McEachern’s football program celebrated the 400th victory of its 59-year history, reaching the milestone with a 58-12 victory over a county rival South Cobb on home Friday at Walter Cantrell Stadium.
The Indians, who first took the field in 1960, have the second-most wins in Cobb County history, only trailing Marietta, which the Georgia High School Football Historians Association credits with 561 wins dating back to 1902.
North Cobb is third with 328 wins dating back to 1958.
“We’ve had a proud tradition and a record of excellence for 30-plus years,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said after Friday’s game. “It’s very exciting to be a part of it.”
In looking back over the six decades the Indians have taken the field, consistency has been the key. They have only gone through only seven coaches, with only one coaching change since 1984.
That change came when Jimmy Dorsey retired following a 24-year tenure to focus solely on his role as athletic director, setting in motion for Hockman to take the helm in 2008 following two seasons at Campbell.
Between Hockman, who has 96 wins in his 11th season at McEachern, and Dorsey, the duo own 315 of the Indians’ 400 wins. Both have nearly indentical .768 winning percentages.
Glenn Cato won 44 wins from 1965-75, followed by Charles Collins (20), Rusty Granitz (13) and Bob Gaither and Dennis Carroll (four each).
“I coached there 24 years, and Kyle is in his (11th year), and that allows us to build our program from within,” Dorsey said. “In my opinion, that is the best thing that has happened at McEachern. You go down to the middle school and youth programs, we’ve been able to keep our numbers strong. I think that allows the consistency.”
Since Hockman took the helm, McEachern has been in the postseason every year, and that has helped numbers on the varisty roster linger in the low hundreds over recent years.
The Indians have won five region titles during that stretch, made three trips to the semifinals and three more to the quarterfinals. Their latest semifinal run came last year when they lost to eventual state champion North Gwinnett.
McEachern has had 129 players go on to play college football in Hockman’s 11-year regime, highlighted by his son, Bailey (Florida State) and Julian Rochester (Georgia). The Indians produced 118 collegiate players during Dorsey’s regime.
When Dorsey became coach in 1984, he never experienced a losing season until his final season in 2007, when the Indians went 4-6. He guided McEachern to 12 region championships an undefeated regular season in 1986 and a state runner-up finish in 1998.
“I’m extremely lucky to have been at the school as long as I was,” Dorsey said. “That is an anomaly in this day and age.”