Southern Powerhouse Preview: Day 2 Recap
My videographer, Gary Peacock, and I did the math when we came home last night: 885 miles on the odometer in the GPB van from beginning to end. It was a big, three-day trip touring the southern part of the state for our “Football Fridays in Georgia” coverage. The journey was fun, three-dimensional, and vertically-integrated.
It started with a trip to Rochelle, Fitzgerald, and Ocilla for most of the first day that ended in the commitment of Westover’s Trenton Thompson to the University of Georgia. It was a big day for the Albany school coming off its best season ever. They’ve won 8 games on a few occasions, but finished last season with 9. There is a lot of optimism that Thompson will stay heading to Athens, but frankly, this is when his recruiting really starts.
Then, there was the Wiregrass Gauntlet.
I caught up with Monty Long, the voice of Valdosta football, and friend of GPB, Mark Dykes, over at “In The Game Magazine.” Next were the Region 1-6A discussions with the head coaches at Lowndes and Valdosta, a Region 2-A talk with Clinch’s Jim Dickerson, and some 5A talk with Ware’s Franklin Stephens. Stephens was part of the coaching carousel this past season when Carrollton lost Rayvan Teague to retirement. Ed Dudley left Ware for Carrollton and Stephens left Lamar County for Ware…
Then, it was time to catch up with one of the best motivators in the business: Camden’s Welton Coffey. He likes his teams to be physical and if you ask him about hitting the other guy, his eyes light up like no other coach I have seen.
He’s a very cool dude and a treat to watch at practice.
The final day was a shot to catch up with another part of the carousel, former Walton and now Glynn Academy coach Rocky Hidalgo. It was a big change, but he’s looking forward to the rebuilding of the program in Brunswick.
Then, up the coast for two interviews: one with Benedictine’s Danny Britt and the Cadets...who happen to have one of the coolest uniforms in the business.
And then, on to one of the two first-year programs in Savannah over at Islands High. Karl DeMasi has been building that program from the ground up beginning four seasons ago. Now, his football team’s games count for real.
So, that’s the short version of our travels and Round One of them as well…
I want to thank each one of the coaches and programs for taking time out of their super-busy schedules to visit two guys who hopped out of a van to ask a few questions and hit the road…
We can’t do it without you and good luck to all of you this season!!!
Play it safe, everyone… I’ll talk to you soon…