In this week's edition of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast, GPB Sports' Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson break down the biggest bracket busters, surprises and noteworthy performances from round one of the playoffs. Walton Head Coach Daniel Brunner and Stephens County's Wes Tankersley drop in to discuss how their teams pulled off their big wins.

Walton Head Football Coach Daniel Brunner and team

Walton Head Coach Daniel Brunner talks with his team

Credit: Daniel Brunner



Jon Nelson:  Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast, playoff edition style, John. Here, a representation of Hannah is here as well in studio this week, and so Hanna obviously still a little under the weather. So we have decided to go two dimensional with three dimensional with me in two dimensional with Hanna. Although you will hear here, you will hear Hannah. This is the Hannah representation that we have this week. It is the cardboard version where she is in. I don't know. It's a is it to Commander Sandy? Is that one dimension or two?

Sandy Malcolm: looks...?

Jon Nelson: Is cardboard one dimension or two dimensional?

Sandy Malcolm: Well, I guess because it's flat, it's one.

Jon Nelson: OK, so one one dimensional.

Sandy Malcolm: But she looks two dimensional.

Jon Nelson: Yes, because she's sitting in the chair, it looks two dimensional.

Hannah Goodin: I mean how does she look? That's the most part.  How does she look?

Sandy Malcolm: She looks good.

Jon Nelson: Styling and profiling is always that's how of course she looks. And there's Hannah. You know, obviously you're under the weather and we want to keep you in is complete and total healthy health as humanly possible. So glad that you're with us this week. We've got a pretty stacked show, but what's on your mind?

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, we've got two great guests to talk to today. I think we should just, you know, let them be secret. We'll build the anticipation and we're going to talk first round playoffs. We're going to talk upset what's to come for their teams. So I'm really excited to talk to these two coaches while we also talk first round of playoffs. And I think we can just start by recapping our game Jon. It was the 5A, first round showdown between number 7 Coffee at number 5 Creekside. The Seminoles pulled it out 36-27. I, unfortunately, was not on the broadcast. But Jon, give us your biggest takeaways from that one.

Jon Nelson: Biggest takeaway, once again, is that you got to see the defensive Creekside come through and Coffee came in a little shorthanded. A lot of their star power wasn't available, turned into a bit of a defensive battle and it was Coffee was having problems offensively, having problems. It was kind of stop start. And I think you can say a lot about Maurice Dixon's defense there for Creekside, and it was fairly dominant 20-10 in the fourth quarter, Coffee scores to make it 20-18. And then there's the late score that puts it out of reach for Creekside. So Creekside advances and Region 1's Coffee disappears from the playoffs after the first round, so they go on and start their off season. Creekside makes it to the second round. As we're looking at things in 5A. I know that you all have your brackets ready and are filling them out as we go upper left hand corner is where we were. Creekside, your number 2 team out of region 3 after losing to Woodward Academy, knocks out Coffee 28-18. Creekside gets St. Pius, the region champ out of Region 5 and I know that's still a sore point for Commander Sandy, but Creekside has to go to Pius next week's second round of the playoffs Hannah. 

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I want to break down these brackets, especially 5A. But let's get into some of the other ones first. The first round of the playoffs is in the books. 11 ranked teams were knocked out of competition Jon, according to the GHSF Daily top five teams went 40-0. But those other top 10 struggled, including four region champs losing in a team that was ranked number one just three weeks ago in Jefferson. So Jon, let's go down each classifications bracket. I've got my brackets out.

Jon Nelson: I got mine.

Hannah Goodin: I want your biggest surprises and biggest takeaways from each.

Jon Nelson: OK,.

Hannah Goodin: And let's just go chronologically. Let's start with 7A.

Jon Nelson: Sure.

Jon Nelson: All right so 7A, I don't know if it's necessarily a surprise, but might be the margin would be the surprise, with Walton knocking off Colquitt as well as they did 41-17. Walton was in control from the absolute beginning. Winning by 24 in Moultrie. I think that that's the one that everyone's looking at when it comes to 7A.

Hannah Goodin Yeah, that score. It's not a surprise that they beat Colquitt. It's the score. I mean, they they got em pretty handily, 41-17.

Jon Nelson: Mm hmm.

Jon Nelson: So let's see 6A and we can take it one of two ways we can look at the four seeds that knocked off the ones and saw you can probably say John's Creek would have some merit as a four seed knocking off Rome 31-27. Douglas County is a four very stout defensive team, traditionally knocks off Riverwood by the score of 24 -17. So we've cruised through the rest of that, and I think that those are probably the two that are on the board. The fact that Brunswick put 60 on Tucker at home might be another one to talk about there as well, but I think the two four seeds getting through in 6A, Hanna.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, you said you were going to write maybe your blog on that this week.

Jon Nelson: Yep, the four seeds that made their way through, so we'll be keeping an eye on those four seeds. So if you're a four seed and you won, expect a phone call from me. So that's that's how this is going to go this week,.

