
"I like him," says junior Chris Dare. "He's tough, but I like him."
David McDonald says, "He's one of the best...THE best coach I've ever played for, and the most discipline I've had to endure."
This is Mitchell's first head coaching position, and he says he's learning as he goes.
"What I'm doing is just taking what I've learned from all the coaches I've coached under," says Mitchell. "Taking bits and pieces here and there and adding it in to what we're doing here. But it's still trial and error. It's still a learning experience."
The Indians were on the field in full pads for the first time Monday, and the senior quarterback McDonald says they can learn a lot.
"It means everything. We find out who's scared. Who's been talking the talk, but can't walk it."
Coach Mitchell says, "As we walked through school, a lot of guys were talking about it. They've been ready for this day a long time."
The Indians say they're also ready for a long playoff run.
"I think we can make it to the finals," says Dare, "just beat everybody in our way."
McDonald adds, "Make it to the playoffs. Get to the Dome. Get to the championship. We're not settling for anything less."
Albany opens its season September first at Lanier County.