ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Building a high school football program from scratch is always tough, but imagine doing it without a permanent home in your first season. That is exactly the task for Legion Collegiate Academy in Rock Hill.
With no facilities yet, the team has to work out at a local gym in Rock Hill and they practice at Hargett Park.
“The challenge is you don’t know who you have,” said head coach Strait Herron. “We’re ordering things, trying to get the stuff you need. Then when you come out here, you find out you need more than what you got. We knew it was going to be a challenge. You just got to build.”
Coach Herron left South Pointe High School in Rock Hill after 7 years of being the head coach. During his time as the head man, the Stallions won 5 state championships. He was there at South Pointe when they opened in 2005 working under Bobby Carroll.
Coach Carroll is now at Legion with Herron as an assistant coach. He was the Stallions head coach when they won their first state title in 2008.
Those 2 certainly know what it takes to build a successful football program, but the coaching experience goes even deeper.
The Lancers strength and conditioning coach is longtime Northwestern coach Jimmy “Moose” Wallace. He won 3 state titles as head coach of the Trojans.
The coaching staff also has former NFL players Eric Moulds and Ted Washington.
You would think all this coaching experience would have the expectations sky high at Legion but that’s not the case so far.
“I really don’t know what the expectation is,” said Herron. “I’m not getting any feedback from the community so far. That’s one of the reasons I took this position. I just want to enjoy it. We know what our expectations are. We are going to drive and push as hard as we can but we are going to do it this time and enjoy it as we go.”
With no permanent home this season, the Lancers will have all road games. They open the season August 23rd when they take on the Greenwood Raptors and in a rare statement from a coach, Herron says this program is no where near ready to hit the field.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do but it will be fun to put on a uniform for the very first time.”