Hannah Goodin: Haha. Lots of phone calls going out.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, so 5A probably Lithia Springs knocking off Appalachia 30-27 as a 3-2. So Lithia Springs getting their first win in the playoffs. I want to say in 60 years, something like that. And so Lithia Springs advancing, they get Whitewater and then obviously folks are anticipating what's going to happen. Lower in the bracket in cruising through, I think it was pretty much chalk in 5A. So we'll go ahead and say the Lithia Springs win outside of Creekside beating Coffee.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I agree with you. Not a whole lot of surprises. Some three seeds beaten two seeds, but that happens every year.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, and then we'll get a 4A. And obviously, I think a lot of folks in Quad A are looking at Hapeville Charter knocking off Jefferson 12-10. Winston Gordon always battle-tested. I know a lot of folks will sit there and look at that larger number to the right of the dash when it comes to Hapeville Charter going into the playoffs. But they went to Jefferson. It was a grinder. They got a win 12 -10. And I think that really that one is the one that stands out in 4A more than anybody else; Hapeville Charter. And then the fact that below them, they're going to have to go to Columbus to play Carver Columbus next week. But Carver Columbus was on upset alert most of the night. They were down 7-6 until the fourth quarter. Eventually, they did go up to win 22 -7.

Hannah Goodin: No surprise Marist still in it, though, Coach Chadwick.

Jon Nelson: Mm hmm.

Hannah Goodin: Man, what a season he's had. I mean, they just continue to be so dominant and it just Coach Chadwick just makes me smile.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, it's one of the one of the one of the legends, no doubt one of the legends here in the state. And they put 49 on Cedar Shoals, and I know that we'll get into what possibly could happen down the line with Marist. But Marist once again up a right in your Quad A bracket. Part and partial of what's going on AAA. You had a four seed get the duke. Stephens County goes to Rockmart Beats Rockmart 27-13. And so that one, I think, shines. I think the fact that Cedar Grove put 79 on the board against White County to sit there and remind everybody why they were one of the top ranked teams in the classification in AAA. So the upper sections of your bracket, upper right, Stephens County Upper left the number that was put up by Cedar Grove.

Hannah Goodin: Yep, and no, no other big surprises there for me. All right, AA Jon,.

Jon Nelson: Let's see, AA I think that you're looking at one of the and this is one of the things that I've maintained is that, AA I don't think there were necessarily any surprises, but I think it's one of the most stacked classifications across the board. We'll get into that one. You know, as we come back after our two interviews previewing this weekend. But you know, you get to see some folks get wins that are traditional folks that are traditional powers and good storylines. Haralson County, the region champ, gets their win under Coach Peavey,  knocking off Chattooga 34 -7. Bleckley County they were on upset alert to Hannah. They were down to Early county and it took a fourth quarter comeback for Von Lassiter and the Royals to get the win over Early County in what would have been another 4 knocking off a 1. But Bleckley County stays unbeaten as they get Callaway in round two.

Hannah Goodin: Hey, I love Fannin County making a run too. They made it to the quarterfinals last year. Second round, obviously, they're headed to this year and in Fannin County up there in Blue Ridge. I like them. They're they're a team that I've got my eye on and that I am following that game against Fitzgerald should be a really fun one. Ok Class A public.

Jon Nelson: OK? I was wondering where you were going to go first, so we'll go public. And once again it was a one for Manchester knocking off GMC Prep, great season for Coach Coleman and everyone there in central Georgia. But man in Manchester in atypical four seat, a very, very tough team. They get the win 20-8 over GMC. So you look at that one, I think that that one is one to take an eye on. And then you look at Warren County, the Screaming Devils of Warren County knocking off Chatt Co, and we know how competitive Region five has been all season long. But Warren County, at home in Warrenton beats Chatt County by the score 42 seven. You also had Turner County on the road at the Shamrock Bowl, beating Dublin by the score of 38-36 in a back and forth. So big win for Turner County on the road as well.

Hannah Goodin: Oh Jon, my Cinderella story? GMC Yeah, it comes to an end. Actually, I'm actually sad about that. I'm obviously not pulling against Manchester for any reason, but that's a big upset. One versus four.

Jon Nelson: But Manchester traditionally really very, very, very tough 4 seed in Manchester. Just so happened that there's a program. They ended up as a 4 and once again not afraid of anybody. As a four seed, Manchester goes and gets the duke at GMC Prep so a big win for them in Class A public. Class A private, probably the ones that peak out at you because most of it was fairly chalk. And what I mean by that is that the higher seed won Brookstone as a three going to Whitfield Academy in beating Whitfield Academy by the score of 14-10. They get Prince Avenue Christian in round number two, so a lot of a lot of the favorites winning in Class A private,

Hannah Goodin Good stuff, Jon. All right. Overall takeaways from first round of playoffs before we bring our guest in, I can't believe it's already this time of the year and I'm excited to be on the broadcast. I don't think I've missed a first round playoff broadcast in six years.

