An already experienced Fort Dorchester Football coaching staff will be a little more seasoned entering the 2019 season.
The Patriots’ varsity football staff returns pretty much intact. Eddie Scott, who coached the Fort tight ends last season, has married and moved out of the area. However, Head Coach Steve LaPrad has replaced Scott with a veteran coach.
“I was lucky enough to get John Patterson on board,” LaPrad said. “He brings a lot of football suave to us. He has been a head coach and been a college coach. He’s been around and knows what’s going on.”
Patterson is a former head coach for James Island High School. After his son, Bo, graduated from James Island, the coach moved to New Hampshire so he could attend the son’s games at Dartmouth College. The father took a job up north as an athletic director, but after his son graduated college he eventually moved back to the Lowcountry.
Rather than focusing just on tight ends, Patterson will join returning Fort coach Joey Still in focusing on the entire Patriots’ offensive line. LaPrad said that group, if any, is the Fort’s Achilles heel entering this season so he is happy to have the two coaches tag-teaming its development.
“To me offensive line is what makes the world go round and I feel like I have two of the best offensive line coaches you can have in Joey Still and John Patterson,” LaPrad said. “I feel like even though that is a young spot for us we are getting some serious coaching there. We are hoping they can get those guys ready.”
The rest of the Patriots’ coaching staff has been with the program for multiple seasons. Ian Rafferty returns as offensive coordinator and Ryan Charpia (quarterbacks) and Kevin White (wide receivers) also return on the offensive side of the ball.
Brent LaPrad is back as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator. Also back are Bobby Floyd (defensive backs), Fred Hamilton (defensive line), Tracy White (linebackers) and Neil Veloso (kickers).
Football teams also need experts to tend to injuries and health.
Returning to tend to those matters are Fort athletic trainers Jimmy Rogers and Danielle Greenman.