Down the road on U.S. Hwy. 27, Heard County Head Coach Tim Barron admits that the town of Franklin has only one stop light. But, on Friday nights, everyone throws their collective weight around the Braves. The same goes for Joey King and the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes.
The 478 area code has three teams that will be more than happy to schedule each other in non-region play every single year with Peach County, Northside and Warner Robins. The last two schools cut Georgia 247 in half and Eagles Head Coach Kevin Kinsler says that Eagles fan’s years are in direct proportion to the season.
Average team -- average year … and so on …
But, when you go to Fort Valley, there are multiple Campbells on the sideline. Chad and his brother, Lee, became the answer to a trivia question when Chad win his state title in 2009 against Gainesville after Lee win his over in Hawkinsville. They’re the first brother combo to hold a trophy high. But, now they’re on the same staff and when you ask Chad who wins the discussion when they disagree during games, he laughs.
Having family on the sideline speaks volumes.
This year, one interview stuck with me more than most, though…
It was Bainbridge High Head coach Jeff Littleton’s sit-down. He was the last interview we did and he had one of the farthest drives back to study for his game with Warner Robins. One of the things I remembered was that his community was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Michael’s steamrolling through the state.
The week after landfall was a bye week (if memory serves) and I don’t think Coach Littleton took his entire roster to Warner Robins to face Coach Chastain in a region game. The Bearcats lost 38-0. They were either spread to the four winds or had more important things to do at home.
They haven’t lost a game since and the team is a source of unity and pride for everyone affected. And, for the record, Northside was 4-5 after a loss to Valdosta. Coach Kinsler said his team could have folded up their tent. They didn’t and he and his coaching staff couldn’t be more proud.