Before the Warhawks went 1-9 last season under Joe Dupree, they had five straight winning seasons and just as many playoff appearances in Rozier’s last five seasons at the helm.
“One of the things that made this an attractive job offer for me is that I competed against [Henry County] before and I know the caliber of athletes who have traditionally come out of this school and the success that they’ve had,” Starr said.
Henry County is Starr’s second stop as a head coach. He made his debut at Tri-Cities in 2006 and compiled a 5-15 record in two seasons. His chances of getting his overall record closer to the .500 mark will likely depend on how his players adapt to a new offense and defense.
“We’re trying to get our numbers up and we’re building right now but we’re pretty optimistic as far as how the kids have been working and trying to learn new stuff,” Starr said. “I don’t know if that will equal wins or losses but we’re going to work our best to try and make sure we have a chance to win every game we play.”
More than anything, Starr said, a turnaround in 2013 will have to start on the defensive side of the ball.
“We have to make sure we are a physical group of kids and a very sound defense because that gives you the best chance to compete with whoever you line up against,” he said. “That is how we did it at Stockbridge and that has been my philosophy here.”
This mentality will have to start with seniors Drake Grall, Brett Mosley and Fred Singleton and transfer through the rest of the team.
“Those kids are going to be instrumental in our program but they will be playing on both sides of the ball,” Starr said.
Mosley will play corner and slot back, Grall will line up at defensive tackle and center. Singleton will play wide receiver and linebacker.
When the Warhawks open the season at East Coweta for the second straight year, they will be trying to end a six-game losing streak.
“East Coweta has a strong history in football,” Starr said. “We know what we are getting ourselves into with that. I’ll be excited and I will also be a little nervous but I will be ready for it.”