Grangers have new-look staff

Published 11:03 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – During the offseason, the coaching staff at LaGrange received a major make-over.

In last week’s game against Callaway, the new-look coaching staff made its debut as the regular season got under way.

LaGrange head coach Dialleo Burks, who is back for his fourth season at the helm, made it a point to not be a micro-manager and let the assistant coaches do their jobs.

“I’ve got a staff over here that’s only been together for two months,” Burks said. “I didn’t say hardly anything to them. I wanted to see what they were going to do. I’ve got to let them coach.”

It wasn’t the debut the Grangers were hoping for.

LaGrange lost to Callaway 26-0, but it was a valuable learning experience for everyone involved, players and coaches alike.

Among the new coaches is offensive coordinator Frank Caputo, who is helping the team transition to a Wing T attack after running a spread offense in past years.

While the Grangers didn’t get much done offensively against the Cavaliers, they showed a commitment to running the ball and did it well at times.

Sam Honeyman, who was on the staff a year ago, is now the defensive coordinator, and his unit did a terrific job of slowing down the explosive Cavaliers.

Outside of Burks, it is almost an entirely new varsity coaching staff this season.

Among the new coaches is Caputo, who brings decades of experience to the job.

Caputo was a head football coach in Georgia for nearly 20 years, and he had a 95-94 record.

In 2004, Caputo guided Salem to a 13-1 record and a berth in the semifinals.

Most recently, Caputo was the head football coach at East Jackson from 2007 to 2010.

“He’s very positive,” Burks said of Caputo. “He’s a football guy.”

During the summer, Caputo got an opportunity to get to know the players he’ll be leading into action for the next few months.

Caputo has worked with the offensive players to make the transition to the Wing T attack.

“I think we’ll have a real fine situation the more these guys stay together, and the more we work and start understanding the concepts and philosophies,” Caputo said during the preseason.

Rounding out the varsity coaching staff are Walter Scott (defensive line), Adam Daigler (running-game coordinator/offensive line), Marcus Blandinburg (special teams/secondary) and RJ Miles (wide receivers, special teams, passing-game coordinator).

“They love being here,” Burks said. “They love the job.”

LaGrange will play two more games before beginning its Region 5-AAAA schedule on Sept. 22 against Central-Carroll.