On this week’s Football Fridays In Georgia podcast, GPB’s Jon Nelson and Hannah Goodin talk to Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio about their big win over Lowndes, their 4-0 start and the winning culture he’s brought to Leesburg. They also recap the top games of the week. And a surprise guest coach, and Jacksonville State alum, stops in to give Jon a little good natured grief about his Florida State Seminoles last minute upset at the hands of the Gamecocks.

Lee County Coach Dean Fabrizio

Lee County Head Coach Dean Fabrizio talks to GPB Sports during the GHSA 6A State Championship game on December 29, 2020.

Credit: GPB Sports



Jon Nelson: Alongside Commander Sandy, Outlaw Jesse, King James, and Miss Hannah, I'm just Jon, Thanks for hanging out with us for another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Our guest this week is  the head coach of Lee County, Dean Fabrizio. He'll be talking about his game against Lowndes, his schedule, how hard it is to schedule what it's like being at the top of the rankings with a bullseye on both your chest and your back as consistently as they are in Lee County. And we'll catch you up on the week that was, and we get you ready for the week that will be will. be. We will let you know what's going on with the Football Fridays in Georgia game of the week. We know what game that is. We'll let you know that toward the end of the show as well. So, hint, it's another big week here at GPB.

Hannah Goodin: It was your big night out on Friday. How did the Emmy Circle ceremony. Emmy Silver Circle ceremony, say that four times fast? How did it go?

Jon Nelson: Well, I mean the Emmy Silver Circle ceremony. First and foremost, thanks to the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Southeast chapter, Mark Harmon, our former sports director, nominated me to go into the Silver Circle. And you go in front of the big committee and they sit there and they look at all the names. And this was this year's inductees and last year's because of Covid-19. They didn't have a ceremony last year. So, there were ten of us that went in this year, plus three that went into the gold circle for 50 years of service. Twenty-five years or more of service is a silver circle. And I guess to answer your question, it was in alphabetical order. Oh, so I was toward the end, naturally, the sports guy is toward the end of the show.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah. We don't care about him.

Jon Nelson: It's like sports and weather, you guys are here. You're at the end to send us home. But now it was very, very humbling. And as I've told everybody who has reached out on Facebook, Instagram, on the GPB Sports Facebook page, to me personally, and all the texts, it's been very humbling. It's been very overwhelming. And it's been it's been really cool to see everybody who has reached out to say thank you in this. And could not have done it without everybody here at 260 14th Street. Absolutely could not have. And, you know, the story that I tell is that I answered a three were a three-line classified ad in a newspaper in the winter of 1994. And I had one of the oldest VHS demo tapes at the time just to hand to the executive producer of Prep Sports Plus at the time. And he's like, yeah, ok, I will take a look. And so, twenty-seven years later, here we are, have a lot less hair and then we've been able to do some great work. And I know we're just getting started here at GPB.

Hannah Goodin: Well, we missed you on Friday, but the pictures were cool. We got to show the pictures on the post team show.

Jon Nelson: And that's the other thing, when the boss and I went to Auburn because we were going to go to the noon kickoff of Auburn and Alabama State. So, we just decided since I was banished from the building, it's like, no

Hannah Goodin: I was your night off.

Jon Nelson: And so, you're not allowed to come to the building. You're not allowed to do anything. So, we're just like, OK, noon kick we'll drive down. The hotel rooms in Auburn because of the reach of the Atlanta market. The hotel rooms in Auburn have GPB, OK? And so, I got to watch the fourth quarter of the football game and during the replay. And so, I got to see the replay of everything. And that was very, very cool to see that we're off and running this year.

Hannah Goodin: And of course, watch it on your GPB Sports app on the go. Hey, Wiley Ballard did a great job of filling in for you. We missed. Let's give a quick recap of our game. It was Creekside vs. Cartersville at Weinman Stadium. Purple Hurricanes beat the Seminoles 17-14 in a true defensive battle to go 3-0 on the year. Cartersville offense only had 182 total yards. 87 of those were by running back Amari White on 12 carries. Senior quarterback Jake Parker was just 11 of 27 passing but two throws went for touchdowns. Won a 21-yarder. In the final two minutes for the game winner. There wasn't much offense. We had trouble finding an offensive player the first half.

Jon Nelson: That is what I heard.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, but what a game. What a game.

Jon Nelson: Yeah. And that's what you're, you know, you're looking for with Creekside with their first two wins against top ten teams going to Cartersville and Maurice Dixon, you know, he'll play anybody, any place, any time. And it just so happened. It's like, all right, Conor Foster's like sure, come on up to Weinman. So, they played there. And it was a great defensive game. And you have to give both of these teams a lot of credit. This early in the season, it was only Cartersville third game and only Creekside's third game. But I think that when you look in the rankings in 5A you find these two teams are going to be toward the discussion at the end of the year. So, it was good that we got to kind of get an early look at both of these teams in 5A.

