GLEN ALLEN, Va. (WWBT) - Thursday marked the first day that high school football teams could hit the field for official practice, and coming off its program record-setting season, Glen Allen was back at work.
For the first time, Perry Jones took the field as a head coach. Jones previously served as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator under Sal Camp, and is now getting the opportunity to run his own program.
“It’s wonderful, man,” Jones said on Thursday morning. “It’s surreal being out here and being in charge of over 80-plus players.”
Being a head coach is something Jones has always targeted. He says he learned how much of an impact a high school coach can have on a young man’s life through his own high school head coach at Oscar Smith, and now he’s happy to be able to play that role in his players’ lives.
“I’ve always kind of been preparing myself to be a head coach, so now that I’m here, I’m hitting it full stride.”
“He’s always been a big part of our success,” added senior running back Devin Flowers. “He watches a lot of film, he always puts us in the right position for us to go hard, and he makes our jobs easier.”
Jones, a former UVA running back, is taking the reins of a Glen Allen squad that is coming off it’s best season in school history. The Jaguars finished 9-3 in 2018, including their first ever playoff win. Now it becomes about building on that success.
“We got a lot more guys from the school coming out. They actually want to play for us and we got a lot more numbers,” noted Flowers. “Everyone’s excited for the season and we can’t wait to get the season started.”
“I don’t believe that I should be the one to hold everybody accountable,” Jones said of building a successful program, not just a team with a successful season. “The players have to hold each other accountable and once you do that, year in and year out, you have no choice but to build a great program.”
Jones will rely on Flowers many times during the upcoming campaign. The rising senior running back teamed with quarterback Donovan Riddick to carry a lot of the offensive load last season, and, especially with the graduation of Riddick, he’ll be expected to do the same in 2019, both on and off the field.
“I want to be a great leader for the guys coming up and I just want to help any way I can to make our program successful just like last year,” said Flowers.
“He makes things so much easier,” added his head coach. “He can take a broken play and still make something positive out of it. It’s not secret that our offense is going to run through him, so he understands the role that he has on this team.”
Jones also notes that Flowers’s success will open things up for other guys to make plays.
The Jaguars have a good portion of last year’s team back. Eight starters return on the defensive side of the ball, along with six on offense, and that certainly gives the new head coach optimism that Glen Allen can build on last season’s successes.
“You can never lay too much foundation, so we’re going to continue to work on the small things and just take this program to the next level- not just be a great program, but have a great culture.”
Glen Allen kicks off its season on August 29 at Midlothian.
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