Podcast: Let's Be Frank (Sulkowski)
Hosts Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson catch up with WJCL-TV sports director Frank Sulkowski. He gives his thoughts on a wild high school football season on the Georgia coast.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. This episode is going to be a fun one. It's going to be good to catch up with a fellow GPB alum here in just a little bit alongside Hannah Goodin. I am Jon Nelson. It is another week in the books coming up on two weeks left in the regular season and Hannah is fighting her allergies.
Hannah Goodin: I have allergy voice today.
Jon Nelson: Yes, she does. She's making — she's making sure that her vocal range — making sure that she's not coughing in the middle of a segment. So she's low gearing it for the show this week.
Hannah Goodin: I feel like I have an issue with my voice every week. Allergies are tough.
Jon Nelson: Yes, they are.
Hannah Goodin: I'm just sensitive to it.
Jon Nelson: And there's nothing wrong with being sensitive to allergies.
Hannah Goodin: Last week I was stuttering. This week I'm going to be coughing. You know, you never know what you're going to get from me every Monday. Monday is not my favorite day of the week.
Jon Nelson: Well, and I'm not a morning person. So for me to come in here and do this and try to sound like I know what I'm talking about —
Hannah Goodin: We need a new time slot.
Jon Nelson: No, no, we're all right. Sean puts up with us a great deal. All right. So last week we had Grayson with a dominant performance against Brookwood. No Dylan Lonergan for Brookwood in the Football Fridays in Georgia Game of the Week against Grayson. Crazy first quarter. Game went absolutely sideways. And then a key moment created a bit of a bridge for Grayson, heading to the half at 28-17, and then 30 unanswered points in the second half by Grayson to win that one by 41.
Hannah Goodin: You know it's a wild game when my mom texts me and she says I'm glued to the TV. I mean that — that just says it all right there for No. 1 Grayson versus No. 10 Brookwood. Senior running back Phil Mafah basically carried this one on his back.
Jon Nelson: Big Mafah!
Hannah Goodin: He was outstanding. Just plain fun to watch. He rushed for 85 yards, had 105 yards receiving off two huge catches and scored a total of four touchdowns. Of course, quarterback Jake Garcia had a huge part in that, too. He was 8 of 12 passing for 233 yards. But what an outstanding offensive performance by the Rams.
Jon Nelson: Unbelievable. And it was — for those of you that missed it, you can go to the GPB Sports Twitter account, @GPBSports and you can hear the postgame interviews that we had with Big Mafah and Coach Carter.
Jon Nelson: What?
Hannah Goodin: Jon...
Jon Nelson: We start well, it's like Big Mims, then we go from Big Mims to Big Mafah.
Hannah Goodin: OK, but what the folks don't see is your facial expression when you're — when you're doing that —
Jon Nelson: Big Mafah!
Hannah Goodin: Oh, man. I need more coffee.
Jon Nelson: But no, it was a tremendous — it was great to see everybody at Brookwood. Ran into Coach Dave Hunter and he wanted to say more to make sure that he got to say hello to everybody with GPB. And it was — it's a great environment and the great folks at Brookwood. But just to see how dominant the No. 4 team in the country is right now in Grayson, truly. They've got two quarterbacks with two different skill sets and you've got Big Mafah as your tailback and 160 all-purpose yards. He was our Georgia Cotton Commission player of the game. So it was stellar work by them all night long. And they're heading to another region title and they've got one task in mind.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, undefeated at 8 and 0 on the season they will take on Newton this Friday. The Broncos, on the other hand, are now 6 and 2. They will face South Gwinnett. How is Region 4-AAAAAAA shaping up as a whole, Jon?
Jon Nelson: Region 4-AAAAAAA is shaping up on the whole, as I look at my region standings here, and remember Region 4 is playing Region 1 this year when it comes to the postseason. So right now, Grayson at 3 and 0 and 8 and 0, Parkview a game behind it, 2 and 1. Newton at 1 and 1. Brookwood and South Gwinnett at 0 and 2, Brookwood’s at 6 and 2. South Gwinnett at 5 and 3. So Brookwood and South Gwinnett right now are fighting for that 4 spot. But Brookwood, you know, whoever the four seed is and whoever the three seed is out of Region 4, going on the road right now, that means if you're the 4, you go to Moultrie. If you're the 3, you go to Lowndes.
