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Early named new Heritage football coach

Wendell Early, seen here coaching at Berkmar High School, takes over as Heritage’s new football coach. Photo courtesy of Berkmar High School. (File Photo)

Wendell Early, seen here coaching at Berkmar High School, takes over as Heritage’s new football coach. Photo courtesy of Berkmar High School. (File Photo)

A new era has begun at Heritage High School as Wendell Early was named the school’s ninth head football coach.

It will be the third head coaching stint in the state of Georgia for Early. He was the head man at Berkmar High School from 2003-07 and went to the state playoffs in 2004 and 2005, which was the Lilburn school’s first postseason appearances in nearly 20 years. Early coached South Forsyth to a 4-16 record from 2008-2009, was an assistant at St. Pius from 2011-12 and served as the defensive coordinator at Shiloh last season.

“We know some people that have worked with him, he’s a great person, he’s fanatic with the players (and) he’s a knowledgeable football coach,” Landy said. “We were impressed with (him). He’s just real enthusiastic, a huge energy person. He’s got ideas and plans, building a complete program. The number one thing we’re always looking for is a good person, we think we got a great person.”

Before coming to Georgia, Early enjoyed success at several Florida high schools. He went 37-10 in four years at Westwood High School (Fort Pierce, Fla.), winning three district championships.

Early takes over for Mike Parris, who coached at Heritage for one season and led the Patriots to a 6-5 record and a berth in the Class AAAAA state playoffs. It was a school-record fourth straight appearance in the state tournament. Parris resigned in December and Matt Daniel served as interim coach for the last two months.

“Matt did a fantastic job, we really appreciate the job Matt did in that role,” Landy said. “Fortunately, most of our assistants are still going to be here.”

Players, parents and fans will have an opportunity to meet Early March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Conyers school.