Football Fridays in Georgia: The deep bond between Rabun County's Coach and Star QB
On this week's Football Fridays in Georgia podcast GPB Sports Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson catch up with Rabun County Head Coach Jaybo Shaw who talks about the deep family connection between his family and that of star quarterback Gunner Stockton. He also discusses the challenges of finding non-region opponents willing to take on his traditional powerhouse squad.
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 through your favorite pod catcher gpb.org or the GPB sports app. It's a fun show this week. And, we don't have to use any cardboard cutouts.
Hannah Goodin: Nope.
Jon Nelson: Because you made it back safely.
Hannah Goodin: Here I am.
Jon Nelson: From Arizona and Niki Noto Palmer filled in for you on Friday night for Football Fridays in Georgia.
Hannah Goodin: Flawlessly, I might add.
Jon Nelson: And it was, it was good to see Nick before the championships. And so it was good to catch up with her. And so we had a game that in a region that is crazy with Carrollton and South Paulding. First time at South Paulding was on our air in Football Fridays in Georgia. The region was crazy going in with all of the results after the fact, the region is just as crazy. If not crazier with the dominant win by Carrollton.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, let's recap. That game really quick. It was Carrollton versus South Paulding at Grisham stadium for the Trojans homecoming and the home team got the win. 40-13. Senior quarterback, MJ Morris was 16 of 24 passing for 300 yards and four touchdowns. While sophomore running back, Bryce Hicks, rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown reception, junior wide receiver to Takare Lipscomb.
Jon Nelson: There you go.
Hannah Goodin: Got it. Had seven receptions for 118 yards. And two TDS. Next up for them will be Paulding County, but I was sad to miss it. My girl, Niki filled in for me while I was flying across the country to Arizona.
Jon Nelson: One end of the country to the other. So you could partake in a wedding.
Hannah Goodin: A wedding. I got, unfortunately, one more wedding this football season, all these COVID weddings are being rescheduled..
Jon Nelson: But Football season?
Hannah Goodin: It's just a little bit different when you have to have a big responsibility, but I digress.
Jon Nelson: Oh, but I was going to say, I need a judgment call here from Commander Sandy. Cause this week we've got Commander Sandy, King James and Alex the Great who are in this week. Okay. So weddings scheduled during football season for Sandy, Sandy?
Hannah Goodin: You don't go.
Sandy Malcolm: No, not good.
Jon Nelson: You don't go.
Sandy Malcolm: You don't go. But if you are the matron of honor, there's a line.
Jon Nelson: There's a hierarchy of denial here?
Sandy Malcolm: Yes
Hannah Goodin: Okay. You get like a doctor's note for work.
Hannah Goodin: There you go.
Jon Nelson: Okay.
Sandy Malcolm: Please excuse Hannah.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, please excuse Hannah from this wedding because it's football season. That's the only thing that you need to put signed on it.
Hannah Goodin: Or vice versa.
Jon Nelson: Please, excuse Hannah from football season because of this wedding?
Hannah Goodin: Yeah.
Jon Nelson: No such thing. That note does not exist, but now to go back into region play real quick. Here's how things are now in region in 5/6A after the win. Douglas County's the only team that is still undefeated, 3-0 and 6-0. Now, and no one said there'd be math on this show, but there might be math by the time we're done. Right now at 2-1 Carrollton, Alexander, Rome, and South Paulding. They're all at 2-1. So what it's going to look like is five teams for four spots in region 5/6 A as we head down to the wire in their final four or five games this year.
Hannah Goodin: Wow. What was the homecoming atmosphere like?
Jon Nelson: It was you had all of the homecoming stuff before the game and during halftime. So we didn't even have Niki toss to the Carrollton band.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, no bands.
Jon Nelson: Well, South Paulding band did perform a little bit, but I think they were before the game, but Carrollton performed after the game. And so the football team didn't go in for their post-game meetings or anything until after the band performed. So you had your band performance after the game instead with all of the pomp and circumstance and homecoming stuff that was going on beforehand.
Hannah Goodin: I love a homecoming game. Just love the atmosphere. I'm so jealous that you get to be on the field. I love the studio. Don't get me wrong. The studio is phenomenal. I don't have to drive. I get to go home. It takes like 20 minutes to get home after, instead of driving an hour and a half. But I really miss the, the Friday night football atmosphere.