Hannah Goodin: I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say anything yet, but Jake Garcia is my Zoom interview this week.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: For Recruiting 2020. I'm supposed to be talking to him tonight, so that'll be — that'll be a fun interview.
Jon Nelson: Keep an eye on that across social media platforms. What were your other games?
Hannah Goodin: All right. Since you've got everything else covered and our guest has south Georgia covered, I'm going to take a look around the metro Atlanta area this week.
Jon Nelson: Go for it.
Hannah Goodin: You mentioned only a few weeks left of the regular season. Some big time region games were on the line Friday night. Blessed Trinity finally got a fourth game in this season after so many scheduling problems due to COVID — they also were quarantined themselves. The Titans defeated Hiram handedly, 50 to nothing to go 4 and 0 on the year. They will remain No, 1 in 5A on the GPB sports rankings. Buford is number 3 in those rankings in 6A, coming off a 38 to 10 win over Lanier. Wolves senior wide receiver Boyd Farmer — love that name — Boyd Farmer —
Jon Nelson: Boyd Farmer.
Hannah Goodin: — returned an interception nearly 100 yards for a touchdown for a 17 to 7 lead. Lanier stayed close until Buford's two fourth quarter touchdowns that put that one away. In Region 6-AAAA Marist defeated Stephenson 23 to nothing. Lincoln Parker rushed for 112 yards and two scores on 13 carries. That marks the War Eagles' fourth shutout of the year, which means they have not allowed a touchdown this season, Jon. Only two field goals. That's some pretty good defense right there.
Jon Nelson: That’s some pretty good defense right there.
Hannah Goodin: And in Region 6-AAAAAA, Allatoona beat Kell 30 to 15 after leading only 3-nothing at halftime. Kell got TD passes from Elan Hall of 49 yards and 38 yards in the third quarter to pull away. They will play my alma mater Lassiter on Friday, who's coming off a bye week. Lassiter's 2 and 6. You know we haven't checked in with the Trojans in a while so I thought I'd give them a little shoutout.
Jon Nelson: Absolutely, as you should. Let's see, my games from around the state: Obviously region of doom, Colquitt beating Lowndes 40 to 10. That was one of the biggest stories down in south Georgia. Lee County beat Northside Warner Robins by 6, Valdosta beat Houston County 31 to 14. Amari Jones was almost perfect from out of the shotgun: 13 of 14 for 249 there at Lee County this week. Richmond Hill, Glen Academy, we'll get into those two teams with Frank Sulkowski from WJCL-TV coming up in just a little bit. One of the wildest scores of the week, 7 to 5, no lie. Glen Academy beat Richmond Hill by the score of 7 to 5.
Hannah Goodin: This isn’t baseball.
Jon Nelson: 7 to 5. That was what the final score was. We'll get into Islands and New Hampstead. That was a great game on the coast, two 4 and 0’s going at it. Fitzgerald beat Thomasville 29-28. Down 28-21, got a safety and a score for the win there in Double A to win 29-28. Early County gets to 5 and 2 beating Cook in a back and forth at 42-35. Also on the board in Single A public, Brooks over Clinch 45-3. Dublin beat Johnson County in Region 4, 49-6. And the 316 War as they call it, Washington-Wilkes over Lincoln County by the score of 14-13 and it's just a small sample as we love all of our children equally. Now it is time for the guest of plenty and since there are so many stories on the coast, we figured what we would do is we talked to one guy who could give us all those stories, Frank Sulkowski, grand exalted poobah, Majordomo, GBP alum, from WJCL-TV, host of The Frenzy, their Friday night high school football show that just blows up games everywhere. A lot of highlights, a lot of stuff. So here's our conversation with Frank and the first question comes from Hannah.
