Podcast: Rush To The Semifinals
Hosts Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson go over the quarterfinals and get you ready for the semifinals. They also check in with Rush Propst, the head football coach at Valdosta High School. He discusses the challenges of this season, and the big change he and his staff made to turn things around.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing us, however you are doing so: large device or small, on your favorite podcatcher, and I know that there's like eleventy billion of the — of the podcatcher variety these days.
Hannah Goodin: It's the last Football Friday on GPB; semifinal week, everybody.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, it's getting into semifinals. And so we are now into the final 32. It's four by eight, left side, right side. And we'll get into all of the other stuff — the other games that are coming up this weekend. We got a very special guest this week.
Hannah Goodin: Yes, we do. Valdosta head coach Rush Propst is on the show. You guys are going to want to stick around for that one.
Jon Nelson: Rush, do I hear your ears on there?
Rush Propst: I'm here.
Jon Nelson: All right. So we're just going to go straight into this because I know that you're, like — doing like actual coaching and looking at things said.
Rush Propst: Yes, yes, yes. Yes, I am.
Jon Nelson: Well, no, I called you on Sunday and I was you know, I was thinking that you might be, you know, having a meal or something and just kind of taking it easy. But no, you tell me, “No, I'm at practice.”
Hannah Goodin: Calls in live, calls in live while we're recording the open. This is amazing.
Jon Nelson: See? I mean he's got he's got the timing down for all of this stuff. But, yeah, you were already out there. You were already at practice on Sunday. You're not — this is semifinal week and this is get out there and get it done, right?
Rush Propst: It is. I mean, it's just you got a lot of film to watch. You get a lot of stuff to break down in a short period of time, guys. You know, when you get back 5 o'clock in the morning, you know, these South Georgia teams is tough. I mean, there is a huge disadvantage when it comes to preparation the next week. And we got in at 5:15 from Augusta this week. We got in, 4:45 from Carrollton. So, you know, it's just, you know, it really puts — especially in the big schools because all your big schools north, you know, around the Atlanta area in 7A, 6A, except for Region 1, maybe over in Augusta, Region 2. And, you know, but outside, you get out of that now it's all up there. And so for us, it's just a tough turnaround. From five o'clock, I have an eight hour rule for coaches. So when the players unload the bus, I hit the lock and they're going usually in 30 to 45 minutes.
[RUSH’S PHONE GOES OFF]
Jon Nelson: Nothing like getting your phone blowing up right in the middle of a segment.
Hannah Goodin: I can’t imagine.
Rush Propst: And the weird thing is, you know, the button that you can turn it off? It’s broke, just about. But anyway. So anyway, you get back and —
Hannah Goodin: Ignoring that many phone calls, are we?
Rush Propst: Right. And you got — you're exactly right. And then — but it’s just tough. And then you come in at twelve, you go home and sleep 6 to 11:30, 12. Get up, come back. You're at work at 1 o'clock — 12:30, 1 o'clock and by lunch and you're back in the film room till… now, I got home Saturday night about fourth quarter of the LSU-Florida game and then back at the office Sunday morning about 7:30. So it's — it's a grind now, there's no doubt. I mean there's not much time to even take a breath, to be honest with you.
Hannah Goodin: Coach Propst, in your first season with Valdosta, you've made it to the semis. I had no doubt that you wouldn't be here. You got through Lovejoy, Evans most recently. Your 36 to 15 win over Carrollton. What have you learned about yourself as a coach and your team?
Rush Propst: Well, coaching is always changing. That's the one thing you always know about coaching, it’s never the same. Everything's different. Every situation is different. So you have to learn to adapt and you got to be flexible. You know, each program has their own little, I guess, I don't know the word I'm looking for, but, you know, it's just different and —
Jon Nelson: Their own dynamic, maybe?
Rush Propst: Yeah, probably. Logistics, dynamics, whatever you call it. But, you know, as far as what we’re learning about our football team as we were not a good football team, you know, coming down the stretch run, I thought we were trying to improve. It's just I didn't meet this full football team until the month of June — June 8th, when I started meeting them. But collectively, guys, I think we didn't — we didn't collectively start till July 27th as a team.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Rush Propst: And so now we're in the 21st week, which is pretty long, I think with cancellations. We've done it before. But, you know, it's just these kids have gotten better and better and better. And I think that, you know, we're not a finished product by no stretch of the imagination. We had no offseason. We had no spring ball, we had no summer work. And I got here, was hired late, hired our staff late. And so what we've done is pretty dang remarkable, to be honest with you. But I think it starts with your quarterback. Our quarterback’s gotten better and played better. And, you know, our defense played pretty well all year, but offensively we've just been hit or miss. But now we've gotten a little better in stride, especially with the way he's playing.