Jon Nelson: It was great to be out at Grisham stadium. First time that we've been out at Grisham stadium for a game, we've had Carrollton on our air before, but that was at Rome at Barron stadium a couple of years ago. This is the first time at Grisham stadium was a great environment. One of the great football towns here in the state of Georgia, glad that we could be there for Football Fridays when it came to Carrollton and South Paulding in a big region matchup, another statement game, statement win for Joey King and a must win situation.
Hannah Goodin: All right, well, there was more great atmospheres football atmospheres around the state week seven is in the books. And this week I'm going to take a look at undefeated, 34 teams still undefeated across the state.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Let's start with Collins Hill. They got a 63 to nothing. Shutout victory over Peachtree Ridge.
Jon Nelson: Right?
Hannah Goodin: Poor Peachtree Ridge puts them at 7-0 on the year, quarterback Sam Horn passed for 279 yards and four touchdowns. He became Gwinnett County's all-time passing yards leader with more than 7,800 yards. You also have all-state wide receiver, Travis Hunter, who suffered that lower leg injury that could keep him out for a few weeks. They say maybe six weeks. But Jon, apparently he was at Georgia for an official visit for the Arkansas game this past Saturday. So he can't be too hurt.
Jon Nelson: Well, I mean, we got Lenny Gregory on the post-game show and we, because social media was running rampant about Travis Hunter. He's leaving in an ambulance, social media exploded. And so we were, we were in a really good spot to bring in Lenny Gregory to talk about it. And all of the indications that he was giving us on the air on the post-game show was that it was going to be a couple of weeks, could be as many as six. But right now that puts you in the playoffs. And you just, you're looking for Travis Hunter to be there with Sam Horn for your stretch run. So number one player in the country, not a surprise that he went to the Georgia Arkansas game, considering that right now he is still declared to Florida state, but you see that I'm not holding my breath.
Hannah Goodin: I wouldn't, I wouldn't Jon.
Jon Nelson:I'm not going to, I'm not, We did beat Syracuse though, 1-4.
Hannah Goodin: Hey! We won't talk about the Ole miss game. We'll just..
Jon Nelson: Just keep going.
Hannah Goodin: We will just power through that.
Jon Nelson: Next undefeated.
Hannah Goodin: Also in 7A, Mill Creek go 6-0 with a 36-17 win over North Gwinnett.
Jon Nelson: They were trailing at one point and came back to win. So that's a great win for them. And I think that once again, you're looking at that game late in the year, Mill Creek and Collins Hill to determine region champs. So we'll keep an eye on that in the next couple of weeks.
Hannah Goodin: In 6A, I love this one, Brunswick 6-0 thrashed, South Effingham, 56-21. You had TJ Mitchell with three receptions all four touchdowns. So that's fun. That's fun covering 162 yards.
Jon Nelson: Yep. And Sean Pender's team now 6-0, you've got the city championship with them beating Glynn Academy on the last of the field goal in overtime to get the win now. And so right now you're 6-0, making a charge in 6A. Although, I know a lot of folks in 6A are looking at Buford and Lee County, but Brunswick right there, top five and a lot of polls in 6A.
Hannah Goodin: Speaking of the coast, we finally got our ESPN Coastal guys on the post-game show after trying for four weeks.
Jon Nelson: Glad to have Christian Goeckel on to discuss what was going on down there on the coast, especially with the Benedictine win on Thursday, over Burke County, plus their game of the week that they had, where they got to keep an eye on New Hampstead.
Hannah Goodin: 5A Warner Robins continues to show out beating Camden County 77. Yup. That's right. 77-34. The demons put up a total of 675 total yards. Scored its most points in a game since 1976 and their lowest scoring game to date this season is 48 points still in the season opener versus Valdosta.
Jon Nelson: Well, and the thing about this one is, is that it was 21-7 Warner Robins at one point. And it was tied at 21. So you go from being tied at 21. So, what's the final math here? 56 to 13 from that point in the second quarter, that's what Warner Robins did. And so you're looking at, once again, you're looking at Warner Robins and Cartersville and Coffee and Ware, and right now Warner Robins with the week off, they go into region play October 15th. They have to go to Waycross.
Hannah Goodin:A week off though, a week of rest. Oh, man.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, but you come back, you got region play and you're traveling to Veterans Memorial stadium in Waycross to take on Ware County. Region 1 5A would not surprise me if three of the teams were in the final four in 5A.
Hannah Goodin:Oh, that'll be, that'll be on the scoreboard.