Hannah Goodin: Frank, you yourself are battling the pandemic. I hear you're coming off quarantine. How you feelin'?
Frank Sulkowski: Tell you what, this has been — it was an odd experience because I went for months and months since it started, taking all the precautions and yeah, I actually caught it. I'm guessing maybe when I went to Georgia Southern's game up in Myrtle Beach against Coastal Carolina. Again, I was I was masked up, but came back that Monday after the game tested negative, but then Thursday went through and had another test and tested positive, then tested positive again. So, yeah, I just came off my quarantine, had no symptoms, never had a fever, never lost taste, never lost smell. I had a little bit of a cough, but I usually do this time of year, it's been bronchitis and everything else, it’s just seasonal allergies, I guess. But, you know, we didn't take any precautions. So, yeah, I quarantined. I'm now off of it. Feel great and I'm ready to get back into the game, that's for sure.
Jon Nelson: Hannah can relate definitely with the seasonal allergy part. She — she's she's got the deep Lauren Hutton voice going tonight.
Hannah Goodin: I do. I've got the allergy voice.
Frank Sulkowski: That allergy voice you hear it this time of year. And there's something so inviting about a deep voice like that. But mine, it was a little bit of cough here and there. And that's why I was hoping to get on here with you guys last week. But I was having a little fits here and there and there was no chance — no real chance to get on here. But what a difference a week makes. What a difference the 10 days, 14 days makes. And family’s good, I'm good, ready to — ready to rock and roll.
Jon Nelson: All right. So let's let's kind of get into things there on the coast a little bit. And to say that the approach that was created by Savannah and the Chatham County school system was unique to get their season started, I think that's a bit of an understatement.
Frank Sulkowski: Yeah, to go ahead and right off the bat, just kind of cancel all non-district games and play only within the district was something that — that took some folks aback a little bit. And — and everybody was taking their own steps and precautions and safety measures. In hindsight, I have no problem with the move for the Savannah Chatham County Public Schools. We also had some schools around the area in some of the outlying counties that were having their own issues. I mean, Liberty County started off and they didn't look like they were going to play, but they have since resumed, started a little bit late. And then sporadically we've had — we've had programs that have been affected by it, you know, Portal and Claxton and Tattnall County. They've all had some situation in southeast — or South Effingham actually dealt with a little thing and back in August as well. But Savannah, Chatham itself saying no district — only — district-only games, so staying within the county, it's been different. But it's also brought about a sense of urgency. I think a little bit more pride because you're playing for the city championship, the legit city championship. You're not in the different regions and everything else. So you're playing for a true public school city championship here in Savannah this year. And then we get to the postseason, those teams will go, but they don't have their full region complement, which has been a little different because I think what we have seen over the years, in recent years was some really good rivalries being played with the likes of, like, Jenkins playing Southeast Bulloch. I thought it turned into a fun little rivalry. We had seen New Hampstead really step up in recent years, knocking off the likes of Statesboro and hanging with Wayne County. And it was different not having those tight matchups. But here we are in November and it's been all the Savannah Chathams playing each other. It's been a little different. Then you also have the whole officiating shortage that they've had to deal with. So a lot more games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So spreading it all out. I mean, there was actually a couple of weeks back where we had four games on a Thursday night here around Savannah, Chatham County. And then that Friday night we had one game because so many of the private schools were in action around town as well. So it's been different. But again, it's like I've stressed and I tell people every time I talk about football and just high school athletics this time of year. And what we're going through in 2020, we're playing sports in a pandemic and we're doing so safely and precautions are being taken. And that's a relief because there has been some sense of normalcy with those Friday night lights being on, those rivalries, some being renewed, some continuing on. And again, here we are closing in and teams are jockeying for playoff spots and we're seeing teams with great storylines coming out of southeast Georgia and here on the coast. So, yeah, it's been different, but in a way, it hasn't been. And so not being different has been the big relief because we — we've all needed that distraction and we've all needed high school football.
