is beginning the second phase of its new football program, and this week the junior varsity team will have its first game to usher in their inaugural season.
On Aug. 30, the team competes against Athens Christian at an away game, and on Sept. 20, the team competes here against Pinecrest. Because the school does not have a football field for games, the new will be its home.
Not only is there a new program and a new field at Providence Christian Academy, but they also have a new name -- The Storm.
By, the 2013-2014 season, a new varsity team will hit the fields, right along with the junior varsity and middle school divisions already in play.
Patch sat down with , the first head coach in the academy's 20-plus history, to see what his plans are for the season, how student athletes are responding and the support of the community.
Patch: What's the excitement like this year, and in general, for the program?
Robinson: Obviously last year, for our middle school program, we had a lot of fans that traveled with us, so a real sense of community, and that was neat to see. Regardless of where we went, we always had a good crowd. It was so funny, we played at Hebron for a middle school game, and we brought so many people, they sold clean out of food. So, that was pretty cool. Hearing the parents talk about it after the game, they ran out of food at half time.
Now, that our high schoolers are able to play. Because we're a JV program, our ninth and 12th are able to play varsity, so there are seniors involved, as well. And, I teach all seniors, so it's neat to see that. Some of those guys are in my class.
Patch: What about practices, how are those coming?
Robinson: Like most teams here in Gwinnett and across the state, we went to two weeks of spring football, we gave them a couple of weeks ago, and then that first week of June, we've been going ever since then.
Patch: So the student athletes on the junior varsity team will obviously be on varsity next year?
Robinson: Yes, my thought process was: Those kids that were eighth graders last year on our first middle-school team, they will be juniors, so that will give them three years of being in the program. And, it's the physical part of the game, but I think more so it's the mental and emotional side that a lot of people really don't focus on. I want them to hear a voice. I want them to hear what we believe in, what we value. I just believe in if it feels right in a person, you're usually going to do the right thing.
Patch: You all are trying to accomplish a lot in a program like this. Not only are you trying to do the sports, but you also have Christian values that you want to impart, How do you do all that on the field?
Robinson: I think they're all connected. I think the most important -- they're all important, but obviously the spiritual. We put together a vision for our football program, so every day it's in front of our kids. The things that we believe in: the importance of brotherhood. If you study people who are successful -- groups of people -- there is a sense of caring for each other, I really believe.
So, if you look at our vision, the first step is brotherhood. We talk about that every day. What does that look like on the practice field, and then we talk about attitude, positive attitude. What does that look like. Being disciplined. Toughness. So, every day those things are in front of them.
Patch: What's the goal as far as winning games?
Robinson: Do we want to win, you bet. We're playing to win. But, as far as win-loss record, we don't spend a lot of time talking about that. With our seniors this year they're talking about: What do they want their legacy to be? Those things that might not necessarily show up a score board. Those are the things I want us to focus on, but again, I really believe this: If you have the right kind of people, that want to work hard, they're disciplined, they do all the things that have nothing to do with ability, then the score board's going to take care of itself.