Football Fridays In Georgia: Turkey Traditions and a Pair of 'Epic' 5A Playoff Battles
On this Thanksgiving edition of the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast, GPB Sports' Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson are joined by Calhoun's Clay Stephenson and Mike Chastain from Jones County to discuss their big wins in the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs. They also talk a little Turkey about their favorite Thanksgiving traditions.
Jon Nelson; Welcome to another round of the Football Friday's and Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting, thanks for accessing us. However, you are doing so large device or small on all of our social media platforms and on our YouTube channel. Starting this season as well, it is Thanksgiving week and if you are a coach that is practicing Thanksgiving week, that means that you're in the quarterfinals here this season. In the state of Georgia, we're down to the final eight in each of the eight Championship games, so the field has gone from 250 plus down to 64. Jon here, Hannah there, and it's a trip into 5A this time. But I know that you wanted to talk about some other stuff before we get into our discussion about 5A football this time.
Hannah Goodin; Well, I'm back. I mean, that's the most important part. I'm back in studio. Yes, sounding a little bit more clear. Uh huh.. So and then happy Turkey Day week, everybody. Yes. This is a special week.
Jon Nelson; Special week for me, and we'll talk about our turkey weeks and how spread to the four winds. They are in just a little bit. But what's on your mind before we dove into 5A? You want to talk about 7A? You want to talk about anything across the board? What were some of your top takeaways from our game of the week?
Hannah Goodin; Our game of the week.
Jon Nelson; And in the other game of the week that pops into your head?
Hannah Goodin; Second round showdown between one seed Milton and two seed Marietta at the Eagles Nest, the Eagles and senior running back Jordan MacDonald were just too much for the Blue Devils. John Final Score 28 to 21 Milton wins it. McDonald on fire
Jon Nelson; had the big right here, had the big run running for, you know, had 248, basically averaged about 10 yards per carry, but had the 80 plus yard run coming up in their first possession. And I think that kind of set the tone. There were times I mean, it was a frantic game in the first, you know, first quarter two turnovers each side. I know that Adam Clack will be looking at that this week and sitting there saying this cannot happen. This will be one of the things that we fix. But it was a back and forth game. Marietta came back, second half made it close, and then you see Milton put the pedal down to win by 17, 38-21. Devin Farrell rushed for 157 passed for 104 for Jordan McDonald used that run, for 248 heading to UCF, so this go round will get into all of the match ups. On the flip side, after our interviews, but Millcreek and Milton coming up in the seven eight quarters this week,.
Hannah Goodin; I have to say some of the best postgame interviews. Well, the one with all the guys in the background, what game was that? Again, that was the best
Jon Nelson; that was of Cambridge. Cambride and Johns Creek.
Hannah Goodin; Yeah, Coach Clack telling all of his players on TV to not overeat on Thanksgiving over and over and over was hilarious. And then McDonald, in his postgame interview, gave a shout out to UCF, saying they were the national champs and UCF retweeted it.
Jon Nelson; Yeah,.
Hannah Goodin; And apparently it's going a little viral on social media.
Jon Nelson; Well, that's what it's there for. You know, you sit
Hannah Goodin; There, GPB just viral.
Jon Nelson; Yes, we are so and you added a syllable there. GPB is vi-ral
Hannah Goodin; vir-al!
Jon Nelson; I feel like I feel like Commander Sandy. I feel like Pauly Shore. All of a sudden. It's like, you know, chill it with the weasel, but
Sandy Malcolm; Hannah has snapped to life.
Hannah Goodin; And I'm back, baby. Must be the tea. Tea is finally working.
Jon Nelson; So she's gone to tea this week, and she was wondering where the caffeine was, but she's she's like, she's dragging because the tea apparently was not caffeine tea.
Hannah Goodin; I think it just takes longer, maybe to kick in than coffee. OK, I'm feeling it now.
Jon Nelson; Are you a tea person?
Sandy Malcolm: I like both tea and coffee. Any caffeine I'm good with.
Jon Nelson; Ok, Yeah. So because I mean me traditionally, you know, being a Pepsi guy in a Coke town or in a Coke state,.
Sandy Malcolm; The Mountain Dew guy,.
Jon Nelson; You know it. I mean, it's right here, actually.
Hannah Goodin; And disclaimer, I'm allowed to have some caffeine being pregnant, everybody.
Jon Nelson: OK, I was going to ask about that.
