First Presbyterian Christian Academy could field a football team in 2012, the school’s newly hired athletic director said recently.
Jimbo Hale, FPCA’s new AD, said he always has wanted to build a program from the ground up. He will serve as the head coach.
“We are going to keep it real simple,” Hale said. “We are going to drill the fundamentals until we are all blue in the face. And most importantly, we will put character first and foremost. And we are going to start our strength and conditioning program soon.”
Hale, who spent 14 years as a strength coach and has coached football at both the high school and college levels, said FPCA basically is starting from the ground floor in terms of weight training facilities.
“Up until now, FPCA did not have a strength and conditioning program,” he said. “We are going to have to be creative in that regard too, because we do not have a lot of equipment right now. We are looking at ways to secure some equipment. It is a must-have. At one time, if you had a strength and conditioning program you were at an advantage, but now if you don’t have one you are behind.”
Hale said when he was first hired as AD, he thought it would take at least four years to start a football program at FPCA.
“But it worked itself out and everybody was very positive as far as getting a football program started,” he said. “It’s already been approved by the board. We will take this year to build it up and get everything organized. We will have all our equipment ordered and we will start spring football in April or mid-May. Then we will go through our summer conditioning next year and try and get some 7-on-7 passing leagues done and then hit the field with a varsity schedule next August.”
Hale will have to build a coaching staff from scratch as well.
“I’m actually in the process of talking to a few assistants that might want to come on board,” he said. “I’ve got two that are confirmed. I’m looking at having a staff of about six or seven.”
Hale said the Georgia Independent School Association guarantees at least 10 games a season. The Highlanders, currently classified in AA, could play down a class for up to two years if needed and will be eligible for playoff games next year.
There are several area GISA schools that currently have football programs, including Memorial Day, Robert Toombs, Pinewood Christian, David Emanuel, Trinity Christian, Edmund Burke, Central Fellowship, Brentwood, Piedmont, Westminster, Nathaniel Green and Thomas Jefferson.
“It’s pretty competitive,” Hale said. “It might not be the Georgia High School Association, but it is competitive.”
Hale said there still is much work to be done, but he added that football will be a big boost for the school.
“We are trying to get back that school spirit that has been lacking here the past few years,” he said. “And we all know that football is one of those things that is a great way to start the school year. You start out with your Friday nights in the fall and you just carry that over to your winter sports, then your spring sports.”