Jon Nelson Well, and I guess probably the biggest thing is that there were a couple of classifications that had some top 10 teams in them. You had Fitzgerald beating Dodge County in AA and you had Creekside and Coffee. That was our game of the week in 5A. You had Creekview losing to Carrollton in 6A, and then you had Walton beating Colquitt County in 7A.

Hannah Goodin Well, another one of those surprises we talked about in 3A was four seed Stephens County, knocking off one seed Rockmart 27 - 13. Let's welcome in our very first guest. That's Indian's head coach Wesley Tankersley to talk all about that upset. All right, coach, how were you able to pull out such a big upset in the first round of the playoffs, beating the region six champs in number nine Rockmart on the road? Amazing.

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Well, we've just got a lot of great young men and a lot of really good coaches, and we play a really tough schedule. We already played the AAA, the number one and number two teams in the whole state this year and now in Monroe Area and Oconee. And so, you know, we were really close in those games and battle tested going into going into that game and felt like that. We had a good shot going in our guys real confident.

Jon Nelson: Now, coach, you know, you mentioned that region that you're in. I mean, this is some stout competition and you're a part of this whole mix. What did you learn about yourselves in region play, knowing how tight and competitive it is that you could carry into the third season?

Coach Wesley Tankersley Well, yeah, I think it was just the confidence as much as anything. I mean, we, you know, we were winning in the fourth quarter versus Monroe area. We were tied without Oconee at halftime. And you know, both of those games, you know, could have gone could have gone either way with a player to here or there. And I think that was just kind of what we tried to learn from that is, you know, make sure our preparation is just a little bit better. Make sure our focus is just a little bit better so that, you know, when we have chances to make those one or two plays that we need to make to win the game that we do that. I felt like they did that last week versus Rockmart..

Hannah Goodin: First time back in the playoffs since 2018, what's so special about this particular team?

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Well, they're just very resilient. A  lot of these kids, you know, especially our senior class, you know, went through a 1-9 season two years ago. A lot of them were playing on the varsity as sophomores and, you know, quite frankly, that time they just, you know, they weren't physically ready for that. But you know, that's that's all we had. And so they played and they gained the experience and, you know, went through the school of hard knocks there in a tough region, in a tough area, and they've just continued to work and keep a positive attitude and get better. The last two years and, you know, this year, they're seeing the good fruits of their labor

Jon Nelson: When it comes to a road trip like this where you're going from basically one end of the state to the other. I guess this is my behind the scenes logistics question for you this week when it comes to putting together a road trip where you're having to go from Toccoa to Rockmart. I mean, that's pack a lunch or dinner and maybe a midnight snack trip. How much of a challenge is it to deal with the logistics of a trip like this while you're trying to prepare for a game like this all at the same time?

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Well, I mean, that's kind of what I'm doing today, you know, doing the same thing again for Burke County. So, you know, it's really kind of taking up my, you know, my whole Monday did last week, too, but know got a really good coaching staff, really good options, defensive coordinators that you know that that that I try to let coach, you know, obviously, I know what's going on. You know, I have a lot of input on things as well, but you know, I'll let them take it and go with it many times. And then, you know, that allows me a lot more time to deal with the logistical aspects of things. And it just works out a lot better that way, especially this time of year.

Hannah Goodin: I was just about to say you're about to be back on the road. Headed to Waynesboro for the second round of the playoffs against Burke County, another big road test. How were these massive games affecting your players on the road, or are they just that battle tested that this doesn't matter all the travel?

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Well, you know, I hope it doesn't matter. I hope, you know, hope they're battle tested. You know, we've been able to, you know, to win. I think we only lost one game on the road this year. You know, so they've gone into some some pretty good atmospheres at North Hall and Madison County, and some of those places Habersham Central and taking out wins. You know, from those places as well. And then, you know, we're just trying to embrace it. You know, just talking about being road warriors and, you know, everybody getting on the same bus and lets get to get, you know, much more. We're all in on the same bus, moving in the same direction with the same goals to try to win this football game and focus on this football again.

Jon Nelson: All right, time to talk about Stephens County here for a little bit. And one of the things that we like to do here on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast is kind of share the state with the rest of the state when it comes to Stephens County. When it comes to Taccoa, what does football mean to that particular part of Northeast Georgia?

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Well, when I first took the job here, I mean, you know, you come in and you start interviewing and you know, the first thing I noticed when I came in were all the signs everywhere. You know, signs on the businesses, signs in the yards, you know, go Indians and, you know, go Stephens County all over the place you got cars riding around with the, you know, with the Arrowhead and SC logo, you know, all just about every car seems like. And you know, it just means a lot, you know, a lot to the community to see their teams do well. And you know, we're blessed to have a lot of great young men and women here at Stephens County High School. And they definitely represented very well this year

Hannah Goodin: Along those same lines for those who don't follow Stephens County as well as people in the biz do. Tell us about some of your top playmakers who are the guys that make this team go.

