BONIFAY, Fla. (WMBB) – Football season is right around the corner which means the return of our annual “21 Teams in 21 Days” segment. From now until the start of football season, we will bring you detailed previews of each team in our area.
For our eleventh preview of the year, we took a trip to Bonifay to check on the Holmes County Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils are under new management this season as head coach Jeff Lee took over the program in January from Kevin Womble.
Lee came from Georgia to North Bay Haven where he lead the Buccaneers to their first playoff berth in 2017.
He’s joined on the sidelines by former Walton coach Jimmy Ray Stephens. Stephens left the Braves before the start of last season to coach with Steve Spurrier and the Orlando Apollos. When the league folded, he came back to the Panhandle, still itching to coach.
Coach Lee takes over a team that went 2-7 last season, but the team isn’t really talking about the past. It’s about this season and the Blue Devils are a young team with only a handful of players who saw the field last year.
The team is working hard though implementing a lifestyle they call, GATA, a slogan borrowed from Georgia coaching legend Erk Russell.
“I mean the four letters on our shirts are GATA and that’s a lifestyle that they gotta understand,” Lee said. “Politically correct, it means get after them aggressively, but you attack everyday that same way and so they have done that.”
The phrase is on their shirts, helmets, some even have it tattooed on them.
“It’s a lifestyle you gotta don’t do nothing half effort, everything you do give it your all and that’s on and off the field,” Holmes County player Bubba Duncan said.
Holmes County kicks off the season against Bozeman on Aug. 23. The Blue Devils play in an officials scrimmage on Friday at Cottondale.