RIVERDALE — Since its opening in 2009, Drew High has quickly emerged as one of the state’s top basketball programs in Class AAAAA.
In their first two seasons of varsity basketball, the Titans reached the quarterfinal round and the championship game, repectively.
Now, they enter a new era under new head coach Michael Zachary.
Zachary began his coaching career as an intern at Mundy’s Mill High before moving on to Riverdale Middle to be their head coach.
Now given an opportunity to be a high school head coach for the first time, he is excited to get started and keep building the on Titans tradition.
“This is a great honor for me, and I’m just ready to get started,” he said. “I have built a relationship with these kids over the years and now getting to coach them will be exciting.”
Zachary replaces Jarrod Davis, who resigned earlier this week to take a similar position at North Atlanta High. Davis was the only coach the program has had, as he built it from scratch when the school opened in 2009.
As far as the offensive and defensive gameplan, Zachary will impliment an up-tempo offense with a pressure defense to match. He feels that he, along with his personnel, will be able to be versatile and switch what they are doing at any given moment. Another aspect of the team that he is fortunate to have is five returning players, all of whom happen to be seniors.
Leading the way is Malik Taylor, who has averaged 20 points per game since his sophomore season, and was a first team all-region and county selection.
“I’ve always put a heavy emphasis on player leadership, it can’t always be the coaches,” Zachary said. “From what I’ve seen, it’s been nothing but good communication and examples set by those guys.”
On the flip side, Zachary has also cited a few incoming freshmen and junior-varsity players who will most likely step in and play a major role this season. They will need all hands on deck this year as they will face stiff competition in their region with Whitewater, Creekside and McIntosh.
For now though, Zachary is working to put his own stamp on Drew Titans basketball and take an already solid program to even newer heights. Since reaching the Class AAA title game three seasons ago, Drew has been eliminated from the region playoffs.
“I think that a successful program is one that wins but also graduates their players,” he said. “As long as we have discipline, develop players and also wins, that’s the true definition of a great program.”