Jon Nelson: And when you got the job there, Valdosta, when we first talked, just kind of shooting the breeze a little bit, you told me that usually it takes you 18 months to turn a program around. You have to do it in four this time, but you're having to do it in this environment. Where do you think that turnaround is, knowing that you had to turn it around in four months, but you've had all these obstacles?
Rush Propst: Well, it wasn't easy. And, you know, so, like, I don't like comparing it to a pandemic. You know, as far as what, you know, what President Trump did with the vaccine. But it has been Warp Speed here, trying to get things initiated in and put in and all the things that you do. And, no, your program is not in, I mean, we're nowhere near have gotten our complete program in. I mean, they'll be you know, there'll be some coaching adjustments, there'll be an offseason. They'll be — our work leading up to spring practice. There'll be spring practice and summer work and into fall camp and two or three games in next year before I feel like we've got everything in. And I think really probably in the middle of next year, probably about midseason, maybe late into the season before I’ll feel comfortable about having my program in now, obviously. But think about it, Jon. Most coaches get hired in January.
Jon Nelson: Yep.
Rush Propst: They go through the first year. Transition. Go through the second offseason, into the summer, and about four or five, six, seven of that second year is when I've always seen the turnaround happen. You know, at Colquitt, at Hoover and Mobile and Eufala. I — it’s just the way it's been, you know. And I think that, you know, that's just been my experience, you know, as a football coach that it just takes about 18 months. IF you're hired in January, it takes 18 to 21 months to really, really just, say, put a stamp on the program.
Hannah Goodin: Just want to reiterate. So you’re a first-year head coach of Valdosta, you didn't start really getting things going till July.
Jon Nelson: Late July.
Hannah Goodin: Like, you lost one of your starting quarterbacks during a pandemic and you're still in the semifinals. Looking back on this season, what maybe is the turning point for you? What's one of the most memorable moments that you'll look back and think: Wow, wow.
Rush Propst: Well, I don't know if there's a particular time, because I think what happened is that we played a very tough game, probably the toughest in the state, no question. We played Lowndes, we played Colquitt, we lost to both after losing Jake. We lost to Lee County and we got blown out by Lee County. So when you know, you lose that game and you’re 41 to 7, the count’s going off into touchdown. So when you look at it and we also played Warner Robins and beat Warner Robins, although we had to forfeit the game, our kids don't believe that. I mean, I still feel like they won. We beat a Bainbridge team that’s a good football team. So we played a very tough schedule. And then we beat a very good Carrollton team Friday night. So but I think the turning point was when we lost to Lee County, got blown out — never was in the game, got blown out early. Kids just didn't respond, so I made a radical change in our preparation. We went nine days with no football activities.
Jon Nelson: Oh wow.
Rush Propst: Zero. We had an open week. I flushed it because it was such a bad loss, such a bad taste in our mouth. And we were ready to quit on the Monday after the Lee County game, which would've been about Nov. 16, 17 on that Monday?
Jon Nelson: Basically a month ago.
Rush Propst: Yeah. And then all of a sudden, you know, we came back that next Sunday and had a little deal. And then Monday was the first day in pads with ten days in between the last game. And we put pads back on and I thought it completely changed our practice habits and I could see a step forward. We laid out the plan going forward. I think we flushed all the toxic things away from our system mentally, physically, had 23 — 21 people hurt going into the Lee County game and most — a lot of them played, some didn’t. Got two more hurt in that game for a total of 23 on the injured reserve on that Saturday after Lee County. Now we're down to probably 11 or 12 on the injured list. So we're getting on the back side of the injury deal. Plus, we got our mental side better, our — physically we're better. And then we started winning games and we feel better about ourselves and now we have a clear path of what we want to do.
Jon Nelson: When you look at Buford, what do you see and what have you seen?