Hannah Goodin: All right. Week four is in the books. Let's talk about the other top five games I was following on Friday night Jon.

Jon Nelson: Sure.

Hannah Goodin: We'll start with the big region matchup in 7A Marietta vs. number eight Camden County. Camden County leading early. Marietta made the comeback to win 40-17.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, and what will be interesting for me is to just to find out, because you're going from Kingsland, I mean, basically you're going from Jacksonville to Marietta, and so for me, that's an interesting travel element in all of this. Did they come out of the blocks and they just run out of gas because of the travel aspect of all of this? But, you know, Jeff Herron has gotten Camden County off to a great start again this year. And once again, you're having to schedule 97 non region games because you're in the region of doom in 7A region one. And so, you're just trying to get through these non-region games as healthy as you can with Jamie Felix as running back, but I just wonder if with a very young team that maybe that travel got to him in the second half.

Hannah Goodin: Packers won in the final minutes of their game. There are a number seven. Colquitt County defeats Valdosta, 48-42. That's another one of those games. I wish I just could have been watching. We need more TVs. What were your thoughts on that one?

Jon Nelson: Neko Fann goes 11-14 for 263 and three. And we talked to Justin Rogers this year on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast about him.

Hannah Goodin: A bunch of sophomores.

Jon Nelson: About this young team. And once again, you're getting into the rhythm of a season. And so, Colquitt County now at 3-1. They've got Heritage-Conyers and it should be their fourth win of the year so far and one, you know, after this Friday. And you just kind of getting into that rhythm of getting into that same region that we're talking about, region one.

Hannah Goodin: What a game to watch. This one surprised me. Huge crosstown rival game between Warner Robins and Northside. The Demons blew ‘em out again 49-7.

Jon Nelson: Yeah. And you know we caught up with Marquis Westbrook in Central Swing and things like that. And you know it's wins like this against your city rival. This was red school and blue school. This was my column last week about what it means to make this kind of an emphatic statement. You get to 3-0 and when we've talked about 5A you could probably put a blanket over the four or five top teams in 5A, Warner Robins is really trying to make that statement about being the top team as they try to go back-to-back.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, all right. And 2A at Memorial Stadium. Number one, Fitzgerald defeated number eight, Dodge County, 15-6. Not an upset at all. Number one, I mean, the number one team in 2A and Fitzgerald. Right. But just a good game. And it was just when I had my had my eye on.

Jon Nelson: Yeah. And when you have two teams in the top four or five, you know, I'm not looking at dropping Dodge a whole lot in my rankings and you know our GPB rankings will be coming out in just a little bit. And when you have two teams that are basically somewhere in the top three and then somewhere in that 3-7, just because you lose and this is my rationale that I give folks when it comes to some teams still being as high as they are in the rankings. Why are they so high? Because you're playing a team that's higher than you and you don't lose all that poorly and you still account yourself very well. So, Dodge for me in the 2A poll should not be dropping a whole lot. Seven or eight for me might be that that place for me when it comes to Dodge and obviously Fitzgerald, you're looking at the top 2A double Callaway, Raybun, Fitzgerald Thomasville right now. That's your four. And I've seen the order of them going all over the place.

Hannah Goodin: This was a cool stat. Fitzgerald held dodged 119 total yards in 1-12 3rd down conversions.

Jon Nelson: Yeah. And Tucker Pruitt, you know, we saw it last year when they were going up against Callaway, how stout defensively they can be. And they made it to the last game of the year with that defense and very, very opportunistic offense. And I think it's going to be the same again this season for them. Once again, a very, very young team with losing some folks to graduation. They've got Cairo this week, and that's going to be a very, very stern test for them going up against Steve DeVoursney and the Syrupmakers.

Hannah Goodin: And two of the top South Georgia programs went at it. Lee County and Lowndes. Lee County pulled it out 24-21. Lowndes tried to make a comeback. Couldn't do it. We're going to talk about that game more with Coach Fabrizio in just a minute. Jon, any big upsets that that you saw?

Jon Nelson: I don't know if necessarily big it comes to upsets, but, you know, you look at to Appling beating Tift. When you have a team in Appling County and them being as highly ranked as they are in 3A, going to play a team in Tift, which is also in region one. But Tift is under a new head coach, Noel Dean. So, you're getting to get adjusted to how he wants to do things. And I think it was opportunistic for Appling to go up against a young team in Tift. Appling now 4-0 and according to our friends at the Georgia High School Football Daily, holding Tift to minus ten total yards in the second half. So stout defense for Jordan Mullis and what we're seeing at Appling County, a top five team in 3A.

Hannah Goodin: What's going to be your biggest GPB pole shakeup?