Hannah Goodin; Hey, I got my first dirty look the other day. Oh, why I was in the Starbucks line late. OK. I had my coffee in the morning, didn't have anything throughout the day and I was dragging. We had some stuff to do in the evening while we were putting up all of our Christmas decorations went into Starbucks. OK, so that's I got some dirty looks and dirty looks and stuff.
Jon Nelson; All right, so I'm going to give you a dirty look right now.
Hannah Goodin; I could've been ordering a decaf, hich I wasn't, could have been ordering those little, those little fruity drinks that they have.
Jon Nelson; Yeah, the dragon fruit. Yeah, passion fruit.
Jon Nelson; Passion fruit. Yeah. All right. So this is where I'm going to give you a dirty look. OK, now I want to make sure that your sentence that you were correct with your sentence, you've already started putting up your Christmas decorations.
Hannah Goodin; Up, Done.
Sandy Malcolm; Oh my
Jon Nelson; OK. See, now we need like a penalty flag or something.
Hannah Goodin; You guys throwing the flag on me?
Jon Nelson; It's not even Thanksgiving.
Hannah Goodin; Oh, but it's so fun. It's festive.
Jon Nelson: Do that the day after Thanksgiving, the weekend after Thanksgiving is when you start putting up your Christmas stuff
Hannah Goodin; You’d be you'd be happy to know we wait to put the outside lights up until after Thanksgiving, but everything else is done.
Jon Nelson; Excuse me, I'm sorry. That's a thumbs down from the Nelson household
Hannah Goodin; giving the outside
Jon Nelson: the boss has the the orange lights up. And until after Thanksgiving, when we come back then, that's when we do all of our Christmas stuff, it's like your jump on holidays. Why don't you just go ahead? She should just go ahead and have the Christmas decorations up all year long. That's that's how it should be. Then if you're just going to go ahead and do that. Be like all the department stores that are just selling things for Christmas starting like, Oh, I don't know, Christmas in July.
Hannah Goodin; A hobby Lobby starts in October.
Sandy Malcolm; Mariah Carey playing. That's the key.
Hannah Goodin; I haven't been listening to any Christmas songs yet. No, no, no.
Sandy Malcolm; Yeah, that's a real foul.
Hannah Goodin; Yeah, no. That's too early. Probably should have played some while we were putting up the decorations, but we didn't.
Jon Nelson; I'm sorry. That's a penalty flag for me.
Hannah Goodin: So no Mariah Carey yet.
Jon Nelson: One holiday at a time, you're jumping holiday, so you jump on the holiday
Hannah Goodin; Excited. I'm just excited.
Jon Nelson; But being excited and being caffeinated about a future holiday.
Hannah Goodin; Excited and caffeinated, excited, its great
Jon Nelson; Excited and caffeinated about a future holiday. You're not allowed to skip holidays.
Hannah Goodin; Well, I did. We did. We do.
Jon Nelson: All right. So, you want to go ahead and tease our guests and go ahead and talk to our guests
Hannah Goodin: Let's tease our guests, and here's what we're going to do. We're going to do a lot of 5A.
Jon Nelson; Mm-Hmm.
Hannah Goodin; They’ve had some epic playoff battles.
Jon Nelson; Epic playoff battles.
Hannah Goodin: We’ll have two coaches on today from that classification to talk all about it. Calhoun advanced to the quarterfinals by beating region champs, Ware County so we'll hear from head coach Clay Stephenson will ring the upset alarms on that one. And Jones County put up 66 against East Side to advance, so we'll also talk to Coach Mike Chastain. So we'll be heavy 5A. We're going to look at the brackets before we bring them on. Bracket 5A bracket and then after the interviews, we're going to go through all the other brackets. So Jon's biggest surprises, takeaways, craziest matchups.
Jon Nelson; Sure.
Hannah Goodin; Well, we'll recap. We'll preview. So stick around after the interviews.
Jon Nelson; All right. So we got 5A. We're locked into 5A for this show, and I know that you want to look at what happened in 5A with Jones County in their offense and the madness that happened down in Waycross.
Hannah Goodin; Yeah, I mean, I got I got my brackets from the show on Friday, right? I brought them all with me.
Jon Nelson; Well, see, now you can go ahead and flip them so everybody can see you out there.
Hannah Goodin; The notes are so embarrassing, though,
Jon Nelson; Bu that that shows you how much chicken scratch. But at least you can read it, and that's what matters.