Jon Nelson: Yes, it will. Oh yeah. Not this week. Next week.
Hannah Goodin: 4A, Jefferson also 6-0, after beating East Hall 63 to nothing. The Dragons led 49 to nothing at halftime.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And the Dragons just keep right on rolling with coach Cathcart6-0, there at Cedar Shoals on Friday night. But yeah, Jefferson right now, your number one team in 4a and undeservedly so.
Hannah Goodin: Oconee County also 6-0, with a 35-7 win over East Jackson, CJ Jones rush for 171 yards and four touchdowns on 50, on 15 carries. Not 50 carries. 15 carries, big night for him. So Oconee County still going strong.
Jon Nelson: Yep. And you know, once again anticipated to be fighting for the final game of the year in AAA, this, this week, they go to Hartwell to go up against the Hart County bulldogs, two teams at 6-0. And so it's Travis Noland and Rance Gillespie. That's going to be a fun one.
Hannah Goodin: That's going to be a good one. I'll put that on my scoreboard too. Let me make a note. And finally single A private Trinity Christian still undefeated, also 6-0, with a 34-3 win over ELCA. The lions had three interceptions and a forced fumble. So big defensive night for them. But man, that's a big win over ELCA.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And I know a lot of folks who are looking at Eagle's Landing Christian and Trinity Christian as a part of the discussion toward the last game of the year in single A private, you're looking at Calvary Day as well. They had a big win there and undefeated they're now 7-0 after knocking off Stratford Academy 42-6. So I still think that there's that, that group or the gaggle of folks that are going to be at the top in a chasing after an undefeated regular season in single A private.
Hannah Goodin: Alright, one more topic of conversation before we bring on our guest and that is the realignment meeting happened last week. The votes are in Jon, tell us what happened.
Jon Nelson: Looking closer that you're going to have a multiplier of three now ,when it comes to reclassification, reorganization, and how things are going to be looking over the next round of schedules starting in 2022-2023 season, it looks like the multiplier is going to be three for private schools and city schools. And there is, so you could have teams that are in 4A now that are a private school. They could be playing in 6 or 7A in the next go round. Or, you know, you could, in the case of a Commander, Sandy, who knows about enrollment at Decatur, you may not have a whole lot of movement where Decatur is concerned with the multiplier, just because of everyone already living within the city limits. So you wouldn't necessarily be as affected as a lot of other folks if this comes to pass.
Sandy Malcolm: Yeah, that's true. A couple of years ago, the enrollment and capacity in the school is, is pretty saturated. So they really don't have many outside their zone. So I don't think they'd be really affected much at all. I think St. Pius is one that is going to see a jump.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, you're looking at Pius, Lovett, Woodward Westminster. And then a lot of the city schools like Buford and Carrollton, I think, and Calhoun, I think might be a big jumper as well, but just keep an eye on it when this becomes officially official. If the triple, if the three times multiplier instead of the one and a half or two that we've seen in the past, if it turns into a three, you could have a lot of folks jumping multiple classifications. And I know there was some concern on the coast for the wellbeing of student athletes, because if you're a single A private school and your multiplier from a lot from your student body is, you know, of a higher percentage, you could be going from single A to 4A as an example. And there's a concern about the health and welfare of your student athletes. And so in the past, last go round of reclassification, I think there were 24 schools that were reclassified. 17 of them won their appeals. I don't know how this would apply to a private school and a multiplier, but we'll see how this goes.
Hannah Goodin:And you're talking about St. Pius jumping up to 7A?
Jon Nelson: In theory, yeah. If the multiple in theory, if this was to happen, just as an example, you could see private schools jumping up three or four classifications from single A to double or triple, maybe even a quad. It just depends on the layout, but yet it could make for some interesting bedfellows next time around.
Hannah Goodin: So, right now they are 5A I mean, that would just change competition across the board. Now we're talking about, are we talking about just one or are they doing the separate sports?
Jon Nelson: No, it's for all. This will be across the board. This would be across the board for all of the, and under, that was a proposal that was brought up by Tim Hardy at Greater Atlanta Christian. And we might have him on to talk about it once this becomes official because of his alternate proposal. But right now this will be an all sports across the board and it could look like multiple jumps in classification for some of these schools.
Hannah Goodin: Wow. Wow. That's going to be very interesting.
Jon Nelson: We will keep an eye on it.
Hannah Goodin: The struggle is going to be real for a little bit.