Rush Propst: They're a really good football team. They're well coached, number one. They're you know, they're good players or they don't beat themselves. They've got good players, they’re well coached and they don’t beat themselves. I mean, it is what it is. I mean, I think the thing we're going against this week is not a team, you know.
You know, we're playing a program and it's tough sometimes to beat a program, I've run into that. You know, we were pretty good in Colquitt in ‘09, my second year. But we ran up against Camden County and they had a program. We lost that game. We came back two years later and they were like 7th in the nation on a long win streak. And we upset them. And so we had started to build our program.
So I think that's — the issue is we're taking a team of fairly talented players, you know, that now are starting to buy into the way we do things. And we're going against a good program that knows how to win; their players know how to win. They've been ingrained in winning since they were probably in youth ball. So those kids have seen nothing but championships and winning programs as they've grown up in their system.
Hannah Goodin: You'll be making the 5-hour drive up to Buford. What's your plan for the road trip?
Rush Propst: Same as we always do —
Jon Nelson: Starbucks!
Rush Propst: Yeah Starbucks, we’ll leave and get in, get in, in the deal and head up. You know, we will leave around 10:30 o'clock on Thursday and we'll get to the hotel and check in and get about an hour-and-a-half to sort of lay around and detox and relax. And then we'll check back in. And for meetings and meetings will roll right into practice. We'll practice at a site there and roll right into dinner, right into more meetings and bed. Next day, get up, breakfast meetings, meetings, meetings, walkthroughs, and get ready to play.
Jon Nelson: Rush Propst, the head coach of Valdosta hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays in Georgiapodcast for another couple of minutes. You passed a milestone this year: Win 300. Do you remember your first win and what do you remember about it?
Rush Propst: You always remember your first win, it's like anything else first in life. But yeah, in 1989, I beat Raglan High School. Which was a small school on the Coosa River, where I was coaching in Nashville, my first job. We won, I think, we won 8 to nothing and believe it or not, and then started out pretty good. And it went 3 and 0, you know, then we ended up going 5 and 5. And I got beat in the first round of the playoffs by Plainview, who happened to have a freshman safety on that team who intercepted three of our passes. And that was Jeremy Pruitt.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, my gosh.
Rush Propst: So, yeah, he was on that team, his dad was the head coach. And that was, I —
Jon Nelson: You had your eyes on him ever since.
Rush Propst: Yeah, absolutely. But he — that's the first win. And, you know, you say like you remember Win 1, 50, 100, 150, 200. But after that, I mean, I cannot tell you right now, Jon, where 250 was. Or 275. And so 300 did sneak up a little bit because, you know — it did sneak up a little bit. And I started thinking about it a little bit this summer, you know, you know, sort of tallying stuff and you’re close. But don't lie. Don’t let the coaches lie to you. They check numbers and they know numbers. And, you know, the one I'm most proud of is not the 300. 300’s nice, I mean, there's no question about it's a milestone, but, you know, 81 playoff wins or more, you know, playing in my 17th or 18th semifinal game.
Hannah Goodin: Lost count!
Rush Propst: You know, I've been in 12 state championship games and looking forward to playing 13, you know, so those to me, those are the numbers I think coaches really — in today’s — in today's world, I think they look more at that as much as anything, you know, because you think about it, I'm 81 and 16. And so this is a playoff game, number 88 in my career. That’s a lot of playoff games,
Hannah Goodin: It's pretty impressive, too. So Pruitt was playing as a player on your first win. 1989 was the year I was born. So I'm not trying to make you guys feel old or anything.
Jon Nelson: You just did.
Rush Propst: You just did.
Hannah Goodin:I just want to throw that out there, you know? Coach, my last question for you is, we do this thing on Recruiting 2020: It's called “Make That Kid an Offer.” Is there a player on your team that is overlooked and maybe has a small offer that you think deserves a bigger offer or maybe no offers? So who would you make that kid an offer to on your team?
Rush Propst: To list just a few players like Javonte Sherman has an East Carolina offer. I think he's better than that; I think he's possibly a Power Five wide receiver. You know, I said Rashad Bateman couldn't get anybody on him except for Minnesota. Ole Miss pulled it — pulled an offer late. But, you know, but I was shocked that the Bateman kid, getting’ to Minnesota and getting’ out of the South just like Sherman. I think Sherman is a really good receiver that can be a Power Five player. I think that Chris McClain, we have a D-lineman that’s got length. And I think that's better than Missouri State or Western Carolina. I think he's really played well down the playoff run about 6’3”, 230.