Hannah Goodin: Well, you take a look at Region 3-AAAA and you mentioned some of these teams just now. There's only four teams in that region: Benedictine, Islands, Jenkins, New Hampstead. So with the last three I mentioned, those are city schools. So they're not allowed to participate in region play. So that leaves Benedictine as the automatic region winner without even having to play. It’s amazing!
Frank Sulkowski: It's amazing. It is amazing. But at the same time, I think going into the season, Benedictine’s always going to be the cream of the crop, always going to be the team that everybody's chasing. What this caused was, Benedictine went out and they really beefed up their non-region schedule. I mean, if you look at what Danny Britt and company have done, you know, they had to play matchups and they were on the road for a better part of late September through October. You're talking about — they had away games. You rattle it off: at Effingham, at Brunswick, at North Oconee. At Wayne County. At Ware County. At Appling County. That's a pretty pretty big string.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Frank Sulkowski: And — and, you know, and then you go through that region schedule and they suffered back— or that non region schedule — and they did suffer back-to-back losses against Ware and Appling. But hindsight, those are two very good football teams.
Jon Nelson: Now, let me ask you this, just for logistics' sake, with Region 3 being what it is, how do they determine the two, the three and the four now with Benedictine the only team in region that isn't playing Savannah City schools, how are they determining the two, the three and the four?
Frank Sulkowski: You know, that's always been the — the whole wild card is you really you don't get that play. But I think the way it's all falling is — it's, you know — it's going to be: Benedictine will fall in because of what they've done and they automatically bump to the top. But let's be honest, I mean, they played — they were playing their full schedule.
Jon Nelson: Right.
Frank Sulkowski: So technically, they should and will be the No. 1 team. But but then you take a team like Islands. Islands and New Hampstead and Jenkins, Islands will be the No. 2 coming out of the region because they've gotten wins already against New Hampstead and Jenkins. So Islands — Islands goes up to No. 2 Benedictine because of those other teams. Basically, it falls into a la forfeit is what happens. The school district said we are not playing outside of our own — our own district. So with that said, what that does is that bumps Benedicte to the number one spot and then two, three and four, we're all battling each other just for the seeding. And I can already tell you that Islands has taken the other two match-ups. They beat New Hampstead — they just beat New Hampstead and they beat Jenkins. So Islands will be the No.2, will actually host a state playoff game. Now, Islands is going to go for the city championship. They have two games left. They take on Savannah High and then that should be a relatively easy win for Islands. And then what they'll do is after that, they'll finish up the season against Windsor Forest, which could be a little bit of a challenge. But with that said, it's a non-region game. So Islands I'm sitting here looking right now, going undefeated into the state playoffs, not playing a full schedule, of course.
Jon Nelson: All right. So then let me condense this question into a couple of different parts. Who else has impressed you this year? Who has been a pleasant surprise, and who has disappointed?
Frank Sulkowski: Well, again, I can't say enough about Islands. This was a team that's been on the rise, but last year forced to forfeit because of some GHSA violations. And so you had a coaching change there, DeShawn Printup took over and he really hasn't lost a beat. Because going into this year, if you were to think who was going to be the Savannah City, the Savannah Chatham Public that was going to make noise, you would have assumed New Hampstead. Because what they've been able to do and the talent that's that's been shown there and Islands knocking them off this past week has shown that Islands is the new king of the hill when it comes to Savannah, Chatham Public, which that's been refreshing. You know, I think some people are kind of surprised Benedictine’s not undefeated or were — Benedictine usually is. But again, we touched on it. That schedule they played was brutal. I mean, they had to go to the swamp in Waycross and then to take on the fighting Rick Tomberlin there from Baxley. And that's as we've seen Appling County, when you talk about one of the things that's been so surprising and pleasant, they fall in our southeast Georgia umbrella. They have been every bit impressive and they've been fun to watch. And they are a very good football team there in Baxley. I think if you're looking at the