Jon Nelson: It could be.
Hannah Goodin:All right. Guest time. We've got a great one.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, it was very cool to catch up with Jaybo Shaw, the head coach at Rabun County and find out what life is like for him as a coach's son. What it's like to be in the Northeast corner of the state and kind of be by yourself when it comes to scheduling, how difficult is it to schedule teams? What's it like having a quarterback that has the attention of this planet and all the other planets in the solar system and Gunner Stockton, it was fun stuff.
Hannah Goodin: Coach Shaw, you go 5-1 on the year after a 28-21 win over Pierce County, Friday night on the road. Tell us about your game and what was the biggest difference?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: Yeah, number one, I've got incredible respect and just really, really appreciate the hospitality and what Pierce stands for and their program. And just, they do things the right way. You can tell that they have a ton of pride in their football program, in their town, Pierce County and their high school. It's just was a lot of fun. It was a great high school football game and in the state of Georgia. And I've got a tremendous amount of respect for how they do things. It was a great ball game. I thought our kids handled the trip really well. We left on Thursday, probably around lunch and staying in Statesboro, which was, I guess probably about another couple of hours outside of Blackshear. So, you know, stayed, stayed in Statesboro Thursday, did some meetings walk-throughs and type stuff. And then, made the trip to Pierce on Friday. And I thought our, our leadership was through the roof. I just all week of practice and leaned up to that game. I thought the leadership of our football team and having 23 seniors showed for us and being able to handle a lot of different things on that happened on Friday night. But I think the number one thing was being able to control our emotions in a big time atmosphere and a big time game and going and executing our game plan on all three phases of the game. So just really, really proud of our coaching staff, our team, our leadership, it was a good night for Rabun County and a great night of high school football in the state of Georgia.
Jon Nelson:Well, let me ask you this because you are what you are as a program and all of the national attention that you get as a program, how difficult is it to schedule non-religion games because of your reputation these days? Or is it easy to schedule non-religion games like a game against Pierce because people want to sit there and they want to challenge themselves. What does scheduling like for you these days?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: It's difficult and I think a lot of different things play into it. I think our location is not the easiest. It's, I mean, I'm biased, but it's one of the most beautiful spots in the state of Georgia.
Jon Nelson: Been there and seen it. I know exactly what you're talking about,
Coach Jaybo Shaw: But it's not. It's not that easy, to get here as far as just we're tucked up into the corner of Northeast Georgia and we're butted up against, we're five minutes or 10 minutes from the North Carolina state line and then the same way in the South Carolina. So I think location plays a part. You know, I do think, you know, we're, and it's a compliment and, and the kids have worked extremely hard and past coaches and everybody that's tried to build this program to where it is now. I think there's a level of you know, we're not going to get a bunch of cupcake games, I say cupcake, I don't mean any disrespect to anybody, but it's going to be, you know, have to go up in classification probably to find some non-religion games. So, it has been difficult. COVID definitely has not helped when it comes to that stuff. And then also being in a small region, there's only five teams in our region that play football. So, you're essentially getting, having to go get six non-religion games. So all those, I think play a big role into trying to find non-religion games. And, so we try to make the best of it. And then, you know, we feel it's important, and I feel it's important as the head coach, to go get very challenging non region games. And I think the two that jump out for us this year, and both of them being on the road was obviously with Jefferson, the one we opened up with, with the class 4A number one team in the state, and then obviously, you know, Pierce and what they've done the past year and what they stand for. So I think there's a healthy balance of taking care of your team, but also being challenged when you needed to be challenged and moving forward, but it is difficult, but we make the best of it. We know we're not the only ones that have a hard time and we just make the best of it. And keep rolling.