But those are the two to stick out. I wonder what people are looking at. I think recruiting right now has been, you know, these guys can't come out and can evaluate, they’re playing late into the season. So it's crammed their recruiting style. And I think there's a lot of guesswork going on right now, to be honest with you. We know kids have not been in camp. So it is tougher right now to recruit. That's what I've been told by everybody.
Jon Nelson: Now, since you're hip deep in coaching and I know that you've got to get back to it, does the Starbucks deliver to the high school?
Rush Propst: You know, in Valdosta there's two of them and there's also a Red Owl. And so if I can't, I'm not gonna sit in line, you know me, Jon. So it’s —no, they don't deliver. And every time you get — Valdosta needs two more, to be honest. You know, we're — we're a county of about 120,000 people. And I swear I believe everybody drinks Starbucks. And when you go to the place, there's a line — there's like — there’s 30-minute waits, now. I'm not exaggerating. There is at least 20 minutes you’re gonna wait in line.
Hannah Goodin: Takes forever.
Rush Propst: It’s unreal.
Jon Nelson: And this coming from the guy who gets there just before six o'clock in the morning in years past to make sure that you're first in line.
Rush Propst: That's right. That's right. Now, I mean, you know, if you want to get it, you better get there early. But I've got them all mapped up between here in Atlanta. I can tell you that.
Jon Nelson: No doubt. All right. Well, get back to coach. And thanks for hanging out with us here. And we will catch up with you during the week. And we will see you on Friday night on GPB.
Rush Propst: Thank you, man. Appreciate you having me, OK?
Jon Nelson: Be good.
Rush Propst: Thanks for everything. Bye.
Jon Nelson: It's always fun to catch up with him, and especially there are two things that I know that, you know, really will get Rush talking. It's his early morning caffeine.
Hannah Goodin: Mm hmm.
Jon Nelson: And actually, pH — hyper pH water.
Hannah Goodin: What is that?
Jon Nelson: You know, like the Essentias, the Body Armors? The pH waters? They have the higher pH levels of normal water. Actually, I got him hooked on that stuff.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. I didn't realize he was such a big Starbucks guy.
Jon Nelson: Ohhh, he’s a big Starbucks guy.
Hannah Goodin: I didn't know that.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And it's, it's so funny, I mean he's got to have like extra swirls —
Hannah Goodin: It’s like you and your Mountain Dew?
Jon Nelson: Yeah. It has to be like super caffeinated. Super sweet. I mean he's got the breakdown but I mean it is like — there's this long list of things that have to happen in sequence for it to be right. And it's like literally it's like, OK, squirt, squirt of milk and powder. It's like two squirts of milk. Then you come back in with more of the coffee than you come out with the toppings. I mean, literally, it's like creating a dessert.
Hannah Goodin: I would not expect that from him. He's one of those double pump of white mocha kind of guys?
Jon Nelson: He's like double, triple pump of everything. And naturally to have him drop in while we're talking and getting the intro —
Hannah Goodin: Just so rudely interrupted our intro.
Jon Nelson: That is that is the timing of a coach right there who is on a clock. Literally, we start — we start going, I hear. And to pull back the curtain a little bit, the way that it works here in the studio is that we have —
Hannah Goodin: The curtain’s always pulled back, Jon, let's get real.
Jon Nelson: But about radio production, about doing the show. So when — we have an open line here into the studio and when we tell the guests to call in, basically we tell them it's like, OK, dial this number, you won't hear it ring. It's not like a traditional phone, but you'll just hear the two of us talking. And so this time around, we're in the middle of talking. And sure enough, a coach on a schedule like Rush is, he dials in right as we're talking. So he's like, right. He's like right there on the clock. He's like, go, go, go, go, go.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. We usually have, like, a specific time for them to call in so we can time everything out. But that was great. That was very Rush Propst. And I'm glad that you got him on the show. Thanks for getting that, Jon, because they’re our Game of the Week this Friday.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Valdosta and Buford. And the way that it's being promoted nationally is the program of the 20th century in the state of Georgia against the program of the present. And having these two great programs — the first time these two teams have ever met in their history,
Hannah Goodin: I can’t believe that.
Jon Nelson: I cannot believe that.
Hannah Goodin: I know.