Hannah Goodin; So we're going to be talking about bottom left and bottom right for our interviews. Why don't we start with top left, Jon?
Jon Nelson; OK, so top left you're looking side by side in Creekside- Whitewater, Creekside in a shootout knocked off St. Pius 41 -34, and Whitewater beat Lithia Springs, great story with Lithia Springs, making it to the second round of the playoffs. They won by 16 Whitewater 49- 33. So Creekside and Whitewater two high powered offenses are upper left.
Hannah Goodin; All right, upper right. Villa Rica defeated Harris County 34-21. Blessed Trinity beat Woodward 28- 13. So Villa Rica vs. BT (Blessed Trinity) in the quarterfinals.
Jon Nelson; And I think that that's one of the surprises on the board was Blessed Trinity knocking off Woodward Academy as a one seed and so BT with their running game. We all know what their running game is all about. BT makes it to the next round. They make it into the quarters. Taking on a Villa Rica team, head coached by Tim Barron and Tim is turning things around. He knows what it means to be in the last game of the year and win the last game of the year recently with a championship at Heard County and knocking off Rockmart a couple of years ago downtown. So you have the playoff experience of Villa Rica and a stern test coming with them as BT heads to VR this upcoming weekend.
Hannah Goodin; Let’s go bottom left. Warner Robins beat region champ Cartersville 24-17 and Jones County beat East Side 66 - 42. We're going to talk a lot more about that game coming up. So Warner Robins vs. Jones County in the quarters.
Jon Nelson; That one's going to be fun. We catch up with Mike Chastain here in a little bit to find out. Two towns 30 miles apart. Get your tickets now or like yesterday. Get and get your tickets yesterday, basically.
Hannah Goodin; And finally, bottom right. Clark Central vs. Calhoun.
Jon Nelson; Yeah, Calhoun wins the 91 point basically arena football game. Whoever had the ball last or was going to make that one stop, and we'll get into that with Clay Stephenson here in just a little bit. Clark Central. We know how stout they are defensively holding Starrs Mill to seven points, winning 24-7. Dave Perno and Clay Stephenson with Calhoun going to Athens, and it's a familiar matchup with these two schools.
Hannah Goodin; It is. Let's go ahead and bring on Calhoun head coach Clay Stephenson to talk all about his playoff run and that huge win against Ware County. Hey, coach, welcome in. You edged out Region Champs, Ware county 49 -42 by stopping the Gators inside the five yard line with 12 seconds left. Take us through what you were thinking in that moment and and talk about the game overall.
Coach Clay Stephenson; Yeah, no. The way you said it got me chills all over again. It was a... It was an exciting game. It was back and forth between two great teams. Coach Strickland at Ware county is. You know, they're they're capable of making a run in the playoffs every year and it's a credit to him and his staff and it was just a knockdown drag out. I have a ball game and, you know, neither team deserved to lose, it was probably going to come down to who had the ball last. And, you know, we were lucky enough to make a fumble there and got the ball back with 12 seconds to get it last and win the game.
Jon Nelson; How crazy was it considering it was a ninety one point game? I mean, we were watching it. You were. Keep an eye on it up here in Atlanta and it was back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. When you have a tennis match like that. What's it like being a coach in a tennis match?
Coach Clay Stephenson; Yeah, you're just going to stay in the moment and know that every possession is a crucial possession in your offense where you've got to have the mindset you got to score every every time you get it in their own defense. You don't need to stop them every time, but you've got to trust, you're going to stop them. You know, once or twice. And I think we got two stops in the second half, and that was pretty much the difference in the game.
Hannah Goodin; Well, you did it all by traveling over 300 Miles Calhoun to Waycross. You got back at like five a.m. Saturday morning. Talk about the travel. I guess first talk about the travel to the game and what that was like for your players. And on the flip side of that, what it was like coming home. I'm guessing that was a pretty quiet bus ride.
Coach Clay Stephenson; Yeah, it's a tough trip. And just the the actual mileage and distance of everything. I'm trying to get 100 people fed four times in a day. It's tough and the travel and where are you going to stay? But what's the mindset that we had to embrace it. And I talk with Coach Foster that they had at Cartersville. They had to make the trip last year, and we kind of kept pretty much the same itinerary as they did. We stopped a couple of times. We took some cornhole boards to try to pass some time at one of the stops just to get out and walk around and then went out of Tifton. And so, you know, the trip down there it is what it is, and the trip back was brutal. You know, we got back about 4:30- 5am and we got to get everything done. The jerseys put in the washer and stuff. So, I think we laid our head on the pillow about the time the sun was coming up. So, the whole weekend was just kind of a mush. And then all of a sudden its Monday.