Jon Nelson: I don't know. I mean, I honestly, as I'm sitting here and I'm buzzing through what you're looking at, 7A I don't I don't think there's going to be much of a shocking, shocking shake. 6A I don't see much of a shake. I'm still going to have Valdosta in my top ten. Even though you're1-3. 5A you look at what went down. No, nothing really changed out of there. Maybe Bainbridge, I still think Bainbridge to me is a top 10 team when you're looking at 4A even though Bainbridge did lose last week, you know, Crisp, obviously losing. They're probably going to be out there, Crisp, but now at 0-3. So, they'll probably be out of my triple-A top 10. 2A, I think you're still going to see the same names. Northeast’s upset loss to Dougherty 10-7 might drop them right toward the edge of the top ten for me when it comes to 2A. And then you look at North Cobb Christian losing in class A private and then Lincoln County. That was one of the big upsets to me this past week where Lincoln County, they were in the poll and then they end up, you know, losing right out of the blocks. And so, it's going to be a quick one week in, one week out as Laney beats Lincoln County last week. And so, Laney's win, probably bump’s Lincoln County out for me.

Hannah Goodin: It wouldn't be a show without giving a Lassiter update. There you go. Lassiter lost to our rival Pope, 28-7.

Jon Nelson So now you're going to have me fishing for my Lakeside.

Hannah Goodin: What happened to Lakeside? Decatur didn't play, right, Sandy? Off Arabia Mountain?

Jon Nelson: They won the off week. Who do you have this week, by the way, Arabian Mountain for homecoming this week. That might be sneaky, but I think you ought to be able to handle that one, and I think it'd probably be a little tighter than a lot of folks may expect just because it's homecoming. So, I know that you guys are your top 10 and I know that you're, you know, taking the Decatur flag and you're sitting there and, you know, walking it through the second floor as to what's going on.

Hannah Goodin: But are you still searching for Lakeside?

Jon Nelson: I'm still searching for Lakeside.

Hannah Goodin: So, there's a thing called the Internet that

Jon Nelson: I know, but I'm looking, oh, we lost to Discovery. 45-7. So, there you go. I think it's time for our guest.

Hannah Goodin: I think so too.

Jon Nelson: It is time to catch up with Dean Fabrizio, the head coach of Lee County, after a big, big win this past week. So, Coach, let's just get right to it. It was a tremendous win for you this past weekend, three-point win over Lowndes. 24-21, now that you've had a day or so to have some distance from it. What are some of your takeaways?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Well, I think the first thing is any time you take a quality program like Lowndes, one of the tops in the state of Georgia with a tremendous fan base there, it's a great win. You know, the second thing is really proud of our kids and how hard they played in the game and especially, you know, coming off a tough loss last year. And third thing, I'm glad I don't have to see Jacurri Brown again on the sideline because he is he has one special player, that's for sure.

Hannah Goodin: The game came down to the final minutes. What was it like for you? How what was the atmosphere like? This is just such a big game. We've been talking about it all show. We were talking about it on Friday. Just tell us more about what all went into it.

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Well, you know, the game certainly lived up to its billing. The atmosphere was a great crowd, great atmosphere here. You had Mike Norvell from Florida State helicoptering in right before kickoff. The last man he was looking at I think he was there more probably just scout Jacurri. Just got to face him at Miami the next year.            

Jon Nelson: As the Florida State alum on this show coach, I'm just going to be silent from that moment forward. Continue. Keep going.

Coach Dean Fabrizio: But, you know, here's the thing about it was we really established control of the game early, jumping up seventeen up in the first quarter and had a couple of chances there in the fourth quarter to put it away. 31-14 but missed a field goal, got held on downs deep in their territory twice. We missed some wide-open passes and that but you know, they scored one right there at the end and we just had to recover the onside kick to tie it. So we felt like we had control of the game the whole way that we kind of. But, you know, anytime you got a player like Jacurri Brown and a program like Lowndes and the players have got you know, it's always and you never feel you never feel great until that final whistle blows.

Jon Nelson: When it comes to scheduling. Considering the program that you've built there in the past decade, plus, how difficult is it for you to schedule non-region games knowing the reputation that you have?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Well, when you have to find seven non-region games like we do because our region is so small, it makes it very difficult, and then you throw in the fact that there's just not a ton of schools around us like the big metro areas. It makes it very difficult. And the other thing that down here is a lot of the schools that we've traditionally played down here, you know, for whatever reason, don't want to play anymore. So, it makes it very difficult to find games. To find games we end up having to have a lot of buyouts. It certainly hurts the game. But, you know, we've got because of that and because we want to have ourselves ready for the playoffs, we try to put together pretty tough, non-region schedule and we open with Carver. Clearly, one of the top teams in 4A, and Lowndes always one of the top teams in 7A and then in two weeks, we have to go to Warner Robins, who's the defending state champion in 5A there, So, you know, we'll definitely be battle tested by the time we get to region play.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, you've got a non-region game with Lithia Springs this Friday. How do you keep the momentum going?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Well, that's you know, one thing we talked about here is, you know, if you want to be a team that can make runs in the playoffs, you've got to be able to practice hard after a big win because, you know, you've got to be able to come back and continue to improve. And that's one thing we challenge our kids when I talk to them. This morning is, hey, we got to come out and get better today. If we want to be a team that can play deep in the playoffs, we've got to be able to show that we can practice hard after a big win. And, you know, fortunately here, you know, I think we've lost, what, six games in the last five years. And everyone, those losses have been either that it's been to a defending state champion, a team that was ranked number one in the state or top 10 in the nation. So, you know, we've been fortunate that, you know, knock on wood. We haven't stopped our toe against anybody who we've been favored against. And so, it's always been a high profile, really, really good football team that we've lost, too. So hopefully our kids can continue to take care of business and not have any letdowns,