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Yeah. You know, offensively we have a quarterback, Ben Stowe. He's a junior. He kind of is the leader on that side. Done a very good job this year. At running back we kind of, you know, as the year has developed, we've kind of developed a two-headed monster there with junior TJ Everett, who, you know, is the older one and more experienced one. But then we also have a freshman, Javin Gordon, that, you know, the last four or five weeks has really come in and done a great job, too. So those two guys are splitting a lot of time there. I think, you know, Friday night for sure. T.J. had about 33 carries and Javin had around 20. So, you know, those two guys were doing a great job. They are. Cam'ron Lacy is a wide receiver and a defensive back for us that, you know, I think on Friday you had one 158 yards receiving somewhere in that range. You know, you can you can score a touchdown at any time. You know, our offensive line has done a great job of really can't hard to pick out one, you know, one person alone on the offensive line. But the whole offensive line has been very physical and I think both sides of the line of scrimmage. That was one of the, you know, one of the things that helped us on Friday was I felt like we dominated on offense and defensive line. So our defensive line defensively has played outstanding all year. And you know, those guys, you know, are either making plays or they're, you know, keeping, you know, keeping the linebacker free to make plays as well, you know, defensively. Got Corey Richey over there to play corner. He's got a bunch of interceptions this year. Bryson Trimier plays for free safety,  he had two interceptions on Friday. And, if I'm not mistaken, is probably one of the leading tacklers in the state. So got a lot of guys that I consider you mentioned. I mean, it's been a total, you know, it's been a total team effort to make our program from where it was two years ago to where we're at right now. And it's, you know, it's very exciting.

Jon Nelson: What's it like to have a freshman contribute as much as Javin has so far, especially at this part of the season where every game's importance is magnified?

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Yeah, I mean, it just helps our running game in particular just because, you know, when one of them, you know, when T.J. gets a good run, we're able to get fresh legs in there. When Javin gets a, you know, a good run, we'll get, you know, T.J. back in with, you know, with some fresh legs. So, you know, he's he's done very well this year. We haven't had any, you know, any reservation about him being a freshman and getting in. There is just a very good kid and, you know, very, very talented. And like I say, him and T.J., both of you know, the last, the last few weeks played very, very well.

Hannah Goodin We've also asked every coach there, so we'll keep the tradition going in the playoffs. Here you go. We have a segment on Recruiting 2021 that's called Make That Kid An Offer. Is there a player on your team that is overlooked and underappreciated in someone that you would say, you know what he needs, he needs an offer?

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Yeah, I mean, I think we've got a bunch of them. It's hard to, you know, it's hard to sit, you know, sit here and say, our quarterback Ben Stowe, you know, doing great TJ is one, you know, just looking at older guys like, say, Bryson Jamir, t the free safety and he's just had a guy. He just had a huge, you know, huge year. I think I had actually turned in  Cam'ron Lacey's name earlier in the year. But fortunately for him, you know, about a week ago, he did get an offer for Middle Tennessee State. So he's got a lot of those kids. Yeah, got a lot of those kids like that right now that are just playing really well and just kind of right on the cusp of, I think, getting some offers, you know, and getting some more notoriety.

Jon Nelson: I know you from your time back in Ridgeland, that's when we started, you know, trading texts and seeing each other, you know, when we would come out with cameras and things like that. And now that you're over on the other end of the state, I wanted to ask how you think you have continued to grow and improve as a head coach here from all the time that you've been able to spend on the sidelines? How have you how have you grown as a coach all this time?

Coach Wesley Tankersley: You know, that's that's one of the reasons that I came from Richmond over a year to Stephens County. You know, at the time, I felt like the whole world was just telling me that I needed to personally and with my family moved to help us grow and help myself grow up there like I needed to be. I felt like I needed to be challenged more and my family needed to be challenged more. And, you know, we've definitely had had challenges here, but it's also, you know, it's made me better. It's made me a better coach and it's made my family closer. Um, you know, during those during those challenging times and you know, it's made our coaching staff closer and made us close with our players. So I think that's. You know, to me, that's always been the main priority is to make sure we build great relationships with with the young men that are in our program, and I think that, you know, in the long term gives you a lot more longevity wherever you might be. Coaching is creating those great relationships to where you build the trust, you know, with your players. You know, if you got that trust between the players and coaches, it takes you a long way. And that's probably the biggest thing is just being able to create that trust, you know, between coach and player is, you know, probably where I've grown the most.

Hannah Goodin: All right, coach. Well, my last question for you. We touched on Burke County a little bit playing them on the road earlier. But I want you to preview that game for me. So another tough match up there, the two seed, you guys are the fourth seed. What's it going to take to beat them and continue on in the playoffs?

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Well, we've got to we've got to control the line of scrimmage. I mean, that's you know, that's what I tell our kids every week that, you know, our offense and defensive line has got to control the line of scrimmage and that that helps our helps everybody else out. You know, if we don't control that line of scrimmage, it makes it a lot tougher for the quarterback and running back. And you know, on the other side of it, if we don't control the defensive line, you know, on that side of the ball and it makes it tough for the linebackers and DB's. So, you know, I think that's we're, you know, we've been successful when we've won this year's, we've been able to control the line of scrimmage in that. That's that's going to be, you know, a big deal.