big picture, I think Richmond Hill, again, has shown that they are indeed in the conversation when you're talking about one of the better football programs in the state of Georgia, not just in their classification, but across the state. Of course, they come off of a loss, now, their first of the season, losing at Glen Academy this past week, 7 to 5. It turned into a defensive stalemate down the coast in Brunswick Friday night. But Richmond Hill, is still a very dangerous team. I think some of the teams that I'm kind of surprised — and I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about the likes of Metter, I think, Metter has been thoroughly impressive. I think the state is seeing what Metter is capable of. And it's also — let’s also — look, we are playing in a pandemic and some of these teams are playing in regions that, yes, may not be the top echelon. But I'm telling you, I think what Metter has done, they can make a deep run in the postseason. McIntosh County Academy has rebounded nicely, and I think the Buccaneers Down in Darien are once again a team to be reckoned with. And we've gone five years where they've been kind of nonexistent down the coast. But once again, they are a very impressive team. If there are some teams that I think there was a letdown, no doubt, I think it was — I think South Effingham tops the list there. Last year you really thought South Effingham had turned the corner, had their first winning season trip to the state playoffs, and now South Effingham’s sitting here at 0 and 8 overall. That's kind of shocking. But their schedule, again, has been tough. They, too, took on, in non-region play: Metter, Appling County, Wayne County, their rival Effingham. They've taken on Brunswick. They've taken on Glen Academy, they've taken on Benedictine. They've taken on Statesboro.
Jon Nelson: Oh is that all?
Frank Sulkowski: Oh, this week they got Richmond Hill. So we just touched on Richmond Hill. So I feel so bad for them because they did take a huge step. And this is a much better South Effingham football program than has been in recent years. Nathan Clarke coming over from Lee County really does have them playing. The problem is they lost so much talent. You take a guy like Rocko Griffin, who's now at Vanderbilt, Austin Blaske, along the offensive and defensive lines, who's now at Georgia. They lost their quarter — their three-year starter at quarterback. So they lost a lot. So I think there was going to be a little step back this season. But I didn't think, 0 and 8 type setback. So, again, I think that was one of the more surprising. And if there's been kind of like a “What's happened there?” that’s kind of been one of the teams. One of the teams I didn't touch on, too: I think Southeast Bulloch was one of those football teams, too, who's been really impressive this year. And one of those teams that kind of because of the way the region's played out and what Savannah Chatham, they were they were crowned region champs early in the year as well, because their region was kind of thrown upside down with the Savannah Chatham. So Southeast Bulloch, yes, they're 4 and 3. But what head coach Barrett Davis and company had to do was they had a hodgepodge of schedule together as well. And I tell you what, when they beat Liberty County last month, which was almost about a month ago, that gave them the region title. So they will be a one seed coming out of that region as well, out of Region 3-AAA. And again, they're kind of surprised even at 4 and 3. People are like, that record’s not all that, but I think they are definitely headed in the right direction in Brooklyn as well.
Hannah Goodin: Frank, since you're so knowledgeable about all of southeast Georgia, I got to ask you about Valdosta. They'll go back on the road this Friday to Leesburg to play Lee County, 4 and 3 on the air, 2 and 0 in region play. What are your thoughts about Rush Propst and the season that's going on down there?
Frank Sulkowski: Well, listen, I will be the first to tell you, because I'm a Tift County graduate, former Blue Devil —
Jon Nelson: See, that’s why she asked the question.
Frank Sulkowski: God dang it, you really put me on the spot here.
Hannah Goodin: I’ve been holding out on this question.
Frank Sulkowski: Oh God, this is hard, because — I'm supposed to straddle the fence, right? We’re supposed to be unbiased?
Jon Nelson: But you’re Tift through and through, though.
Frank Sulkowski: Exactly. So whatever Valdosta gets, they have coming to 'em, let's just put it that way, OK?
Hannah Goodin: You know what? Fair.
Frank Sulkowski: I'm not taking it back to the 1990 blown call on the goal line where Tift County—
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, you are.
Frank Sulkowski: — scores a touchdown and they said fumble.Oh, see, I did.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, you did. You just did.
Jon Nelson: Oh, that's fantastic.