Jon Nelson: Student athletes being what they are and social media being what it is these days. You know that the kids are attached to their phones, they're attached to their computers, you know, iPads and all that kind of stuff. Knowing going into a season, odds are you're probably going to be number one or number two in your class. And that's the way it's going to be all season long. And that's the way it's been as far back as I can recall. The way that you've built things there, how do you keep them from not looking at rankings and things like that and all of the press clippings? How difficult a job is that for you and the staff?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Well, the first thing is, you know, we've got high expectations here and that's something we embrace. But we try to make sure we're not overwhelmed by or we don't like last year, you know, it's losing in the state championship game is a special year. Losing at the 6A level, in Georgia level and Georgia. And you can't come away disappointed and say, well, it wasn't a bad year. We didn't want to say title because state titles are really hard to come by. So, we embrace the high expectations, but we try not to get overwhelmed by them. And I and I think that's something that we've, you know, we've done a good job of here is trying to give us an understanding. We've got that understanding. Hey, people expect us to win a lot of games. We have high expectations, but we can't get too caught up in that. We have to we have to take it one game at a time to move forward. And it's kind of got to where we initially, I remember when we first got right, no one was a week after we beat the Jake Fromm led HoCo team in a big game, you know, in front of Kirby Smart, I think, in 2016. And that was just a huge deal. I remember I think it was my second year here when we got ranked number ten in the state and that was a huge deal and really it was more of a distraction back then, how the kids and the community were used to being ranked high. So, it's not a big deal anymore. Now, it's kind of like they were right. Number one. Number two, go home. So, I think it's kind of that kind of excitement we kind of moved beyond. And so, it really doesn't affect us much anymore. Whereas, you know, eight, nine years ago when we were building this thing, ten years ago, if we got rank, you really had to guard against the people reading the press clippings and all that because it was so new. Now it's just something our kids are used to.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, you've been coaching in Leesburg since 2009, but in the past five years, you've won two 6A state championships, like you said, made it to the finals last year, lost to Buford in OT and what a wild win that was. What's been the difference in these past five years?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Well, you know, it was like I tell people here it was a gradual process, and when I got here, literally, we were trying to win a game. I had one of the longest losing streaks in the state. And I added to that for probably half a season as head coach. And we won a game. And then it got to be, hey, man, can we just have a winning season? Then it got to be, can we just make the playoffs? And it was can we have a back-to-back winning season and can we win games in the playoffs? Then it was what made it tough was as we were growing this thing, you know, the reasons we got put in didn't do us any favors. Remember, back in 2013, we won our first region title, since when I was here, won 10 games and the first back-to-back winning seasons in school history. And then boom, they drew the line at us with eighteen hundred kids and put us in the top class with the Lowndes couple counties, Valdosta, the Camden counties. And that's a tough place because any other division, you know, top to bottom, you're only talking about two or three hundred suits. But the top class, you're talking about close to two thousand students. So, but, you know, we made it through that. And then you got put down back down the class were supposed to be in. And I think that's the gradual process of growing this program is kind of we looked at one day it was, hey, hey, we're playing for state title. And then it got to be, can we repeat the state champions? But, you know, it was never really early on. Hey, we're going to say win a state title here, we are just trying to get to the next milestone to grow ourselves as a program. And, you know, we just took one step at a time and gradually, boom, you know, where we are, where we are today, it's kind of hard to believe. It's a little surreal whether you sit back and think about it. But it wasn't something we just I wish I could say I had a magic wand and it was a quick fix, but it certainly wasn't. It's a gradual process and a lot of years of hard work. And I think the big turnaround was when I got here, you know, the middle schools, you know, they only had about twenty, twenty-five kids playing football in eighth grade. And, you know, after my son, you know, we grew that to where it was, you know, 60 to 70 kids playing in eighth grade every year. And as those groups started to matriculate through is when I think our program really started to take off.

