After successful stint at Jones, Kenard Lang looks to change Wekiva's luck

APOPKA — As a group of freshmen walked by new Wekiva footballicon1 coach Kenard Lang during orientation, Lang noticed a tall, muscular student.

"Why aren't you out for football?" Lang said.

Lang told the student to have a physical taken and come out to practice. Wekiva athletic director Lamarr Glenn calls Lang's process of roaming the school searching for prospective players "cleaning the halls."

Mustangs fans will be overjoyed if Lang does for them what he did for Jones — take a team down on its luck and transform it into a perennial playoff contender. Entering its seventh season, Wekiva has won less than 30 percent (17-43) of its gamesicon1.

"We are really lucky this year to have coach Lang," junior quarterbackicon1 Bart Bell said. "To be coached by someone with all his experience, you know you are getting good coaching.

"We are more into it this year. He is inspiring us."

Lang, 38, has been synonymous with success since shining as a player at Evans. He was part of a state championship team with the Trojans, then became a standout defensive end at the University of Miami before a 10-year NFL career with the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Brownsicon1 and Denver Broncos.

He was 30-25 in five seasons at Jones, leading the Tigers to the playoffs four times.

"I remember a couple of years before my playing career was over and thinking [Wekiva] would be a great place to coach," Lang said. "But they opened and had to hire someone else.

"I consider myself lucky that when the position became open this time that everything went smoothly during the hiring process between the administration and myself."

Wekiva finished 2-8 last season, and since the school on North Hiawassee Road opened, its best record was 6-5 in 2011.

Lang is more concerned with where the Mustangs are headed, though, and he would like to get there in a gallop. To do that, he brought Charlie Frye, his offensive coordinator at Jones, with him. Frye, a former NFLicon1 quarterback, broke 54 school records at Akron.

Max Purcell, a longtime offensive line coach at Evans, also was added to Wekiva's staff.

The Mustangs are expected to receive a big boost from fullback Deondre Fair, who rushed for 885 yards and 13 touchdowns at Lake Brantley in 2012. Other potential starters include Apopka transfers Jermaine Grace and Richard Hanks, both defensive backs, and former Agape Christian linebacker-running back Anthony Honor.

"I see this as the start of something new," said Kaevon McCray, president of Wekiva's athletic boosters. "Everything starts somewhere. I can see us winning more games. We are very fortunate to get Kenard.

"The attitude of the boys is different. It is like they are really cool playing for Wekiva, and that wasn't the way it always was."

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