Jon Nelson: You would think that with all of this time, with all the different classifications and wanting to challenge yourself or something like that over time, that these two teams would have met. But they have never met until this Friday.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. Two of the state's winningest programs, Valdosta, has 24 state championships. The last one was in 2016.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Buford has won 12 state championships and won the class 5A title in 2019. It's just going to be an outstanding match. I think it's — I think it's one of my favorite matchups that we've chosen.
Jon Nelson: And you know, it's going to be in a great environment up there, Buford. And I'm looking forward to seeing it because, you know, with Rush in his first season at Valdosta, trying to put his stamp on in this environment that we're in right now and Coach Appling, what he's been able to do, he's been a part of the program forever. He understands its lifeblood. I mean, for me, this one's going to be fun and cannot wait to show it off to the rest of the state and to the rest of the country this Friday night.
Hannah Goodin: So I have family in Valdosta. My in-laws live down there.
Jon Nelson: OK?
Hannah Goodin: And I'm not going to say names, but some of them were not happy with the Propst hire. I haven't talked to anyone down there about him recently, but I'm just wondering what all the Rush Propst haters think with Valdosta being in the semis in his first season after so much adversity. It truly is remarkable — whether you love him or you hate him — what Valdosta has done this season. They've been sneakily good and here they are in the semis.
Jon Nelson: And one of the things that I will always mention about a Rush Propst staff, they are some of the best at making halftime adjustments that I have ever seen. Regardless of classification, regardless of college, pro, high school. It's some of the best halftime adjustments I've ever seen across the board.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah.
Jon Nelson: So when you see what's going on in a first half and take it in its context of 24 minutes or 30 minutes or whatever, then you sit there and you transfer what you saw in that first 24 minutes to what you would see in the second 24. It is — just the changes are so markedly different that they got it down and it's — it's fun to watch in this three-dimensional idea of first half, learn your lessons, fix it in 15 minutes, come back out second half, get it done and get a win.
Hannah Goodin: But that same philosophy goes for his season as well. The fact that he had the wherewithal to take ten days off.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: With a month until playoffs — well, three weeks until playoffs at that point. And to just take a breather and redo everything is amazing coaching.
Jon Nelson: It says a lot about the staff and says a lot about that program and says a lot about where they are now. What else is on your mind?
Hannah Goodin: So I think we're going to do things a little opposite. I think we should preview Friday and then after we'll take a look back at last week?
Jon Nelson: Right on.
Hannah Goodin: OK, so my game that I've got my eye on for this Friday is Lowndes at Collins Hill. Both teams have four star QBs: The Eagles boast Sam Horn, who's the No. 4 pro-style QB nationally in the 2022 class. The Vikings have Jacurri Brown, who we've watched on our network. He's the No. 6 dual threat QB in that class. This should be a wild offensive matchup. And I'm excited to watch it.
Jon Nelson: Grayson and Norcross will be at Norcross and it could end up being another low-scoring game like we saw last week on Football Fridays with Norcross getting the win over Colquitt County and having that field the way that it is a decided advantage for Norcross in that environment and with Grayson and their running game. And, you know, that high-powered offense that Grayson has, it could be a challenge for the Rams heading to Norcross.
Hannah Goodin: So interesting that Grayson with Jake Garcia is in the semis, Valdosta —
Jon Nelson: Different classes, yeah.
Hannah Goodin: — missing Jake Garcia. It's just — it's funny. I wonder if the drama of losing Garcia has also propelled Valdosta to be like, “Let's keep things going.” Just interesting, two Jake Garcia teams in the play — in the semis.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, and then in 6A other than our game, Valdosta in Buford, it's Westlake and Lee County. We saw Westlake on Football Fridays and Lee County went to River Ridge. Great season by River Ridge, by the way, in 6A. But Lee County, just too strong. And a lot of folks at the beginning of the season in 6A saw Valdosta on the left-hand side, saw Lee County on the right-hand side and thought it might be a region rematch for the state championship there in 6A.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. What else you got coming up?
Jon Nelson: Well, 5A. You've got Coffee in Cartersville. Coffee, a three seed, has made their way all the way through. Cartersville is a two, so they get to host it at Wineman Stadium. Warner Robins scores a late touchdown to beat Blessed Trinity. So one of the three defending champs is not going to have a streak continue. So Blessed Trinity is done in the quarters. So you have Jones County, whose coach Mike Chastain used to coach at Warner Robins. That game is going to be at McConnell Talbert Stadium. That's going to be a fun one in 5A.