Jon Nelson: What attracted you to Lee County in the first place?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Well, you know, I hadn't been in Georgia very long, so, you know, and so by and I've been here longer. I don't know if to take it as think of it, but that was you know, my kids were about to start school. You know, one of them was going to be in kindergarten the next year. And I knew it was a really good school system. And, you know, I learned a lot of people told me not to take the job. But the more I kind of research and looked at things, the more I realized there really wasn't anything that was preventing them from being good. It was just, you know, it took a minute, but there wasn't anything built in that I felt like you just couldn't overcome. So that was really the opportunity to come here. And, you know, the principal at the time, Kevin Dowling, and Superintendent Larry Walters, were and Rob Williams was athletic director. You know, they just they had a vision for what they wanted the football program. And I was very impressed by them. And like I said, I knew it was a great school system to put my kids in. And I thought we could I thought we could eventually get things done here.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, well, you've certainly changed the culture down there. What does football mean to Leesburg?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Well, you know, like in South Georgia, football is such a big deal and it's a big deal in all of Georgia. But football in South Georgia is just special. And last Friday night, with Lowndes here was one of those nights. It's just one of those special South Georgia football nights. There's so much passion in the communities here for football. And, you know, we've gotten to play at the Coffee, Valdosta, Lowndes, Colquitt Counties and some of these and these iconic high school football stadiums and communities. And, you know, we feel like we've kind of got that going here in Leesburg where when you come here, it's just a special atmosphere and it's a football. Here is a big deal to play. You know, we've got to it's nice on Saturdays. You know, you can't it doesn't seem like there's a game on. It doesn't have a Lee County kid playing it. And all those being players that are in college now, before that, they they're all keeping track of the team. They're all they're all constantly calling or coming back when they are coming back by when they get a chance and checking on the team. And it just it means a lot to them. And our players now don't want to let down the guys who came before them.

Jon Nelson: Have you always thought of yourself as a builder when it comes to programs and coaching?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: You know, I never really thought about that. You know, I've been fortunate, you know, as an assistant, I was born a lot of successful programs and learned from a lot of good people. You know, Chad Campbell, the last guy I worked for at Peach County, is a phenomenal football coach. And, you know, I work for a lot of the really good coaches and I never really thought of it. I got here and, you know, I don't really think about it. You just look up one day and you're here thirteen years, you know, and it's been it's been really neat to see, you know, the kids at play here. And now the younger brothers are playing for me and the older kids. You played early on the comeback. And, you know, I go back to that first state title we won in 2017 and seeing all the former players crying after the game and how much it meant to them, I mean it meant just as much to them as the players who were playing at the time because they knew they had a big role in building it and getting us to this point and that's probably the neatest thing being here, being here so long.

Hannah Goodin: Well, my last question for you, coaches is we know about some of your top playmakers. We do this segment on Recruiting 2021, where we like to highlight an underdog on your team. Is there a player that doesn't have an offer yet that we can help get him an offer and give him a shout out? Who would that be?

Coach Dean Fabrizio: We've got several guys I think, that are, you know, maybe, maybe are not, you don't hear as much about us as some of our big-time guys. You see Julius Mcclellan Jr., one of our two running backs that are two running backs, an awfully good player, the Willie Williams out of wide receivers, another excellent player in middle linebacker Wiley Geer. You know, he sat for not sat, but he was a backup to Baron Hopson, who was a four-year starter for us, he was a backup for three years. And now it's his turn and he's making the most of it. He's a really good football player. So, I think those three guys out of several would definitely be ones that colleges should be interested in.

Jon Nelson: Well, Coach, as always, it's great to catch up with you. And we know that when it comes to the rankings, you're always going to be right there at the top when it comes to 6A. So, great win this past week against Lowndes. Good luck this week against Lithia Springs. We'll be keeping an eye. Thanks for hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast.

Coach Dean Fabrizio: Thanks, and thanks for all you do for high school football.

Jon Nelson: It's always good to catch up with Coach Fabrizio, and he's another one of those guys, like we said in the interview, that want to challenge themselves with that non-region schedule, knowing that a lot of times you're going to have folks that are going to want to see them chasing toward the end of the year. And I know that a lot of folks in the polls specifically are saying Lee County, Buford, Buford, Lee County, that's just how it's going to be pretty much all season long. I think.

Hannah Goodin: Just a rematch, I think.

Jon Nelson: Well, I think a lot of folks were looking at that as one of the class is one of the classifications that would have those top two teams chasing after it. Again, obviously, you have to look at the brackets and things like that and figure out where things are going to be. But I know a lot of folks coming into this season we're looking at Lee County is one of the contenders across the board.

Hannah Goodin: I would love to see a championship rematch with Buford. That was the wildest game we had last year on our air. Absolutely. I think we submitted it for an Emmy.

