In choosing to come to Waynesboro High School and serve as head football coach, Brandon Jarvis is in a way returning home.
Jarvis, a 2005 Rockbridge County High School graduate, taught at Wilson Middle School in 2010, but was unable to obtain a coaching position at Wilson Memorial High School.
A coaching opportunity at Rockbridge County also led to a teaching position.
“I thought it was a great opportunity,” Jarvis said of coming to Waynesboro. “Coach [Derek] McDaniel is here.”
Jarvis said he will have the team’s members in off-season training until the season begins in August, and his big goal this year will be building relationships.
“I think the Waynesboro community wants to be successful. I think I can help build that back to the way Coach Mac had it,” Jarvis said.
Waynesboro Athletic Director Derek McDaniel was head football coach at Wilson Memorial High School when Jarvis was a teacher at Wilson Middle. McDaniel hoped to get Jarvis on as a coach at the high school.
“It’s always nice if you have a background with someone,” said McDaniel. “I think he’s the type of person that will be good for our program.”
McDaniel said Jarvis’s diverse background as a coach will serve him well at Waynesboro.
“He knows what has to be done,” McDaniel said.
Coaching the Little Giants will continue to build on Jarvis’s coaching experience.
McDaniel said Jarvis is very personable and knowledgeable.
“I just think it’s a good fit. I really do. He’s a football guy,” McDaniel said.
He added that Jarvis is committed to Waynesboro’s football program, school and community.
Jarvis met with the current team members in the high school’s Louis Spilman Auditorium Wednesday morning.
Before introducing Jarvis to the 20 current Waynesboro High students who will be part of the 2020-2021 team, Waynesboro Principal Bryan Stamm said that what stood out to him about Jarvis while he was under consideration to be head coach was Jarvis’s energy.
Stamm said that Jarvis knows what it means to wear the W across your chest.
“It’s not as long as you think it is to get to the top, but [it takes work],” Jarvis said to the Little Giants.
Jarvis said he wants to get to know each player individually, and learn what his goals are after high school.
The first goal, Jarvis said, is to graduate high school.
“I want you to know I’m here for you,” Jarvis said.
Students had an opportunity to ask their new coach questions. The first question was: What type of offense are we going to run?
“I’m an offense guy,” Jarvis said. He said the Little Giants’ offense will be determined by what the team can block.
Jarvis gave the team a weight room schedule. He expects each team member to spend time in the weight room three afternoons a week after school.
“If you’re serious about playing football, which I hope you are, I’m going to start installing some stuff after weight room,” Jarvis said.
Until Jarvis completes his teaching contract with Rockbridge High, he said he will meet the team in the weight room on the scheduled days at 3:45 p.m.
McDaniel said he hopes Waynesboro High’s Varsity team will have 30 members, including incoming freshmen in the fall from Kate Collins Middle School.
Taylin Henderson, 15, is a freshman at Waynesboro High.
He said he is very excited about having a new head football coach.
“Not nervous, but very anxious to get back out on the field,” said Taylin of how he feels about a new football season this year.
He added he is excited about the high school’s coach changes.
“I just come out here to play football,” said Michael Smith, 17, a junior at Waynesboro High.
Michael said he is not discouraged about the Little Giants’ past performance. Previously, he served as middle linebacker, but now wants to be the team’s full back.
A new coach brings “new blood in the system, new offense, new defense,” according to Michael.
“Maybe change the record a bit,” said Jordan Gaylor, 17, of how he feels about the new football season.
Jordan, a junior, said having a new head football coach is going to be good.
“I’m just ready to get back to it, and get back to work, and see what we can do this year,” Jordan said.