Jefferson and Benedictine, two high-powered offenses. This game could go about an hour and 40 minutes because of the running game that we've seen with Jefferson this year. And Benedictine, they've got a high-powered offense as well.
Marist on the road with their grinder. They have to pack a lunch, pack a dinner, maybe a midnight snack, having to go all the way down to Bainbridge.
Hannah Goodin: 3A, Crisp County will face Pierce County.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And oh, by the way — I assume you saw the note from — oh, actually, no. I think it was a text. Brad Harbor from Crisp says he's only going to take questions from you.
Hannah Goodin: Yessss!!!
Jon Nelson: He’s not going to take questions from me anymore. Any interview has to be done by you.
Hannah Goodin: It just — we just — we just bonded. Just — he is such a cool coach. What they're able to do, just kind of squeak through these games. And he's just an awesome coach and an awesome guy and he's just got a great personality. I love talking to Coach Harbor. I love his playoff beard. Looking like Santa!
Jon Nelson: The Christmas beard.
Hannah Goodin: So. OK, well, I'm excited to interview him, then.
Jon Nelson: Crisp and Pierce, that one will be in Blackshear.
Hannah Goodin: Took down Cedar Grove 16 to 13.
Jon Nelson: Well, we knew that one was going to be a grind. It was a rematch for a state championship game from last year. But all those — we all used to mention, all the juniors that Brad had last year, they're now seniors at Crisp and so Crisp and Pierce, Oconee County and GAC. Oconee County beat Peach County, which I think a lot of folks were surprised once again by the margin at 31-13. Double A, Rabun and Callaway. And that one is at Callaway Stadium. So everybody's heading from Tiger down to La Grange to see that one. So Gunner Stockton, he's going to pack a lunch and pack a dinner. And then the other one, Jefferson County and Fitzgerald, that one's going to be at JC Stadium. That one's going to be a tight game as well.
Hannah Goodin: Rabun County overcame three missed field goals, two interceptions and a blocked punt to win 27-24 in overtime.
Jon Nelson: See, the only thing that was missing there was the partridge in a pear tree.
Hannah Goodin: I know, it's like one of your countdowns before we go live on our Football Friday game of the week. That's — how do you — how do you win that —
Jon Nelson: All my numbers games that I always like to play? With the numbers of the week.
Hannah Goodin: How do you win that game? Three missed field goals.
Jon Nelson: [SINGING] Three missed field goals.
Hannah Goodin: [SINGING] Two interceptions and one block punt to win — 27, 24.
Jon Nelson: And then Class A-Private. It's going to be Prince Avenue, who had a dominant performance against Eagle’s Landing Christian. Brock Vandergriff, who has been a part of the interviews with the stars, I believe this year?
Hannah Goodin: Yes he has.
Jon Nelson: On Recruiting 2020 at Wesley?
Hannah Goodin: Great interview, one of my favorite interviews of the season, honestly.
Jon Nelson: And then Calvary Day and Trinity Christian. Trinity Christian, their first-ever semifinal on the right-hand side. Class A-Public, Irwin County goes to a place where everything is better.
Hannah Goodin: In Metter!
Jon Nelson: There you go. And then the other semi is Clinch and Brooks in a region rematch. The two and the three. So three of the four teams remaining in Class A-Public are all out of Region 2.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Jon Nelson: The one, the two, and the three seed. All of them have made it to the semifinals. Not a surprise. So looking back, what else was on your mind?
Hannah Goodin: I want to back up. Prince Avenue Christian taking down five-time state champ ELCA. Blanked them.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: 38 to nothing, ending their 22-game win streak. That's gotta sting.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, no doubt. And I mean, I think that once again, we talk about the numbers, you know, games that are looked at by the margins that we talked about last couple of weeks on Countdown to Kickoff. This was a margin, I think that was completely unexpected, especially - the game was in Bogart. But Eagles landing Christian has always been a team that will play anybody, any place, any time, anywhere, twice on Tuesday if they have to. But I think 38-nothing was another one of the big shocks out of the weekend.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, we kind of did some recaps intertwined with our previews.
Jon Nelson: Yes, we did.