Jon Nelson: We did, as a matter of fact. And so, it was any Emmy consideration. But now that when you have games that are that crazy, that go to overtime and things like that, I'm anticipating I know a lot of folks are as well that these two will be chasing after that game 15.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah. What just a classic rivalry. Lee County vs. Lowndes. What a game. I kept saying to my producer during the game because I wish I was watching this. We need to get more screens up in the studio. Really. We need more TVs or we can actually watch full. We like a TV wall.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, we need a TV wall.

Hannah Goodin: Well, were they even on air? 

Jon Nelson: Well, regardless, we need a TV wall regardless.

Hannah Goodin: Yes.

Jon Nelson: Yes. No, sorry. Yeah, well we both do. I need a TV while out in the field. You need a TV while out, you know, in the studio.

Hannah Goodin: Talk to Gerke about that.

Jon Nelson: In studio J. That's what you need.

Hannah Goodin: And just like tapping into like they're recruiting feeds.

Jon Nelson: Yes.

Hannah Goodin: Anything I need to see the game.

Jon Nelson: You need that. We need the hot feeds for all these games.

Hannah Goodin: What a good one.

Jon Nelson: All right, another good one. All right. So, is anything is there anything else on anybody's mind before we go?

Sandy Malcolm: Well, I hesitate to bring this up. I'm sure it's still a little painful, Jon, but I don't know how we cannot mention your alma mater a little bit...

Hannah Goodin: Ouch.

Sandy Malcolm: A little bit of an issue in the fourth quarter.

Hannah Goodin: Little issue. Little issue, Sandy.

Sandy Malcolm: Florida State, unfortunately, Jacksonville State. Well, you watched it, didn't you Jon?

Hannah Goodin: Wow. I didn't know we were going there today, guys.

Jon Nelson: I saw the ending.

Hannah Goodin: You ok, Jon?

Jon Nelson: Well, and the quarterback for Jacksonville State was there, Zerrick Cooper, a two-sport athlete out of Jonesboro. And suffice to say that I see and this is where I'm trying to be diplomatic about things.

Hannah Goodin: There is no diplomatic way to go about this game.

Jon Nelson: Oh, I was I'm absolutely livid. I don't know if beyond livid is the proper terminology, but I'm just I'm beyond livid about.

Sandy Malcolm: That's fair.

Jon Nelson: About what happened. And for those that didn't

Hannah Goodin: For those watching on video, Jon's face is getting red. Oh, more red.

Jon Nelson: It is. It is out of control. It's so. All right. So, there's six seconds left. You have 59 yards to defend. So, what do you do, you don't go prevent defense and from the game that we're talking about is Jacksonville State and Florida State. And it was all over the Twitters and all over everything. And so, with fifty-nine yards to go, six seconds left in the game, all you have to do is knock the ball down, keep everything in front of you, seriously keep everything in front of you. So, what do you do? Instead of playing prevent defense, you play single high safety, you play single high safety and you give the quarterback all the time in the world to sit there and try to complete the pass. And he does into double coverage. And two defensive backs looked absolutely just disinterested in wanting to defend this pass.

Hannah Goodin: Over it there. Just over you it.

Jon Nelson: You had one in front. You had the receiver; you had the one guy behind. And so, what does Zerrick Cooper do? He throws the pass and it's absolutely complete and it is just right there.

Coach Joel Ingram: And the Jacksonville Gamecocks baby.

Hannah Goodin: Who do we have on the line, Jon?

Coach Joel Ingram: This would be a proud Jacksonville State University Gamecocks, somebody who was a student player there and coach there. I know Jon, you and me, and the great angst. What happened to your Florida State Seminoles this weekend in Tallahassee by the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks?

Jon Nelson: And for those that are wondering who this voice is?

Hannah Goodin: I'm wondering who this voice is.

Jon Nelson: This is, my dear friend, until this phone call. This is my dear friend Joel Ingram, the head coach of the Washington County Golden Hawks.

Hannah Goodin: Hey, Coach, this is a surprise.

Coach Joel Ingram: Man, I wasn't going to miss this opportunity, too much gold to not rev down about him being such of the FSU man that he is. And it's crazy around here. You know, I've got coach on my staff. There was the captain of the team and at Florida State. So, we've had a good time with it around here. And it was very nostalgic for me. You listen to the call. You know, on ESPN of Mike Parrott there is the voice of the of the Gamecocks. He's been there forever, man. He's like Larry Munson around Jacksonville State, just hearing him call and saying that it was just a real probably as ESPY, you know, finalist for the year for player of the year. Without a doubt.

Jon Nelson: This is what happens when folks know about who to give grief to in a situation like this.

Hannah Goodin: I was just going to say, how can we rub it in even more?

Jon Nelson: You get Joel Ingram to call.

Hannah Goodin: I love it.

Jon Nelson: A top ten ranked team, double A.

Coach Joel Ingram: Atlanta football guy myself and a football guy myself. You know, I don't I try just to study analytically, football, football, don't look at it as a saying. But in this case, you know, this is a special circumstance. Yeah, I know. It's in the coach. And I want, you know, the way I coached Norvell have to stand up at that podium and answer all those questions.