Jon Nelson:  Well, coach, congrats on the big win against Rockmart in the first round of the playoffs in AAA, and you're heading to Burke County in round two. Coach, as always, thanks for hanging out with us over on the Football Fridayss in Georgia podcast. We'll be keeping an eye on you this week. Good luck in the second round.

Coach Wesley Tankersley: Well, thank you and go Indians.

Jon Nelson: One interview down, one to go next up. Here we go to 7A. Catch up with a team that we caught up with a lot on Football Friday's In Georgia. The Raiders of Walton. Big win for them against Colquitt County down in Moultrie last week. Here's our interview with head coach Daniel Brunner.

Hannah Goodin: All right, coach, we are not calling your game against Colquitt an upset, but the score was certainly surprising. 41-17. How were you able to beat the Packers by such a big margin in such a big game?

Coach Daniel Brunner Well, you know, we had a good night. I mean, the boys play their tails off. They prepared all week the right way and you know, the ball bounced our way. And when you do all those things and you know, you got a pretty good ball team, anything can happen. And you know, it forced some turnovers that resulted in some points. And you know, it was really in all phases, offense, defense and special teams, especially the sparked us and we were able to run away with it a little bit there. But you know, we feel like we can be a darn good football team when we put everything together. And if we don't, we're vulnerable any, any Friday night. So just glad we were able to follow that all the way to the fourth quarter and finish it off the right way and move on to the second round.

Jon Nelson: Are you able to enjoy a game like that at any point? I mean, where you can just be on the sidelines and see everything humming along the way that it was in a game that it was as important as this one is? Can you sit back and enjoy it for half a second at any point?

Coach Daniel Brunner: I mean, you know, I tell you what I did enjoy as we were able to get, you know, most of our guys in that game at the end. I think at that point I was able to take a relief and, you know, pretty happy moment. But you know, there's there's no rest for the weary at this point in time. And one of the things I, one of the guys is celebrate and enjoy it. You know, at the end of the day, it's fun, but you know, we got to get ready to go for Archer and kind of remind my coaches is, you know, we control the tempo of this. And this was our only objective was to win a first round game at Colquitt. We're never going to be prepared for that second round game. So we're just trying to make sure we're we're staying level headed and staying steady and again going back to prepare in the exact same way we did for that first round game. It's hard to do that if you live in on cloud nine about a first round victory. Very happy, very big for our program. I tell you, going down there last year pay dividends. As you know, we went down there in the second round and we're in a ballgame 7-6 at the very end of the third quarter. And it got away from us and we ended up losing. But how we travel, how we conducted our our day, it really paid dividends because we've learned how to travel to South Georgia and be successful. And we didn't change a whole lot this year and how we did things, and it ended up working out for us. So just just proud of the moment for our program. But again, we're on to Archer and getting ready for the second round game.

Hannah Goodin: Tell us about some of that travel routine down to Colquitt, your next game will be at a neutral site, so no home games in the playoffs so far. What are some of those things that you learned last year when you were traveling down there that you guys implemented this season?

Coach Daniel Brunner: You know, we got the kids out of the school. Our principal let us have them the whole day, so we were able to get them up here in the morning. Feed them a little bit of breakfast. We do yoga every Friday, so they did about a 35 40 minute session of yoga. If we stretch them out, wake them up a little bit. You know, they took a bagged lunch on the bus and they were able to sit and eat whenever they wanted got to make in about two and a half hours after that. So two and a half hour bus ride down to Macon. We ended up going to Mercer this year. We were we were over at veterans last year, but a similar area, similar vicinity to the city. So we ended up getting there, getting off, finished and eating, doing our walk through, got back on the bus, went the Longhorns in Tifton, and then we headed on over to the stadium and it was it was perfect. Ended up getting over the school at 5 p.m., which is our typical time for a 7:30 game to arrive at the facility and ended up really working out well for us. So again, we didn't want to change anything because we felt like that was such a good piece to our plan last year and a lot of discussions with a lot of people that had gone down to Colquitt and played games down there where we set our tent up. How we do our sideline was important. How do we get away from some of the craziness down there and make sure we're staying focused in on what the what the task at hand was? And, you know, so we we did a lot of the same things and some things a little bit better. I feel like this year than we did the previous, so worked out.

Hannah Goodin: So Longhorns is the secret.

Coach Daniel Brunner: Well, we'll be back there Friday.

Hannah Goodin: Awesome.

Jon Nelson: So let me ask you this. When you introduced yoga to the program, how many sets of rolled eyes from teenagers did you get when you first said, OK, we're going to do yoga here? What was the initial response?