Hannah Goodin: So another big one was we already talked about it, though. Warner Robins knocking off No. 1 BT by a margin of 35 to 24. That one was —
Jon Nelson: 28. Last-minute touchdown.
Hannah Goodin: 28. I can't read — I can't read. And y'all know I can't read. 35-28, which I have written right here. That one was a big surpriser.
Jon Nelson: And also, in addition to everything going on on Friday, we have stuff that's going to happen before Friday.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, we have so much to do this week.
Jon Nelson: Signing Day.
Hannah Goodin: I need a Starbucks.
Jon Nelson: Signing Day is Wednesday.
Hannah Goodin: Early — National Early Signing Day is Wednesday. So on Wednesday just — y’all just stick by your computer.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: We've got 1 p.m. Bracketology to break down all these semi-brackets with Jon and Matt.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: 5 o'clock, we've got Countdown to Kickoff where we just get more in-depth with previews and recaps, fun stories. We chat with y’all live. So don't miss Countdown to Kickoff this week. And then at 7…?
Jon Nelson: 6.
Hannah Goodin: 6 o'clock.
Jon Nelson: So we cannot — so a Countdown to Kickoff cannot go any more than 55 minutes.
Hannah Goodin: Well, we're supposed to go 30.
Jon Nelson: What we usually go a little longer.
Hannah Goodin: They usually go long. I know Laurie got mad last week, our producer. Like we were making bets over/under how many minutes you got guys would go late.
Jon Nelson: Translation: How many minutes would Jon talk over 30?
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, we try to keep that one at 30. So then it's 6 o'clock. It's our National Early Signing Day live show with Jon and Matt. We will be breaking down all of those recruits. Where they're signing on the dotted line.
Jon Nelson: Yep. And then it’s Bracketology -— sorry, Recruiting 2020, presented by our friends at Express. That is going to be on at 7 o'clock on Friday night. Yes. Preceding Valdosta and Buford from Tom Riden Stadium in Buford and I'm looking forward to this one in the semis because then after that it is the championships, the 28th, the 29th and 30th.
Hannah Goodin: Oh my gosh.
Jon Nelson: From Center Park Stadium at Georgia State.
Hannah Goodin: I've never been more happy for a week in between —
Jon Nelson: but it's not because of the Christmas holiday.
Hannah Goodin: OK, but we don't travel. So it's a week for me like I get Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Probably work on Thursday.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: We don't — our family’s all here in Georgia, I mean, yeah, it's not a week off, but it's more time to prepare than you normally have.
Jon Nelson: Kinda, sort of, but not really.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. It's going to be crazy.
Jon Nelson: It already is crazy.
Hannah Goodin: It is crazy, there are some differences in the championship this year. So obviously they're on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. But Monday we have Women's — the very first GHSA Women's Flag Football Championships back-to-back in the morning before the games start. So we will also be covering those live.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Preparing for a new GHSA sport. That's going to be really exciting. I'm excited to watch that.
Jon Nelson: And then the Single A championships will wrap up everything on Monday, the 28th, and then you'll have three championship games on the 29th and have three more on the 30th and then on the 31st, I believe that’s New Year's Eve Day.
Hannah Goodin: So excited for the semis. I wonder how many times I've said excited in a show.
Jon Nelson: Eleventy billion. It's the semifinals here on —
Hannah Goodin: It's just a good atmosphere. We've got — everyone's pumped up. Everyone’s — we’re about to hit grind season for us — well, it already is.
Jon Nelson: Yes, but no, it'll be fun. Once again, Recruiting 2020 is on at 7 o'clock Friday and the kick off a little after 7:30, Valdosta-Buford on GPB, GPB.org, the GPB sports app. That is it for another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. It is produced by the irreplaceable Sean Powers.
Thanks for hanging out with us. Don't forget to download, like, friend, be a part of the conversation on all of the GPB platforms. It is the YouTube channel. It is the app. It is — let's see, what am I missing? Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All those other places, in addition to your favorite podcatchers, you can catch the Football Fridays in Georgiapodcast. So that is another show. We'll come back this same time next week and we'll talk about other stuff because we'll know who's heading to the finals. So for Hannah, I'm just Jon. That's Sean behind the glass. Play it safe, everybody. Enjoy the game.
Hannah Goodin: Bye, guys.
Transcript by Eva Rothenberg