Hannah Goodin: Jefferson, your only loss of the season, it's been all non-regions play. You have your first region game coming up this Friday. I want to preview that in just a minute. I don't quite want to turn the page on last week yet. I want to talk about quarterback Gunner Stockton, and how he had counted for every play, offensive play, except for four. Okay. Here's some of his stats just from last Friday, 17 of 28 passing for 247 yards, three TDS, rushed for another 102 yards, and a TD on 28 carries. So he's running back, he's quarterback, he's everybody. What do you think about his performance this past week?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: Well, he was special. I mean, he really was, and obviously, am I excited that he carried the football 28? I'm not overly excited about that, but obviously, you know, that was a quarterfinal semifinal type atmosphere type game. And, you know, we knew if we were going to have a shot, you know, we were going to obviously put the ball and one of our best players, the best player on our team's hands. And, you know, and some of those were obviously it wasn't, you know, 28 design quarterback runs, it was scrambled some, some stuff zone read and he ended up pulling the ball. And, you know, when Gunner, he's such a competitor, so he plays every down, like it's fourth and one. And, you know, obviously there's some times I wish he'd slide, but the competitive side of him, it's a huge compliment to him. As far as just being a competitor, wanting to compete, wanting to do everything in his power to try and excuse me, lead Rabun County, to a wind. So he was, he was very special and special in a lot of different ways. I thought he was really good on third down the other night. And, obviously when we got in the red zone, he was able to push the ball in when we needed to. And we went through some highs and lows the other night, just like any big time game. And I thought he managed his emotions, managed the highs and the lows very well at an elite level. So it was a lot of fun. And anytime Gunner's taking a snap, you feel like you got to stop the wind.
Jon Nelson: All right, get a sip of water. I'll get this question. I'll make this question a little longer than the average question for buildup, so you can get a sip of water. So, I mean, you know, we talked about Gunner with the expectations and everything that we've seen from him as he has started as quarterback there at Rabun County with all of the national attention that's there. Let me ask you this, when it comes to Gunner Stockton, do you remember, one, what your first impression of him was, and when that was, two, was there a moment when you sat there and said looking at one quarterback to another, yeah, this is going to be a special student athlete?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: To answer number one, I don't remember how old he was, but I know he was playing, probably, you know, one of his last couple of years of little league, maybe middle school, early, early middle school. What he was able to do with a football at that age, you know, being able to the way he maneuvered his body, the way his throwing mechanics, you know, it's very rare and very, like when you first see it, it's hard to put into words. I mean, it's just like, wow. What can this kid do in the next four or five, six years when we starts to really grow it up and mature? So, I think that was the first, it was, again, I don't remember the age, but it may have been early middle school.
Jon Nelson: Like sixth, seventh grade, kinda?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: Yes. You know, what, just what he was able to do and with a football at that age and the throws that he could make and being a son of a coach and the toughness and wanting to compete and just wanting to win and, you know, at everything he does. And then to answer your second part, you know, there's been so many special Gunner moments when you look back through his four years, he's been a four year starter for us. And, just all the moments I think of you know, I guess it would have been 2019, opening game down at Bremen or down at Georgia Southern, where we played Bremen and the Erk Russell Classic. And I mean, he goes for, I mean, throws for over 300, rushes for over 200, and like seven touchdowns or six touchdowns in his opening game as a sophomore year, just, that's a moment, obviously leading a football team to the quarter finals as a freshmen. Not even being able to drive yet. I mean, there's so many special moments and when you look back at this thing, when we're all said and done, you know, it's just, it'll be very special and very close to me. And my heart is his head coach. And, you know, obviously our families have been connected for a very, very long time. And, I've watched Gunner grow up since he could basically walk. And then his parents have seen me grow up since I could walk. It's a very special situation. My dad coached Gunner's dad here at Rabun.
Jon Nelson: Oh, wow.
Coach Jaybo Shaw:You know, my mom babysitted Gunner's mom and Raven, so that our families are connected in so, so many different ways. And just, there's a lot of special moments, but I think the biggest thing, and you've maybe got, maybe have heard me say it before as good of the player in quarterback, he is, he's a better young man, better role model in our community, better student. Just a very special individual.
Hannah Goodin: I did not realize all the family ties.
Coach Jaybo Shaw: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: That is very special.
Coach Jaybo Shaw: It goes back a long way.
Hannah Goodin: Well, you've got some other playmakers on your team as well that surround him and make him as good as he is too. You have junior wide receiver, Jaden Gibson. He had six receptions for 161 yards in a score on Friday. I guess that was a part of the four offensive plays that Gunner didn't have.
Jon Nelson: No because he had to officially throw the ball to Jaden. So, he is still officially involved.
Hannah Goodin: Okay. So it was Gunner and Jaden.
Jon Nelson: Part and parcel. Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: So talk about how special some of your other playmakers are as well?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: Yeah, I think, the other night, and not just the night, throughout our year, they've gotten better and better. And, especially the other night, they, you know, guys made some big time plays and when we needed it the most. And, and Jaden is certainly one of those guys. You know, Jaden has been very explosive for us. I mean, he's had multiple games of over a hundred yards, I think at one point he was leading the state in receiving yards at some point. I don't know where he sits right now, but he was, he was up there. So, He's definitely an explosive guy for us. He's another son of a coach.
