Jerry Sarchet was looking to get back into coaching and he felt like Warren County was the perfect opportunity for him.
Sarchet was named the new head football coach at Warren County on Wednesday night at the Warren County School Board meeting. The board also approved Ali O'Barto as the new head varsity girls basketball coach.
Sarchet said he has been coaching football since getting out of the Army in 2003. He was an assistant football coach at two schools and a head coach at two schools. His last head coaching job was at John Paul The Great, located in Dumfries, where he left in 2018. He took a new program at John Paul The Great and led it to success, including playoff appearances.
"It's been a rewarding experience," Sarchet said of teaching and coaching.
Sarchet said that it's important to him that his players do their part in the classroom and in the community and that it's not just about football.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students aren't allowed to be at school and no formal practices are allowed. Some area coaches are giving their players virtual voluntary workouts to do, including Warren County assistant coach Bud Tolliver. Sarchet said he hasn't been able to talk to any of his players yet but looks forward to doing so.
"I know they didn't pick me, but I sure picked them," Sarchet said. "I can't wait to get out there and meet them and get started. I'm excited for the opportunity and very appreciative for (Warren County Athletic Director) Ed Dike for the opportunity."
Warren County is still looking for two assistant football coaches to fill out its staff. Sarchet said he has met with his assistant coaches virtually. He said once they have a full staff they will meet as a group and evaluate the players they have.
Sarchet said he has watched film on Warren County and he was impressed with how hard they played.
Sarchet is replacing Brian Bush as head coach. Bush resigned in January after three seasons at the helm and a 10-22 record overall. The Wildcats went 2-8 last season and qualified for the Region 3B playoffs, but gave up their playoff spot after numerous players quit the team after the final game of the regular season.
Sarchet said he is aware of the turmoil the team went through last season and he wants to help the team move forward from it.
"One thing that I was taught as a young man, that I firmly believe to teach is the importance of the next play," he said. "You can't dwell on what happened. You have to learn from it and move on. In football, every play you have a four-second play and you can't sit there and dwell on if you made a mistake that previous play. Next play is the most important one. The next game is the most important one. We can learn from what happened. The kids can grow from it, come together and the next game is the most important game of the season."
Sarchet will teach physical education at Warren County High School.
Warren County is scheduled to open its football season on Aug. 29 at Handley. First practices are scheduled to be held on July 30.
Dike said that he and the committee that interviewed candidates were impressed with Sarchet.
"He came in with a plan that made a lot of sense," Dike said. "He was up on how last year ended and he has a plan to get things going in the right direction, and getting the kids involved and just basically all-around doing the right things. When he was at Paul The Great he took it from infancy and they put it on the map. They got into the playoffs and they were doing the right things and putting kids in college – and that's where we want to be."
O'Barto has been the Warren County girls basketball assistant coach for the last three years. She replaces Randy Bush, Brian's father. Dike said Randy Bush had been grooming O'Barto to take his place throughout last season.
"I'm ecstatic that she was interested in (being a head coach)," Dike said. "She's already got the base with the kids. They respect her. Coach (Randy) Bush had her doing some of the game prep, some of the on-court changes during the season. He told me he was giving her more responsibility as the season went on. I was ecstatic that she wanted the job."
The Wildcats won only two games in 2018-19, but this past season won six games, including a victory in the Region 3B tournament.
O'Barto said she's happy to be taking over the girls basketball program.
"I'm beyond excited about it," O'Bartro said. "I've grown up as a little girl wanting to be the head coach of a basketball team. So this is definitely something I've dreamed. ...I've learned a lot from the (head coaches) I've worked with. I feel like I'm very comfortable in the position now, not only in basketball but kind of where I am in life, to take that jump, that leap to become a head coach."
The Wildcats will only lose two players from last year's squad to graduation. O'Barto said she has talked to a few of the returning players and they're excited for next season.
O'Barto said she's looking forward to working with the team and building on last year's success.
"Looking to next season, I really just want to hit the ground running," O'Barto said. "Kara Mondrone, she's a great shooter. I'm very excited to see where the season takes her. Her sister, Kaylee Mondrone, she's an awesome defensive player. Mackenzi Bates, she was hurt halfway through our season last year, but I'm super excited to have her back. Jamie Kelly, she's a phenomenal basketball player. She's a phenomenal point guard. I cannot wait to work with her more this season offensively and defensively. Sara Waller, she's a huge part of our basketball program. Her defense is unstoppable. She is such an unselfish player. She gives 110 percent anytime for anything.
"So I'm really excited to not only work with those girls, but also the other girls that are a part of our team or will be a part of our team this season."