Jon Nelson; And yeah, and all of a sudden it's Monday, and we all know that coaches sit there and say, Well, you know, if we're practicing Thanksgiving week, that's a great thing because it means we're in whatever round of the playoffs we're in. But you're talking about a holiday week coming off of a week where many weekend where you're having to travel 300 plus miles, you fall asleep maybe six o'clock Saturday morning, then you're having to get right back at it. I mean, this is this is a grind and a half on a on a holiday schedule too.
Coach Clay Stephenson; It is, You know, luckily, the holiday works in our favor with this situation because, you know, we didn't have to go to school for seven hours today and then try to practice when we got through the week. We practiced this morning and you know, we've tried to make sure we stress the message this morning to a move that was over. Yes, it was a fun trip and enjoyable, but let's not bask in that and then reminisce about it after the season. We've got to make sure that we're we're prepared and ready to go this week or last week. That meant anything.
Hannah Goodin; So when we have our broadcast on Friday, we do the upset alert sirens and 2two seed beating one seed Ware County was definitely had had our I mean, not a huge upset, but had our upset, alert graphic ringing. What have you learned about yourself as a two seed throughout the playoffs so far?
Coach Clay Stephenson; I’ll say what our senior class is is amazing and I've learned something from them that they never get too high or too low, and they just come about their business every day and know that they've got a job to do. Win, lose or draw. They show up on Monday night, ready to work out and ready to practice. And you know, something that as coaches have to do as well. You don't let praise or criticism gets too far up, too far down. Same thing happened in the game. You don't let good things. Are bad things affecting you because it doesn't matter how it got to be 21-7. It was 21-7. We had to figure out a way to come back at halftime. You know, the message was just, let's figure out a way to be in the game in the fourth quarter. And we came out and got a couple of stops and it was time you're in the fourth quarter. And, you know, I figured I knew our kids knew exactly where we wanted to be and they were they went out making plays in the fourth quarter.
Jon Nelson; As we're talking, it's early in the week. What have you what have you learned about Clark Central? What was what was Study Hall like on Sunday, getting ready for Clark Central out of the blocks?
Coach Clay Stephenson; Yeah. Well, when we had to get out of sleep of our eyes, it was a tiring Saturday. But they're a big, strong physical football team. Fast. You know, we we played them last year in the second round. So we're fairly familiar with them where their coached really well. It's going to be a totally different type of ball game than it was last last week. They're a very physical football team that run at probably 80 percent of the time. So making sure we put Friday night and Saturday morning passed us and look forward to Clark Central. It's huge for us this week, but they're they're a great football team. Their two losses are a Buford and Oconee County. And that's pretty much all I had to tell our players and got their attention there. They're, you know, two top teams in state in any classifications most of years. So they definitely have our full attention and hopefully we can have a good week of practice and be ready to go on Friday.
Hannah Goodin; So I'm putting it in my GPS. This one's 127 miles, two hours and 17 minutes to Athens. How are you preparing for another road trip?
Coach Clay Stephenson; Yeah, that's going to be like going, you know, going to the grocery store.
Jon Nelson; Hahaha!
Coach Clay Stephenson; It’s not a hard trip at all. We made it last year. My parents and family live in the Commerce, Jefferson area, so it's not a hard trip at all. We're going to go and and stop somewhere near Jefferson, Commerce and kind of do our walkthroughs and stuff and then head on over to Athens. And so it’s a, it's a lot logistically a lot easier trip than last week.
Jon Nelson; All right. So, since you mentioned your family, let's get into Thursday. We might cycle back to some Friday questions, but let's get into some Thursday.
Hannah Goodin; Yeah, Let's get into the important stuff. Thanksgiving.
Jon Nelson; Yeah. So what is Thanksgiving like at the Stephenson household?
Coach Clay Stephenson; Well, the challenge is always, you know, when we're playing football, the challenge is always to not eat as much as I want to eat because we'll leave here after morning practice and drive to Commerce and spend one Thanksgiving there. And then we go to another family Thanksgiving that evening. Then we turn around and drive back home. And then ironically, this year,
Jon Nelson; you know, you gotta drive back.