Coach Daniel Brunner: Well, we started it back before I got the head job here, I was working as a strength conditioning coach and doing special teams, and I was working under Mo Dickson. And, you know, it was a little bit of a a little bit of a discussion for him to understand what you're doing. But yes, you know, Mo's an intense guy. Yes, he is. And what I was doing and believed in what I was doing with the boys. And then as soon as we started doing it, he saw the value. And, you know, so we haven't really changed that with how we do our things with our boys in the weight room. And I'm huge and how we prepare our bodies and how we recover our bodies. And I think that matters, especially you get to this point in the season. So it's evolved. I was running it back in the day and now I'm fortunate. I have a couple of local ladies from Peach Out Yoga, shout out to them for coming in and helping us out. But the come in and do a great job with our guys on Fridays and I think now, you know, our our kids are really enjoying it because they see the benefit in it. And for me right now, it helps me out tremendously because I can kind of prescribe what we need, you know? So before we got on the bus, go down to Colquitt, you know, I wanted a lot more stretching. I didn't care for the heart rate got up a little bit. I wanted them to actually work a little bit to wake their bodies up before we sat on our bus for hours versus the normal Friday. It's a lot more low key. We're trying to get their bodies into a parent sympathetic state and that rest and recovery kind of mode. So when they leave out of there and go on to lunch, they're they're in a very low key state and getting ready to build for the night to come ahead. So anyways, they're the experts and all that. I kind of tell them what we want and they do a great job with it.

Jon Nelson: I was going to ask, Are you a Yogeni now too? Are you? Are you a disciple of yoga?

Hannah Goodin: A yogeni? What is a Yogeni Jon?

Jon Nelson: I think those are like the actual that's the official name for the instructors or the certified yoga instructors. I think they're yogenis, I think that's the right word. But are you? Are you as deep into it?

Coach Daniel Brunner: I'm not deep into it now. I mean, I do stretch. I do believe in getting my body prepared in those things. They give me a hard time because they want me to come over the studio. And I, you know, I I'm going to try to find some time this offseason. But you know, at this point, I can't say I'm an expert. I believe in it. I think it's very good for athletes and again, for preparing your body throughout a season that we go through.

Jon Nelson: All right Hannah and go ahead.

Hannah Goodin :Yeah. My husband won a state championship way back in the day. In baseball, they did it all the time, so there's something to it. Well, I think Colquitt is in the past. We're looking ahead to round two against Archer. Like I said, neutral playoff area. What is going to be the key to getting past them in the second round?

Coach Daniel Brunner: And, you know, we have to stop the run and we're going to stop the run and then stop big plays from happening and, you know, they have a very efficient offense. You know, they had a pretty tough schedule when things were all in in the second half. They got a good offensive line, very good at the line of scrimmage, good running backs and some really good skill guys out wide. And so, you know, it's hard to just man those guys up and trust. You can do that without stacking the boxes. You got to pick and choose. So you know, those are the keys for us on defense. We have to be able to stop the run and eliminate big plays from happening. And, you know, offensively, we just got to continue to be efficient, protect the football and build on some of the things that we've been doing. And you know, there's some frustrations at times because, you know, we've got a really good offense and we, you know, I don't know that we've played our complete game on offense yet, you know, we've done some really, really incredible things and we've got an awesome office staff to get those boys prepared. And we got a very good group on offense. And you know, the beautiful thing is, I still think there's more out there for them, and I hope we continue to build and see that these weeks go on to the playoffs. But you know, they have protected the football. They have played tremendously up front. Obviously, the skill guys have done a great job in our quarterback and done a phenomenal job. So, you know, we just got to continue to build on the things that we've been doing offensively. And I think we will. I really do. I believe in this group. And you know, one of the things that just kind of lifted me up was we went through it on fourth down last week or that, you know, take fourth down and, you know, they converted. And I got a lot of trust in those guys and the coaches and the players and I spend more time with the defense than I do the offense. So, you know, it's it's something that I see continue to grow and hopefully we'll continue to see that growth throughout the playoffs. But you know that all being said, we're facing a very good Archer defense. I mean, a very good defense is he's given a minimal point game in a game out. They are. They're aggressive. I think they present a lot of different pictures that you're going to have to kind of study and understand. So our offense has got a big challenge ahead of them with the defense that we're going to see out there. And probably that's for sure.

Jon Nelson: Daniel Brunner, the head coach of the Walton Raiders, hanging out with us on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcasts for another couple of minutes when it comes to the playoffs and the playbooks when it comes to offense and defense, do you add things this time of year or do you try to shorten the playbook a little bit when it comes to what you're trying to to give the players this time of year? Do you widen things out or do you kind of condense your playbook a little bit?

Coach Daniel Brunner: I think the scope is a little bit more narrow because you kind of start to understand more and more what your identity is and what you're going to have to do to be successful this time of the year because, you know, this time of the year becomes a little bit different than early in the season. You know, teams are a little bit sharper. You've got to be more efficient when you do have the ball on offense and you may not score every time you touch it, but the field position matters. That's tremendous at this time of the year. You never know what the weather is going to look like, so I think being a complete team is critical. But the scope, I think it's narrowed in and not to say that we don't add stuff and add wrinkles to what we do. We get in week out. But but yeah, for sure, you got a better understanding of what your personnel looks like this time of year. You might not look the same as you did in week one or two. Some guys are banged up, or you maybe boost some guys at different positions, which we have. I mean, we've done all of the above, and it really has created a little bit of a different team than we were early in the season.

