If you haven’t been to northeast Georgia for a football game, I would put it in the bucket list if you have a spare Friday. You can go to the mountains, Elbert, Stephens, or Franklin County, or you can visit the Bulldogs. And, when they play each other in the non-region round-robin, it’s that little added oomph to it all. And it’s a place where they love their Football Fridays.
“Our fan base is very supportive,” Gillespie tells me. “We have a great turnout. They’ve created a great atmosphere every Friday night for us to play in. On the field, we’re going to judge ourselves how we play every Friday night and not just how we are on the scoreboard. We’re going to play to our ability and if we do that, good things happen for our kids and the program. It doesn’t matter if it’s an eighth-grade game on a Thursday. It doesn’t matter if it’s a JV game on a Thursday. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Friday night, we’ll build something that’s going to last.”
Like all things, growth takes time and Coach Gillespie knows that. The patience everyone has shown up there has been a good thing as they all move forward with a program that has nine region championships in its history and some deep runs into the state playoffs.
“It’s been a process to get to this point,” he admits. “We’ve had some kids that have played a lot of football with us the last three years in our senior class and junior class. They’ve worked really hard and done a great job in the weight room. These things that don’t happen overnight that are truly a process and are starting to pay dividends for us.”
Gillespie admits Hart County was a good fit for his wife and daughter. Historically, Hart County had some players that helped them win the titles we previously talked about, and he also is quick to give credit to the administration. Their support is important to the overall in Hart County. It’s also important to the community and Gillespie says it’s a great place to live.