Jon Nelson: I am noticing a trend here Jaybo.
Coach Jaybo Shaw: He is a good player. He does a lot of different things for us, then just going, you know, I think one thing that not necessarily gets overlooked, but, that doesn't get talked about a whole lot, you know, our offensive line, our five offensive slump, our seniors, every one of them are seniors and have been playing with each other pretty much with Gunner since, I mean, like, little league ball/middle school. I mean, they've all been together. They're a part of those 22, obviously 22, 23 seniors. And when you have five offensive lineman that played a lot of football together, you know, that's hard to recreate. It's hard to replace it's because of what those guys do on a daily basis. And then so feel, feel very strong about our offensive line and then just some of our other skill players at Lang Windham, my running back, had a really good night the other night. You know, he's been explosive in the running game and the past game force. And then Baxley O'Brien, that tight end that we've got, I think he's one of the most underrated tight ends that we, that's kind of out there right now. His recruitment will pick up the more games we play and I'm excited about his future. He's a really good player for us. And then all the two receivers, Ethan Clarke and Tate Ramey, they do everything right. They've been in our program since they could pretty much hold a football. They've been Rabun County Wild Cats, and all they've wanted to do was play for Rabun County and represent Rabun County the right way. So they're as steady as they come and they do a lot of different things for us. So that's kind of our, our offense in a, in a hole. And, we were able to put some things together the other night that were, that were pretty special against a really, really good Pierce County defense and what they pride themselves on.
Jon Nelson: On our Recruiting 2021 show, we have a segment that we do at the end, that's called make that kid an offer. And what we like to do there is focus on student athletes that are the complete package on the field, off the field classroom, community grades, test scores, the whole thing. And for whatever reason, they're overlooked, under looked, underappreciated under starred. If you believe in the star system, who would be some of those folks that you would think along, I guess, the lines with Baxley that would be in that make that kid an offer or make that kid a better offer idea for you up there?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: Yeah. I think number one, starting with Baxley, you know, he does everything right. He's yes or no, sir. He's the, his GPA is I'm sure I don't know it off the top of my head, but I'm sure it's as close to a 4.0. Or if not a 4.0. He's probably 6'2'', probably 220 And, you know, it's just a matter of time before I truly think it gets heated up for him, I think obviously Jaden Gibson, and what the kind of year that he is putting up right now. Of course, he is only a junior, so he's got a whole another year ahead for him. And then a couple of guys on our defense, I think Turner Grimmett, he's a coach's son. You know, he's basically been a four-year starter for us and he plays outside linebacker and is kind of the guy that knows every position on our defense, whether it's the defensive line linebackers, or in the secondary, he could probably tell you where everybody was, should line up the perfect call, what we need to do. And he's an extremely talented and gifted individual. So those are kind of the three guys. I mean, you could throw Lang Windham in the mix. You know, but he he's a junior as well. But we've just, we've been very fortunate to have some guys that understand if we take care of our business and we go about our business the right way, good things happen to good people and, and hard work works. And, you know, at the end of the day, if it's meant to be it'll happen and certainly appreciate you guys doing that segment and taking care of some high school kids that wouldn't get that exposure.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. It's a great segment. And it's been really successful. We've had kids getting offers, and so we'll have to compile a new list there of all the kids that have gotten offers. All right, coach. Well, you've been preparing for it all season region play begins Friday against Riverside Military Academy. This will be a home game, Preview this one for us. How are you preparing for them?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: Well, I'm going to drop a bomb on y'all right now that you didn't know that it was going to happen. Our first region game has been officially canceled. I will say officially., they notified GHSA. They canceled it. Riverside canceled it Saturday. They notified GHSA this morning. So I'm waiting on, Kevin Giddens, just to make sure I do have a replacement opponent in place ready to go contract hadn't been signed, but hopefully it will be before this afternoon. So unfortunate and, you know, very, it will be a home game for us. So, at least our kids get to play at home and it will still count as a region win, for us, in our region. So, I hate to bail on you on a preview.
