Battlefield High School has not yet played a game in any sport, but it already has experienced one significant loss: Boys' basketball coach Brett Vincent, hired in March, backed out of the job this month to become an assistant coach at Division II Fairmont State (W.Va.) College.
That leaves the Bobcats scrambling to find a replacement just six weeks before the new school opens. Battlefield Activities Director Dave Davis said two other finalists who interviewed for the position have since taken jobs elsewhere.
"It's tough right now because no AD wants to give up anything," Davis said Friday. "Nobody wants to recommend a coach from their school because it's [almost] August. . . . We're between a rock and a hard place right now."
John Hoover, previously named as an assistant boys' basketball coach at Battlefield, also will not join the program. He moved to Waynesboro. Another assistant, former Osbourn Park assistant John Tillman, remains at the school.
Vincent, who played at three Division I colleges -- West Virginia, Robert Morris and Marshall, from which he graduated -- coached at Lewis County High School in Weston, W.Va., for the past three years after serving as head coach for five seasons at Division II Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.) College, where his teams went 92-49.
In 2002-03, Vincent guided Lewis County to its first winning season since 1985. He was the West Virginia high school player of the year in 1986, when he averaged 35.9 points.
"The positive thing about it is basketball doesn't start until November, so there is a little bit of leeway," Davis said. "The negative thing about it is that it's [nearly] August, and when you open the building, kids and parents want to know who the basketball coach is. The people here in the school, myself and the community have to deal with a little bit of adversity to start off with.
"We felt we got somebody who was going to be beneficial, and we know the next person we get is going to be beneficial. Things happen for a reason, whether you like the reason or not."
Vincent's abrupt departure was not the first delay to the launching of the boys' basketball program. Three Haymarket teenagers have been charged with vandalizing the new school, including pouring paint thinner on the gym floor. Davis said the damage to the basketball court has been repaired.
Cougar QB Open to Offers
Manassas Park rising senior Zach Terrell, a quarterback-defensive back who last season was selected as the Virginia A Bull Run District offensive player of the year and Region B defensive player of the year, said Friday that he likely will unofficially commit to Division I-AA James Madison University but is open to entertaining additional scholarship offers.
Terrell made 40 tackles, rushed for 1,278 yards and 18 touchdowns and threw for 994 yards and nine scores last season. He also was the Bull Run District baseball player of the year last spring.
Terrell said he had not been in contact with JMU prior to their offering him a scholarship. There are two Prince William players listed on the Dukes' roster -- senior defensive end Sid Evans and junior kicker Paul Wantuck, both from Osbourn Park.