If there is one thing that the folks around Kell High School know it’s success on the football field. In recent years the Kell program has been among Georgia’s consistent winners. That , of course, makes for high expectations.It’s into this environment that Brett Sloan arrives as new head coach, replacing the departed Derek Cook.Cook lead the Longhorns for 9 seasons,make that 9 unbeaten seasons. In fact , Kell posted 5 seasons with at least 10 wins or better including last season’s 11-3 mark.
Cook will be a tough act to follow, but the former Walton Offensive Coordinator feels like he is well prepared. A South Carolina native, Sloan coached at his high school alma mater, Chapman High School before making his way down the road to perennial powerhouse Byrnes. Sloan credits Byrnes coach Bobby Bentley with helping to shape his career and coaching philosophy . “It was huge,” says Sloan. ” They had won 8 out of 10 state championships and they offer you a job you have to go over there to find out what they do. I tried to learn everything I could while I was over there.”
Since arriving at Kell, the biggest challenge seems to communication. Sloan brings a new language and terminology on offense that the players have worked hard to grasp. “This year we are starting from scratch on offense,” says Sloan. “It has been quite a process and our kids are buying in. I’m already looking forward to next year when we will be able to come out, call plays, and they know what they are .”
We will find out how well the process has taken hold when the Kell Longhorns open the 2017 season against Tucker in the Corky Kell Kickoff Classic. The game is slated for a 9am kickoff. It’s an unusual time to play a high school football game, but Sloan says an adjusted practice schedule should help. “We have practiced the past 3 Saturday mornings”, says Sloan.” We get them up for an 8am practice to get their bodies acclimated to it, and get them into a habit of being ready to play earlier in the day.”
Brett Sloan will begin his tenure as Kell’s head coach at the newly refurbished Georgia State University Stadium, formerly Turner Field. It is a venue that has hosted World Series games and the Olympics, but the coach will try to keep things in prospective for his team. Sloan reflects on a trip that Byrnes made to Virginia to face Oscar Smith for a nationally televised game. ” Coach Bentley said remember it’s just a high school football game’, recalls Sloan. ” It’s a big deal, don’t get me wrong. We will get after it and do the best that we can do, get them on film and get them better.”