Frank Sulkowski: I still lose sleep about the 10-6 loss at Bazemore Hyder in 1991. But no, I'm not bitter at all.
Hannah Goodin: You sound like Jon.
Frank Sulkowski: Exactly. Now, listen, listen, listen. Valdosta’s Valdosta. Yes, the tarnish has been knocked off a little bit. But if there's — if there's a coach out there who will get that shine back, it's going to be Rush Propst. Love him or hate him, the guy is going to make them a winner. It's just he came into a program where the cupboard was a little bit more barren than it was when he arrived at Colquitt County. That's just my thought on it. So I think Valdosta will be back among the best. I mean, you look at — They're going to bounce back.
Jon Nelson: Right.
Frank Sulkowski: They're going to bounce back. Lee County? That's a tough one to bounce back against. So it's probably not happening now, but this will not be the last that we'll hear of Valdosta. I have a feeling within the next five years they'll be back in a championship game once again.
Jon Nelson: One final question for you from Hannah for this go 'round.
Hannah Goodin: One more.
Frank Sulkowski: Oh, gosh.
Hannah Goodin: All right. We do this segment on our new recruit —
Frank Sulkowski: Shady Lane! Shady Lane Chili Dogs in Tifton are the best chili dogs in the state of Georgia.
Jon Nelson: Oh, there you go.
Hannah Goodin: So controversial.
Frank Sulkowski: But I do like New Way and I do — I will say there are some fantastic loose meat sandwiches on the square in Thomaston, I will say that.
Jon Nelson: See, see Frank, you and I need to have a separate show about this particular. But this is another football — another football question before we go.
Hannah Goodin: I can't say I'm not going to put you on the spot, though.
Frank Sulkowski: Okay, bring it. Bring it, Hannah.
Hannah Goodin: So we've got a brand new show called Recruiting 2020. And what we do each week is we pick a kid that is underrated and we say we are going to make this kid an offer by featuring him on the show. Is there someone down there on the coast or in southeast Georgia that you think is the most underrated player and needs to be recognized and given an offer?
Jon Nelson: Or a better — or a better offer than they currently have on their — on their stacks.
Frank Sulkowski: That — that's a really good question. This is a great segment because, you know, that's one of the things that I hold near and dear. I really do believe that what us as journalists has become — yes, we do the scores, we do the highlights. But I think one of the most important jobs that we have, just like coaches has become, is helping get these kids to the next level, let them get the opportunity to — to have their talent, take them to the next level and get that education. You know, if there was a young man who for talent, what I've seen, listen, I got a couple. I got — I really do have a couple that I got — I got two right now I got to share with you.
Jon Nelson: All right. Hit it.
Frank Sulkowski: One: Damozzio Harris running back at Jenkins. OK, this young man, he's only 5-foot-9, about 190 pounds, but the kid runs hard and has a nose for the end zone every time. He's a senior at Jenkins. Damozzio Harris started off his high school career at Windsor Forest and transferred over. Was part of that Jenkins run last year to the Final Four. He's back this year. And because Jenkins this year isn't having the same type success — they’re 3 and 2 this year — he is a really good one. With that said, he's one of them. And let me go ahead and say, Barry Kleinpeter.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Frank Sulkowski: Quarterback at Savannah Country Day School. I think he has so many tools. And for me, what he reminds me of in reality is one of those type quarterbacks we've seen come up through the Valdosta State over the years. One of those Hal Mumme-type guys, one of those Mike Leach-type guys, this guy, Chris Hatcher-type guys, this guy could sling it all over the field and he's doing it at Savannah Country Day. And I don't think he's getting as much attention because they're playing down in that Single A and because there are some more visible programs, Country Day, not necessarily the elite in Single A, but I think Barry Klinepeter — and the young man just does so many things right on and off the field. I would be remiss if I didn't share this one quick story on kind of why I want him for no other reason. He got named the Player of the Week here in Savannah a couple of weeks back. And what he did was he gave up the award to a Windsor Forest player who had really recently lost his mother, who passed away. He — he deferred that player of the week to the other young man who finished second in voting because earlier that week he had lost his mother. And I think that just says a lot about the type of young man, Barry Kleinpeter is. So if I had — I hate taking two. But let me just say right off my head, Damozzio Harris and Barry Kleinpeter here in Savannah.
