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PCHS’ Holland named 2008-09 All-County COY

Doug Holland arrived in Brundidge to coach the Pike County High School football wide receivers and defensive backs, but when winter rolled in he took on another role for the Bulldogs.

Holland was named the Pike County boys’ basketball coach in November and he wasted no time, as he guided the Bulldogs through a 21-8 season that ended in the first round of the Class 3A South Regional at Troy University.

But before the regional the Bulldogs won a share of the regular season Area 4 crown and took down Abbeville in Abbeville for the Area 4 Tournament championship.

For what his team has accomplished this year, Holland snagged The Messenger’s 2008-09 All-County Coach of the Year award.

“I am ecstatic to win this award and it is such an honor,” Holland said. “To come in and in the first year be named Coach of the Year made me realize that even though I am receiving the award, it is still for everyone that helped us get there.”

But Holland was not alone in his trek through the 2008-09 season. His right-hand man was assistant coach Roddrice Griffin.

“With coach Griffin helping me it was easy to put the pieces together, but it was just how you could get them to sacrifice things they were doing before you got here,” Holland said. “Because a lot of people don’t understand that we only had two players who returned from last year. The other seven we had never played varsity.”

Holland manufactured the right changes on the court throughout the year to make sure PCHS was a successful team.

“It was important to put people in the right position so that we could be successful,” Holland said. “Offensively we were not one of the best teams, but I felt that if we could get everybody to gel and sacrifice their overall play for the team we could be successful.”

Holland and Griffin scouted many teams at the beginning of the year and he said he thought the Bulldogs were “at best” the third team in the area.

“When I saw Abbeville and Dale County I told our players that somebody is not going to get in,” Holland said. “The main thing is that scouting early helped a lot because we understood what we needed to do to be successful. We knew Abbeville would trap and we knew Dale County was a perimeter team.”

The preparation paid off in the form of a 7-1 record against area teams with the only loss coming at the hands of Abbeville early in the season on the road.

Holland has been named the Coach of the Year, but he said the Bulldogs would not have done as well as they did without Griffin’s impression on the team.

“There are a lot of things he (Griffin) taught me and he will tell you there are a lot of things I taught him as well,” Holland said. “The main thing I learned from him is to be patient in the offense we are teaching. He was a big addition because when I was still in football he was working the team out. We did everything together and there was no me in the relationship.”

The Bulldogs’ leader said he realizes that without assistants a team is harder to run.

“Even though you may be designated head coach you assistants play just as vital a role as you do,” Holland said. “The main thing is having someone that you know you can trust.”

Holland said he will keep pushing his team to get better every day and make it further into the postseason next year, but he realizes that will not be possible without a great work ethic and a positive attitude.