Jon Nelson: Well, there's not a team to preview anymore. Well then, all right. So I've got a couple that I'll wrap up with you here. One, and it goes into the idea of having a home game and it's been awhile since I've been up there and it was when your dad was in charge. And it's two questions that have to do with that a little bit. For those that have never been up to that corner of the state. And they've never been to Tiger, and they've never been to a game there on the mountain side. What does football mean to Rabun County?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: I think it's number one, you know, you think of the cliche, you know, one horse town shuts down, but that honest to the good Lord that's our community. I mean, it's going to shut down on a Friday night. People are going to be in our stadium, cheering on the wild cats. And, you know, it's so much fun. And if they're not in the stands, then our local restaurants are going to stream the game at the restaurant. And it's going to be talked about, there's a lot of pride. I think it's one of the things we hold very close to how the way we do things is the pride that everybody has for Rabun County and we want to represent Rabun County the right way. It's just a very unique, we're a small town, we're a class 2A school with about 600 kids in our high. So it's a very tight knit community. Everybody has known each other probably since elementary school, moving primary elementary, middle school, everybody coming up together. It's a one horse town that cares a lot about football and wants to see these young kids succeed and are willing to give the resources and do a lot of different things for our football program and our other sports programs to see our young people succeed in our community.
Jon Nelson: So then, my last question for you has to do, since you are a coach's son, and we'd been talking about coach's sons here.
Hannah Goodin: Four coach's sons. We are keeping track.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And so now this will be number five. What was the first piece of advice that your dad, the coach gave to you, the coach that stuck with you and has stuck ever since?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: I think it's a number one and it's going to sound very simple, but it's, sometimes you can get caught up in the hustle and trying to do different things that may not be as simple as you might think, but it's, those players are always priority number one. And again, it sounds very simple, but every decision that I try to make within our football program moving forward, or during a game, or whatever it may be, it will be the players priority will be number one. And I think that's player safety, plus, you know, trying to get kids recruited, trying to mold them into being a better husband one day, father one day, role model in our community. I think a bunch of things cover that. And I think my dad, I was very, very you know, blessed and very, very thankful that I got to watch my dad do it at, you know, multiple different schools and be a ball boy and a water boy, which I think is the, is the best time of my life. And I love seeing on Friday nights more of the parts that brought me back to high school football, from being in college for a little while when I got done playing, there's nothing when you get to a game on a Friday night, and I hope people take account into this, but I'm biased because I was that kid. And you get to a game on a Friday night, whether you're home or away, watch the ball boys play their own little simulated game.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Coach Jaybo Shaw: And see those little kids throwing the football back and forth. I mean, for me, I get emotional about it because I see myself and my brother, you know, however many years that was to go. So I think that's just really, really, really special time for not only that dad and that son, or even the little girl that's carrying the water bottles or has the pom-poms in her hands on the sideline. That's what makes high school football so special, especially in our state, in the state that we're in because football matters and there's unbelievable coaches and teams and guys that do it the right way. So sorry for the long-winded answer.
Jon Nelson: It's all good brother. All we got is time. It's all good.
Hannah Goodin: This is great.
Coach Jaybo Shaw: But, I'm very thankful that I got to grow up for coach's son and, and especially under a coach that did it the right way and a dad that did it the right way and being able to still give me advice to this day. So, very, very thankful for that.
Jon Nelson: So he's number one on your speed dial, huh?
Coach Jaybo Shaw: No question. Absolutely.
Jon Nelson: Well, Jaybo, thanks for hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. It's great to catch up with you and great to get the vibe up there at Rabun Cunty, because I know a lot of folks have been keeping an eye on you for the last couple of seasons, especially with what's going on in your class. And folks are looking at a deep run all around the state, but thanks for hanging out with us here this week, we will be keeping an eye on we'll catch up with you soon, my friend.
Coach Jaybo Shaw: Thank you. Thank you, Hannah. Thank you all for everything you do for, for high school in the state of Georgia. It's why we're the best man. Thank y'all.
Hannah Goodin: I love what he said about the little girls with the pom-poms and the water bottles. Hey, maybe little girls with footballs in their hands, flag football.
Jon Nelson: You know, excellent plug.
Hannah Goodin: I will definitely be raising two athletes.
Jon Nelson: This is what we need to talk to coach Shaw about, is a flag football team out of Rabun County.
Hannah Goodin: Yes.
