New Daleville coach Desmond Lett is the fourth head coach in four seasons at DHS but he hopes to finally bring stability to a position that has been in flux since the departure of Josh Parrish in 2016.
Lett has spent time at Daleville as a junior high coach, defensive assistant and offensive coordinator before earning the head coaching position in 2019. Lett said that he hopes to provide the stable coaching position that the Warhawks have been hoping for the past number of seasons, and with that stability more success on the field.
Daleville is coming off of a season that started off looking like a disaster with the Warhawks going 1-3 in the first four games before winning four of their last five regular season games and earning a spot in the playoffs.
When the playoffs came, the Warhawks turned it up with a win over Reeltown in the opening round before a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Leroy in the second round.
“When you’re up 26-7 with 9:30 left in a ball game you shouldn’t lose a game like that,” Lett said of the Leroy loss. “I think it crushed everybody here and it’s inspired most of our kids to get out there and get after it, Jalen (White) in particular.”
Daleville’s senior leader, White, has taken that loss to heart. White rushed for more than 500 yards during the Daleville playoff stretch and has embraced his role as a leader during the offseason.
“He’s in the weight room every single day and he talks about finishing every day,” Lett said of his senior. “He’s stressing (finishing) to his teammates and he’s become more of a vocal leader because of that.”
White rushed for 1,745 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2018 and had just one game where he didn’t rush for at least 100 yards, as well as being a leader on defense with 78 tackles and three sacks from his safety position.
Ever since Parrish was the coach at Daleville, the Warhawks have run a version of the “flex-bone/wishbone” offense, but in the second half of the season last year Daleville switched to a more downhill, I-formation power running team and as a result White and the offense really turned it on. Lett said more changes will be coming, too.
“We started running more ‘I’ and got away from all that other stuff,” Lett said of the change last season. “I think we have so many athletes that we need to spread it out a little bit more, too.
“We’ll be more dangerous with more athletes on the field but at the same time we can’t completely get away from the I and from what we do best and what Jalen does best, which is running downhill right at the defense.”
Lett said that the 2019 offense will be a mixture of power-I and the spread which will play to the strengths of his athletic offense.
Junior quarterback Peanut Bloodsaw threw for 917 yards and 11 touchdowns along with rushing for 511 yards and nine touchdowns last season, but also may see some playing time at receiver this season.
“We’ve experimented with that a little bit,” Lett said of moving Bloodsaw around in the offense. “We have some packages where we direct snap (to White) or bring (Robert) Dees in at quarterback and move Peanut around in the offense.”
Lett has also welcomed two new coaches onto the Daleville staff with new offensive line coach Scott Parker and new defensive coordinator Justin Hendrix.
“I think the kids are reacting to the new coaches really well,” Lett said. “Coach Parker is doing a great job with our linemen and Hendrix is doing a fantastic job with the defense and the kids are adjusting to them really well.”
Lett said that he has been impressed with his team during summer workouts and looks forward to seeing their hard work pay off in the fall.
“Summer workouts with the kids have been going really well,” Lett emphasized. “The kids are really willing to work (hard) and see what we can do this year and are excited about it and getting back out there to pick up where we left off.”