Jon Nelson: How do you as a coach on the spot in the world, how do you not play prevent defense, Joel? How do you not play prevent?

Coach Joel Ingram: Again, that's a question that I'm glad I don't have to answer, but, you know, the thing I know is, you know, where was the pass rush? It looked like they were trying to get pressured by the people. I almost quit on the play almost. It was it was one of those, to be honest, Jon. It was one of those. It was one of those classics everybody sitting around waiting on somebody to play. I got it. You take it and in it and it blew up. And, you know, I hope for our sake, because I think college football is better with Florida State and Miami and the national picture. So hopefully, you know, I'm not somebody sitting here wishing for our state failure by anyway, because I've always kind of I've always had a place in my heart for them to pay. And this was just a good you know, I was going get, you know. Yeah, I do go let it go.

Jon Nelson: But I knew you were going to get me. But now that we have you. All right, let's talk about let's talk about you a little bit. Let's talk about Washington County. You got the Duke. It was a big win. See, I'm trying to change the subject here.

Hannah Goodin: I'm trying. I'm just I'm just letting you two go. This is great.

Jon Nelson: So. So, Wayne County beat Swainsboro 2021. You were down 28-1. Joel, great comeback win for you this week. And I know that you'll be in my top ten in double a great win for you this past weekend.

Coach Joel Ingram: I appreciate it. It was it was tough circumstances and was our first game in a month. We had to cancel and it was Swainsboro fourth game and they were good they're good football team and they were a good football team coming in. And we just found a way. And, you know, you know in region-games, you want to you know, you want to be challenged and go through things that'll help you for your region schedule, like coming back late and things like that. But, man, any time we've gotten together with Swainsboro, for the most part, the last few years, it's been those type of ball games. So, we had to find a way late to win and hang on. So, we're certainly excited, you know, and it was crazy because, like, that was our first live special teams, you know, because that was our first night out since a scrimmage. Yeah. I was pleasantly surprised in the season and just jumped off the screens how hard our kids play. But, you know, we got to Evans this week and they're six eight team is 4-0 and they were ranked going into the season. So, they come here. So, you know, short turnaround, got to get ready to go play them. But hopefully we're in our season now to where, you know, we can focus on that short turnaround five days and from each opponent and we feel more like we're in the norm. Our normal schedule football season.

Hannah Goodin: Coaching Ingram, so good to see you guys out on the field, being able to play, how has it been overcoming these Covid situations and being hot and cold and having to take weeks off? And how have you guys been able to overcome that adversity?

Coach Joel Ingram: Just trust. Just listen to my health department and listen to my administration, they've never made a decision that was wrong yet. And, you know, a couple of weeks ago, we did a five day little mini shutdown for, you know, try to vaccinate our kids, and also try to, you know, for contact tracing. And we found that was the smartest thing we ever did. You know, we're not putting anybody at risk or anything for that nature. And then we've been good to go ever since. And, you know, I told our guys as much as actually each game about staying safe and, you know, sanitizer and staying within your bubble as much as the next opponent. Because, you know, from doing all this contact tracing now, as much as most coaches, could be an assistant epidemiologist. But I think that witching hours usually around Tuesday or Wednesday, that's when, you know, if you're going to get new cases, that's when a lot of those arise. And so, you just have to be vigilant. Whenever study halls, we keep our kids separated. And, you know, mask up, you know, stay there. And, you know, our administrators, they have a good, strong policy in place for us in terms of keeping our kids, keeping our kids safe so we feel good about it. And last week was a really good week in terms of a normal flow of practice, not guys on monitoring and stuff like that. And, you know, you call around state, everybody's you know, everybody's going through the same things and that's comforting. And it's tough, you know, being a leader in this day and age. But, you know, you find out how much gratitude you have for your players and sacrificed so much stuff that they love. You know, they've had loved ones that have been affected by with the amount of loved one’s parents passed. And yet they still come out there every day. And I try to make myself remember and enjoy that and tell those guys every day how much I appreciate them. So, and then, you know, you come out with a win like that the other night. That was a good jolt of energy. And I just hope we can use it to continue to prepare for this next one.

Coach Joel Ingram: And the interview that you and I did on Southern Swing will be up in the next little while on the GPB platforms. It was great to catch up with you, my friend. It was great to hear from you this week, although I had a sneaking suspicion that this would not go by. Thank you for crashing, as always.

Hannah Goodin: Thank you for rubbing it in to Jon.

Coach Joel Ingram: You're welcome, go ‘Cocks, as always.

Jon Nelson: I love you, my friend. We'll talk soon.

Coach Joel Ingram: Love you man too. You'll have a good one.

Jon Nelson: Joel Ingram, the head coach of the Washington County Golden Hawks, crashing the show.