Jon Nelson: See if they have one, I think that'd be pretty cool. Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: So, shout out to the little girls out there.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And that was very cool. And knowing his, knowing his dad as I do, when Lee took over the program, started the program at Flowery Branch and took them to the semi-finals at the Georgia dome and what it meant for them. And then he has the opportunity to go home to Rabun County and coach and was a head coach there for a while and got them. I think Charlie Woerner was on the team that was close to, you know, chasing after championships and things like that. But now Jaybo is a legacy taking over for his dad and it's just very cool to see all that kind of stuff going on.
Hannah Goodin: He was a great interview. He really painted the picture of north Georgia football.
Jon Nelson: He is very cool. It's very cool to see this progression with Jaybo. The one question I didn't get to ask him was who was the better Peewee football player? Was it him or his brother? Connor? That's the other question.
Hannah Goodin: You know, he's going to say himself, the competition is real in that family. I'm sure.
Jon Nelson: No doubt about it, but I just, I would've liked to have gotten that one on tape.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. Just to have it.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Just to have it on tape.
Hannah Goodin:All right guys. Well, let's preview our game this Friday. We've got another good one a pair of playoff contenders from region 5/6A/ That's going to be Roswell vs. Cherokee. Roswell is 5-1, 1-0 in region play. Bounce back from a 31-19 loss to Walton on our airwaves to beat Etowah 15-6 on Friday. Cherokee is 3-3, 1-0 region play as well. And ended its three game losing streak by beating Woodstock 51-20 on Friday. Cherokee leads the series 18-3, won last year's game 35-28. When both teams were state ranked, that was a big one. So will it be a revenge game? Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, we've shown this one on Football Fridays in Georgia before. So everybody knows what this rivalry is looking at region 5/7A. Here's how it lays out right now. Milton, Roswell, Cherokee right now. They're all 1-0, they're at the top. And since region play started last time out, you have Alpharetta, Etowah, and Woodstock. They're down at the 0-1. So right now, it's two distinct groups and Milton, Roswell Cherokee fighting for the one, the two and the three. Remember you're looking for that home field advantage. And if you're the three seed you're going on the road to take on a two. Alpharetta, Etowah and Woodstock, they're all chasing after that four seed. So whoever is the four seed out of region five, they're going on the road, but you've got Milton. We've had Roswell on our air this year. You got to see them with the game against Walton and at Cherokee it'll be good to have them back on our air. And it will be good to see everybody up at Cherokee now too.
Hannah Goodin: I'll be back.
Jon Nelson: I'll be back.
Hannah Goodin: The most important part.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, I will be there. Should be there. Should be in studio J this week.
Hannah Goodin: It was weird. I was banned by our boss, Kevin Gerke from watching it live. I was not allowed to watch it. So I rewatched it back on Saturday and it was great. You guys did a great job.
Jon Nelson: It was like I said, it was fun. It's always fun to do Football Fridays in Georgia. We definitely missed you. Glad you're back. And, so how's that cough?
Hannah Goodin: Well, I probably sound a little different in the past couple of podcasts. I've got like two cough drops one in each cheek. I just cannot get over these allergies. It's brutal.
Jon Nelson: But the thing was.
Hannah Goodin: I did not cough one time in Arizona.
Jon Nelson: I was going to say.
Hannah Goodin: I did not sneeze. I did not cough in Arizona. The moment I landed back in Atlanta, it is just inflammation all over again.
Jon Nelson: Recruiting 2021 starts up at seven o'clock and let's see, your interview of the stars this week?
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, wide receiver Kojo Antwi. He is committed to Ohio state over some top schools. So we have not confirmed, confirmed a time with him yet, but I'll be talking to him very soon.
Jon Nelson: And Recruiting 2021 airs at 7:00. Kickoff is a little after 7:30 on GPB, GPB TV, gpb.org on the Twitters, on the GPB Sports app, available iOS and Android. There'll be a great region contest as teams are fighting for the home game and the two seed right now. So, we'll keep an eye on that as we were getting into, or past the halfway point of the season for a lot of these clubs and so we'll see how it is for them as they're chasing, after those all-important home games and region seating’s in ones and twos and things like that. So, business is about to pick up.
Hannah Goodin: Yes, It is. All right, that's a wrap.
Jon Nelson: There you go. So you want to send us home?
Hannah Goodin: You can do it.
Jon Nelson: Okay. Then I’ll do it. For Commander Sandy. Let's see. There we go for Commander Sandy, for Alex the Great, and for King James and for Hannah who's back, but she's working on her cough drops. I'm just Jon. Play it safe everybody. Thanks for hanging out with us here. It's another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. Enjoy your game.