Hannah Goodin: We know about some of your big play makers feel free to shine a light on them again, if you would like. But we do this thing on Recruiting 2021 where we like to pick out an underdog on your team that's underappreciated or overlooked. Is there a particular player on your team that you don't think has enough offers that deserves some more looks?

Coach Daniel Brunner: Oh, sure. I mean, I got a lot of those kind of guy to highlight one that had a huge play for us Friday Night Cade Thompson, you know, he's played safety for us. He had a huge he had a huge night. He was our defensive player of the game. But one of the things he did that was so huge for us is now they went into a wildcat deal on the goal line. We have a young linebacker, Ashton Woods knocks the ball out at the one it's laying on the ground. Cade, he scoops it up and he goes about 97 yards for a touchdown. And that really kind of sealed the deal for us and put that thing a little bit out of reach for Colquitt. But he's been a tremendous player for us. He started since his sophomore year. He does have some Division Three offers to Berry College and a few others. But I really think that he's got, you know, a lot of potential to have success at the next level with phenomenal students, phenomenal young Man. But he's been playing really well for us, so I definitely would like to highlight him.

Jon Nelson: Coach, you got one wind down in week 11, now it's time to go to week 12, you're going to be getting a chance to go up against Andy Dyer and Archer this weekend, round two of the state playoffs. Thanks for hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast. You're now going to have us all diving into find out about the values of yoga as we continue to go here in the postseason and going forward. Thanks for hanging out with us on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast, pulling the curtain back on what's going on at Walton. We'll be keeping an eye this Friday night. Good luck.

Coach Daniel Brunner Thanks so much, guys, appreciate what you all do.

Hannah Goodin: Good stuff from Coach Brunner what a game that was Colquitt. Walton playing Archer. That's definitely on my games to watch list, Jon.

Jon Nelson:I know what you're scoreboard is going to be looking like.

Hannah Goodin: I know I'm already filling out my games to watch for Countdown to Kickoff. Besides that, and besides our game of the week which we're going to preview in just a minute man, which ones do you have your eye on?

Jon Nelson: All of them? Hello. I mean, North Gwinnet and Brookwood in 7A, I think is one to to keep an eye on. You're looking at Roswell North Cobb in the upper right and 7A. Norcross has to go to Lowndes. That's one in 7A to keep an eye on when you're flipping pages quickly here 6A. I think it's going to be interesting to see what happens with the really Westlake in Kennesaw Mountain. I'll go with that one in 6A because of what we're seeing with Caleb Carmean, who I who I covered with him from when he was when he was a player at Shorter University covered him in the NAIA. And so Kennesaw Mountain and Caleb Carmean and they are hosting Westlake. So that's going to be a tough one for Westlake,  having to go on the road in 6A. In 5A, Warner Robins and Cartersville. No brainer, absolutely no brainer. It is a rematch of the state championship game from last year, so I'll go with Warner Robins and Cartersville, Calhoun and Ware County also in 5A. That is low right as you're filling out your brackets, you've got Blessed Trinity at Woodward Academy. That one's also in 5A and 4A can Hapeville Charter continue their run. They have to go to Carver Columbus. We talked about that earlier in the show. So that one's going to be an interesting one. When you look at Benedictine and can they continue their massive offensive output, putting 59 on the board against Thomas County Central with that game against Marist looming. But Marist has to get past LaGrange upper right, Bainbridge hosting Northwest Whitfield. I think that that game might be over by the time that we're back for the Football Friday's and Georgia podcast next week. Oconee and Crisp, you know, Hannah, I always talk about those angry two seeds you do Oconne County is an angry 2 seed, but they have to go to Cordele to take on Crisp. In AAA Ringgold and Thompson. Ringgold has to go on the road. Peach County, Monroe area, low right Peach County, having to go on the road to Monroe area and Kevin reach his team. That one's going to be an interesting one as well. In AA, your favorite bracket in AA, your favorite quadrant low left.

Hannah Goodin: Love it.

Jon Nelson: Fitzgerald has to go to Fannin County and in a rematch of last year and then love it in Putnam County. So can you? Well, you mentioned love it. So love it in Putnam County. Can Putnam County continue their unbeaten run? Fitzgerald Fannin County. Keep an eye on that one. You've also got Callaway and Bleckley County in Cochran. That one's another one to keep an eye on as well. Jeff Davis and Rabun, Heard County and Thomasville. AA is stacked. In  A public. Lincoln County has to go to Irwin and can Manchester continue their run as a four seed? We keep an eye on that one as well. Brooks County on the road has to go to Washington to take on Washington Wilks. Metter and Schley County. That one is in Metter and in Class A private, you're looking at Eagles Landing Christian and Athens Academy, you're looking at Trinity Christian and Athens Christian and a lot of Calvary Day and Wesleyan Fellowship, Christian and Pacelli as well. Pacelli announcing also this week that they'll be heading to the GISA starting next season. So they're they're going to the GISA starting in the 22-23 year. So I think in the next region reclassification, those are the words I was trying to get out. So Pacelli will be joining the GISA as well. Another team leaving the GHSA.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, we got to get into our reclassification podcast soon, but in 7A you chose Norcross and Lowndes. You're forgetting one. I am number 8 Marietta travels to play. No. 3.