Hannah Goodin: It wasn't just me giving you a hard time now.

Jon Nelson: No, no, no.

Hannah Goodin: Not all of our listeners think I'm just constantly giving you a hard time. And now I have somebody else on my team.

Jon Nelson: Yes. Yeah. Everybody else is on that team. Who are you kidding? So, yeah. So, Commander Sandy's talking about it. You're talking about it. Joel Ingram crashes the show to talk about it. What else would you like to talk about to slam Jon before we go?

Hannah Goodin: Two words... Hotty Toddy.

Jon Nelson: Ok, so Ole Miss, put you played Austin Peay? Congratulations. Matt Carroll throws for two of four and four. So, you won a game you were supposed to win. Merry Christmas.

Hannah Goodin: Won it big hey, you didn't win a game. You were supposed to win. You see this this is this is a high school football show. Yeah, let's talk about our game of the week this Friday.

Jon Nelson: So, let's talk about our game of the week this Friday.

Hannah Goodin: Because I'm fired up for it. This week our Football Friday in Georgia broadcast will feature two high scoring offenses...

Jon Nelson You like that transition?

Hannah Goodin: It's Mill Creek vs. West Forsyth. The Wolverines are two and one coming off an impressive 51 to 35 win over Walton. Their only loss of the season so far was classified powerhouse Cartersville, 38 to 31. West Forsyth is led offensively by quarterback Keegan Stover and running back Peyton Streko. Oh, am I saying that right?

Jon Nelson: Yes, Streko. That is correct.

Hannah Goodin: Mill Creek, on the other hand, is undefeated at three and 0. Did not play last week. The Hawks have already beaten Parkview and Norcross coach Josh Lovelady's team has scored one hundred and nineteen points and their average margin of victory is 29.7 Points. Their top offensive players are quarterback Hayden Clark and running back Donovan Journey. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and I cannot wait for this one.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, I'm anticipating this might be one of the more higher scoring games. Obviously, Mill Creek, with the week off, has had another week to prepare and it wouldn't surprise me to see some of their coaches checking out West Forsyth and Walton last week. And a reminder for the programing side of things, Recruiting 2021 starts things off at seven o'clock with Matt Stewart and myself and the interviewer of the stars. You might know her as Hannah Goodin. And so, we'll catch you up with everything going on in the world of recruiting at seven. Kick off a little after 7:30 with the broadcast. And then the way that it goes on the GPB network is once the game is over, then everything starts all over again. You get to see Recruiting 2021 after the postgame show.

Hannah Goodin: Remember any postgame show.

Jon Nelson: Games over. Postgame show then after the post-game show, Recruiting 2021, then after Recruiting 2021 re-airs, then the game re-airs. So, it is a full evening and even into the early morning hours that it is all high school football here on GPB.

Hannah Goodin: Just got word, my Zoom interview this week will be West Forsyth tight end Oscar Delp. That'll be. We'll go ahead and record that tomorrow so that'll be my interview on Recruiting 2021 and hey the post we missed you, but the postgame show... 

Jon Nelson: Are you sure about that?

Hannah Goodin: The postgame show went pretty good. We had three coaches on.

Jon Nelson: Saw you had the coach from Sandy Creek.

Hannah Goodin: Our friends at ESPN Coastal dropped off. I think they had had to wait too long because quite a few technical difficulties. But hey, we got through the first show and now we kind of know what to expect and it was good.

Jon Nelson: Good. And it's good to be able to kind of share the state with the rest of the state, especially in a postgame. And if you have not so far, please make sure that you are liking, friending, and being a part of the conversation on all of the social media platforms at Georgia Public Broadcasting. It is Facebook. It is Twitter. It is Instagram. It is YouTube. All these different places where you can be immersed in the entire GPB Sports.

Hannah Goodin: Immersed.

Jon Nelson: I am immersed. I think it's emem. Not easy, but yeah, a total GPB Sports high school football experience on all the social media platforms like, friend, and be a part of the conversation. Let us know what you're doing. If you're at games, send us great plays all week long because we do Countdown To Kickoff on Thursdays where we can show off the state to the rest of the state too. So, it's a lot of different things that you can do here during high school football season at GPB.

Hannah Goodin: Yep, Thursdays at noon Countdown to Kickoff Facebook LIVE. Come join us. It's a lot of fun.

Jon Nelson: What you said. I think that's the show.

Hannah Goodin: That's a show.

Jon Nelson: Yeah. Considering that I have been.

Hannah Goodin: You've had enough.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, I've had enough.

Hannah Goodin: Jon is taking out the headset and walking out, so I will wrap this baby up. Thank you all for listening to the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. I'm going to go chase Jon down, make sure he's not crying. I have got a box of tissues right here. I'm going to bring him. Thanks so much for listening. We will see you guys Friday for our game of the week Mill Creek vs. West Forsyth. Bye.