By Zack Huffman
Despite the light rain, spring football practice at Mundy's Mill high school was still going strong. New head coach Peniel Dany oversees the offensive and defensive drills the Tigers rotate through.
Dany, who spent last season coordinating defense for the North Clayton Eagles, has been the official head coach for Mundy's Mill for just a few weeks and is still getting to know his new squad.
Under Dany's defensive coordinating, the Eagles captured the 4-AAAA region championship with a 9-1 season record before playing into the second round of the state playoffs.
He speaks cautiously. Dany is not interested in stepping on anyone's toes, nor is he interested in bad mouthing coaches who have been here before him.
Right now, his top priority is coaching the Tigers back to their winning ways.
Between the seasons of 2007 and 2008, the Tigers went from being a state playoff team to suffering a devastating 0-10 record.
In taking over as head coach, Dany will have his work cut out for him, as he attempts to rebuild the Tigers.
"Right now there's no where but up to go," he said.
"It's not a bad team at all.
I know the record may not show that, but it's a good group of guys."
According to Dany, among the changes he is implementing is a switch to a 4-4 defense and a yet to be determined offensive scheme.
We're trying to build from the ground up," he said.
"Offensively we're still up in the air.
We might try some Spread or Wing-T. We're going to keep it simple."
Among his main concerns in the rebuilding effort, is shoring up the offensive and defensive lines.
The Tigers are heavy in sophomores, leaving a shortage of older and larger players to boost the line.
Mundy's Mill lost 348 students, or about 17 percent of the student body from 2007 to 2009, thanks in large part to Clayton County's School Board accreditation woes.
According to the Dany, the abundance of youth on the team makes it ideal for the rebuilding process.
"We're loaded with sophomores this year," he said.
"It is a very, very young team."
The aspect of his plan that was most important to Dany is instilling discipline.
According to Dany, many football programs in the Metro Atlanta area struggle from lack of discipline.
"That's what kills a lot of our players in the Metro Atlanta area," he said.
"That's why you have so many schools from down south that are winning state championships.
Over the course of spring practice, Dany simply hopes to have gotten a better feel for he is working with at Mundy's Mill.
He is still getting to know certain players, and finding places for them.
"It's been going pretty well," he said. "We're working hard, dedicated and getting the discipline down pat. There's nowhere to go but up and they understand that."
Above all else, he is confident the Tigers can be quickly made into a team that roll with the punches of highly-competitive 4-AAAAA, which includes Newnan who went to the final four in the 2008 state tournament.
"Of course we want to win game," said Dany. "Just to be competitive in the region is what I want to do."
The season will begin for Mundy's Mill Aug. 28 when the Tigers meet the Forest Park Panthers. Mundy's Mill's nine-game region schedule will begin the following week at home against East Coweta.