Jon Nelson: Why do you think I left it out? So that way we could talk about it?

Hannah Goodin: Two of the most successful  class 7A  programs, and it's our game of the week.

Jon Nelson: I love to see Commander Sandy. I love how she said  you forgot a game. Not like I wasn't trying to leave it open for a tease or something.

Sandy Malcolm: Jon forgetting a game that would be.

Hannah Goodin:That's an oxymoron.

Jon Nelson: Yes, I forgot a game. Absolutely. That's exactly what I did. I left it open, but now it's going to be a fun one. Marietta and Milton and Milton has been an absolute juggernaut. We get to see LT Overton. And if you haven't seen LT Overton, one of the defensive forces here in the state of Georgia, Marietta, Marietta's  offense is going to have a challenge going up against the front four of Milton coming up on gootball Friday's kick off a little after 7:30 on Friday night, Recruiting 2021 with the interviewer of the stars Hannah Gooden, Matt Stewart and myself that will start our programing at 7 O'clock.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I'm so excited about this matchup. Two teams that have been to the state championships recently Marrieta in 2019, Milton 2018, eager to get back. This is going to be definitely the game of the week, and I will be back on set Friday. I'll be back a part of the broadcast. It's a miracle, so I'm very excited for this one, Jon, and and I'm very excited for all of the bracketology I got to watch. You and Nicky go through all the bracketology last weekend and that was interesting.

Jon Nelson: It was. It was fun to have all those coaches from all around the state. I think Danny Britt from Benedictine was in the backseat of a car,.

Hannah Goodin: His lights kept going. His lights kept going.

Jon Nelson: I know it's like, you know, you have to keep the door open for more than 30 seconds or the lights or the lights going to drift on you. So it was fun to catch up with all the coaches. Looking forward to catching up with a lot more coaches this week on the post-game show brought to us by our friends at the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. And it's just going to be absolute fun. It's the second round of the playoffs. And, you know, we had half the field cut away from round one and we'll have it again happen this week. But remember, all of the games are on Friday.  You're not going to have Saturday games unless it was approved or Thursday because of facilities with the GHSA. The Friday Saturday split was because of officiating crews and the sheer number that are needed. All of the games, unless it's agreed to by the two teams, are set for Friday this week and it's Friday all the way through. Oh no, we've got to we got the coin flip to talk about to don't.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, yeah. Last thing on my mind is the coin flip. So it happened. Yes, it did happen.

Jon Nelson: I'm trying to dial up the information quickly here. So of course you ask me what happened and I had the information laid out and let me see if it was. Was it this one? So was it this one? What lower bracket won the coin flip for the following round? So for the quarterfinals, lower bracket wins, it will be hosting if the seeds are equal, so lower half of the bracket will be hosting in the quarter final round for Thanksgiving weekend.

Hannah Goodin: Nice. Well, good stuff.

Jon Nelson: So what else is on your mind before we go? How are your allergies holding up?

Hannah Goodin: Oh, I'm just trying to take you the day, the time, man.

Hannah Goodin: Okay, all right. My immune system is not cooperating with me this fall, OK?

Jon Nelson: So Commander Sandy, she dropped a cliche immediately. She dropped a coaching cliche in there. Don't we need to have like a dollar jar or something?

Sandy Malcolm: Yes, we do.

Hannah Goodin: We do. We need to have a dollar jar.

Jon Nelson: And then at the end, then at the end of the day, the end of the season or the end of the calendar year, we take the jar and donate it to a cause or something.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, that's a great idea, John. But that that's a really good idea which 

Jon Nelson: First dollar in the jar comes from you, by the way, for not wasting any time dropping a coach's cliche in one of our soundbites.

Hannah Goodin: I can probably go ahead. Put a twenty in the jar, honestly. Oh yeah, we're about five weeks out from having these twins and immune system is shot, and I'm just trying to take it a week at a time, day at a time. But I am going to be back into the office in a few days, so I'm excited.

Jon Nelson: Looking forward to that $3. That's $3 in the jar, we decided,.

Hannah Goodin: Yep, OK.

Jon Nelson: OK, so $3 that's there from Hannah for the first round of coaches clichés that were dropped in the show. So for a an allergy challenge to Hannah Gooden, for Jake the Snake for King James and for Commander Sandy, I'm just John. Thanks for hanging out with us for another round of the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast. Thanks to Wes Tankersley, the head coach at Stephens County, thanks to Walton head coach Daniel Brunner. Thanks to you for hanging out with us on however you are accessing us large device or small on Twitter, on Facebook, on YouTube and on the Gram. I think, as the kids say these days, I'm just Jon playin safe everybody. Enjoy your games. We'll see you Friday night.