Jon Nelson: Absolutely epic. Frank Sulkowski, majordomo of the Frenzy on Friday Night's WJCL-TV. Let's see, you anchor the news. You do the sports, you fly the — you fly the helicopter to break the news. You cover hurricanes. GPB alum, by the way, Frank Sulkowski.
Frank Sulkowski: Boy, you know, watching the election, it took me back, Nelson, to some of those early morning, late nights down in the basement of the Capitol Building working on feature stories. And, you know, it's what shaped us, what made us. And there's not a day that goes by that I don't count my blessings for my time at GPB and prep sports plus. And that was my first opportunity coming off of my internship, which also happened here in Savannah, WTOC and who would have known that years later I'd come back here and now I'm you know, I'm not any younger.
Jon Nelson: None of us are, my friend.
Frank Sulkowski: Boy, I've got I've gotten better looking with age, though. I do feel —
Jon Nelson: I'll stipulate to that. You're better looking than I.
Frank Sulkowski: But tell you what, here we are. And one thing that hasn't changed are the amazing young men and women playing high school athletics here in the state of Georgia. It's a blessing. It's an honor, and it's a thrill to be able to cover them every day. I know you guys feel the same way. And again, I appreciate this opportunity to talk about sports a little bit with you guys.
Jon Nelson: Love you, my friend. We'll catch up with you soon.
Frank Sulkowski: All right. Much love to you guys. Keep it all in line up there in the ATL. We'll do the same here on the coast.
Jon Nelson: It's always good to catch up with Frank on a bunch of different levels. A: because he and I are such good friends and I've known him for so long. And to see his career go from Statesboro and Tift down in south Georgia to be there in Savannah and become part of the fabric of Savannah. It's just it's really cool to see how — how Frank has — his career has evolved. But to just — it's always good to catch up with a good friend who knows a boatload about high school sports.
Hannah Goodin: So knowledgeable. Reminds me of you, Jon. He can just spin off facts from decades ago that nobody remembers but y’all. It’s amazing.
Jon Nelson: But Frank is prettier and far more attractive than I am. He has not aged.
Hannah Goodin: You know what, Jon? You are. You haven't aged either. You are evergreen. I did not mean to put him on the spot, though. I do feel bad. You know, you never want to make somebody flustered on air. So I'm sorry, Frank. My bad.
Jon Nelson: No, you're not.
Hannah Goodin: No, I'm not sorry at all.
Jon Nelson: All right. So what's the game this week for us?
Hannah Goodin: All right, let's preview our Football Friday Game of the Week. We'll be covering a big Region 4-AAAAAA matchup between No. 7 Lovejoy, and No. 8 Westlake. The Wildcats are 7 and 1 under head coach Edgar Carson and coming off their first loss of the season and first loss in region play to Langston Hughes. 18 to 20 was the final score in that one. Westlake in Atlanta is also 7 and 1 with head coach Bobby Maye, but they're undefeated at 3 and 0 in region play. This will be a big test for both of these teams, Jon, I'm really excited about it.
Jon Nelson: Westlake beat North Atlanta 56-18, RJ Johnson threw for 229 into Avieon Terrell had a pick six for a score. Five different rushers scored in their 38-point win over North Atlanta. So Recruiting 2020 will be at seven o'clock before the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast — before the Football Fridays in Georgia Game of the Week. This is the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. This is the end of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast for another go-around. And as always, it's great to catch up with Frank Sulkowski and get the lay of the land down there on the coast. This show is produced by the irreplaceable Sean Powers and everybody here behind the scenes at GPB who got everything figured out so we could do this show this week and every other week. For Hannah, I'm just Jon. Play it safe, everybody, enjoy the game.
Transcript by Eva Rothenberg