COVINGTON, Ga. — Less than one year ago, the Alcovy Tigers’ football program was looking to make some moves that would catapult it toward the next level.
At the time, head coach Chris Edgar was preparing for his second season as the Tigers head coach, and he knew one position group needed the biggest overhaul — the offensive line.
Flanked by tremendous talent at skill positions, the offensive line struggled to overcome the size difference it faced against an opponent’s defensive line.
To combat the difference in size, he went to South Georgia to pluck out someone who could implement new techniques and strategic blocking that would help create a dynamic run game, along with improved pocket protection for quarterbacks Cam Anderson and Nick Simmons in the passing game.
That is where Damoio’n Wright comes in.
And after a year of discernible improvement on the offensive line, he can now officially trade in the o-line coach moniker, for the title of coordinator.
“It feels great to become the new offensive coordinator at Alcovy High School,” Wright said. “I really appreciate Edgar for giving me this opportunity. He saw something in me that many coaches didn’t see in me, and I thank him for that.”
Although Wright is a “young gun” – at age 22 he is perhaps one of the youngest offensive coordinators in the state – he already has plenty of experience under his belt, learning from some of the best.
The former Greene County assistant worked with peers who shared experience across the board, which helped him learn the coaching aspects of the gridiron very quickly.
“I was under coach Robert Edwards during my first season as a coach at Greene County,” he said. “I learned so much from him it was crazy. Our staff was loaded with a ton of football junkies. A majority of them played in the NFL, CFL and AFL, so I had no choice but to learn more and more everyday being around those guys, and that helped me become a better coach and mentor.”
From Greene County to Newton County, he will now work even more with Edgar to make an Alcovy offense that had its moments last year more explosive, and Edgar is ever-so-confident in his new right-hand man.
“The thing that sticks out to me about Coach Wright is his football IQ,” he said. “He is an absolute football junkie. He surrounds himself and soaks up as much as he can about football, whether it is video, conversations with other coaches or literature.”
Another reason Wright was no-brainer for the job in Edgar’s eyes was because of the way the players respond to him. Edgar noted last season during the summer that it did not take long for Wright to form a bond with his position group, as well as other players.
That bond blossomed throughout the whole team, making him the ideal person to work with a bigger group of players in a more crucial role moving forward.
A change in coordinators also brings a change in offensive style as well. Edgar is confident in Wright, noting that his system is one that will be diverse, and hopefully effective.
“Coach Wright has been building his offense for years,” he said. “He takes things from different systems or teams, and then molds him into his vision of offense. Towards the end of last season, he was calling the games. Now, it is his system.”
For Wright, that means the Putnam County alum is looking to present a regional formula to the table.
“I’m bringing a little bit of Middle Georgia/South Georgia football to the offensive side,” he said. “I want everyone on the offensive side of the ball to be very nasty and physical. Win, lose or draw, I want opponents to look at Alcovy Football and say, ‘that’s a different Alcovy right there.’”
As spring football begins in less than a month, the expectations for the new offensive system are high, with some of it already being implemented and practiced.
“I think Coach Wright’s plan is to put players in position to execute within their ability as a player and member of the offensive unit,” Edgar said. “So as far as we have been teaching the offense ahead of spring practice, the guys are grasping it and buying in. I think spring will be a time for the basics with the summer for more intricacies.”
There will be a point, however, when the spring and summer will end, and the pads come on as the new season begins. Most certainly, there will be a point next winter when the 2018 season concludes as well.
After this upcoming season, Wright has plenty of goals that he hopes are satisfied by then.
“The biggest goal for us is to win the region championship, play game 11, and then go from there,” he said, “Also to have six guys or more make All-Region and hopefully get a few to make All-State.”
The Tigers’ last winning season came in 2013, and with Edgar’s third season rapidly approaching, both he and Wright knows that the time to see true fruit in this program culture change is now more than ever, and Wright knows it as well.
“A lot of people don’t respect the football program,” Wright said. “It’s time for a change, and it’s about to show this season. Our guys have a new attitude and some new swag now, so trust me, it will be different. We’re changing the culture in a positive way at Alcovy, and it’s a process, but we’re getting there.”