Coach Clay Stephenson; Right back to exactly where we just were. So it's a good time and it's a lot of travel, but it's I don't get we don't get to see that part of our family too much. So we're looking forward to it and and then really looking forward to get back over there Friday and getting to play.
Hannah Goodin; So your message to the team is do not overeat.
Coach Clay Stephenson; That is correct. Yes, we were. That's that's a huge thing because all of us, you know, won't sit down and eat all day and watch football. And, you know, hopefully we can. The kids especially can receive a plate or two and move on.
Jon Nelson; All right. So when you're fixing your plate and it can be at either stop one, stop two or stop three, what is on your plate? What's the go to meal for you?
Hannah Goodin; You’re about to make us hungry Jon.
Jon Nelson; What? What's what your go to play?
Coach Clay Stephenson; I’m a meat. I'm a .. I got to have some turkey. The dressing has to be made the right way. I don't like many onions in it. So, like one of my aunts makes it one way. And when I was making the other way, so I'm not going to tell you which going on.
Jon Nelson; So are you? Are you the guy that kind of sits there and looks for the onion and you kind of take the spoon and you kind of carve around the onion just so you can get that section?
Coach Clay Stephenson; Yeah. Well, you got to get something of everything to make you all your family members happy, and then you can kind of dissect them once you get back to your plate, but not not a cranberry sauce guy at all.
Jon Nelson; No?
Coach Clay Stephenson; So that I will, I will pass up. So other than that, and I'm going to put it on my plate at least try it
Hannah Goodin; Sounds delicious. Stomach is growling.
Jon Nelson; Yeah, well, it's growling and also and before we started taping, there was the other element in all of this is that Hannah is probably going to have championship babies.
Hannah Goodin; Yes, that’s what Jon is predicting
Jon Nelson; I’m predicting Championship baby.
Hannah Goodin; Coach Stephenson had Championship babies, too. Who knew?
Coach Clay Stephenson; It was exciting. Yeah.
Jon Nelson; How did you spend your first Christmas with newborns? This is this is the advice column section. This is why I wanted to kind of ask this question
Hannah Goodin; All the men Tune out here. I’m just joking.
Jon Nelson; What kind of advice would you give Hannah and her husband for the first Christmas with newborns?
Coach Clay Stephenson; Yeah, I thought it was awesome. 2014 was our first one. We, my wife was very pregnant, as you were describing when we went to the Washington County football game and we weren't sure if we're going to have it there or what we're going to do so anyway. She had it three days later and Christmas time was awesome. It was. It was perfect for us because we're teachers and we were out of school, so we get to spend as much time as we could with them. But it's a it's an awesome, awesome experience and especially, you know, around Christmas time, you know, your emotions and your feelings are already already on your sleeves and having to have a kid, thats gonna be awesome
Hannah Goodin; Yeah, you said December 17th, right?
Coach Clay Stephenson; That’s correct.
Hannah Goodin; And we are December 20th. So, it's going to be. We're going to be close.
Coach Clay Stephenson; Awesome, it’s gonna be exciting.
Jon Nelson; All right. So back to back to Friday, let's we push through Thursday and get to Friday. One of the things that we like to do here on the show, on the show and with our programing on the TV side is the Make that Kid An Offer segment. We do that on Recruiting 2021. And I know that we've had a chance to focus on Cole with how incredible the talent he is and how integral he is to your offense when it comes to your roster. Is there anyone that you could sit there and wave your hand up in the air and for whatever reason, overlooked, understaffed, underappreciated, not getting the looks that you think? Is there anyone on your roster that you could sit there and say, I'd like for you to make this kid an offer or make this kid a better offer who qualifies for that
Coach Clay Stephenson; Our right guard Jace Warren. He is a great offensive lineman, nasty he gets after em and finishes his blocks, and he's one that I feel like getting a little bit overlooked. I think he's going to, he's going to get his his due, but it's a feel like he’s overlooked,for sure.
Jon Nelson; Well, coach, obviously you've got a shorter road trip this week going up against Clark Central in the 5A quarterfinals. Thanks for hanging out with us on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast. Thanks for letting us know what's on your go to plate for Thanksgiving. We figured since this is the Thanksgiving episode, we've asked some Thanksgiving questions. Great win against Ware County on a tremendous road trip. Good luck this week against Clark Central. Thanks for hanging out with us on the show.
Coach Clay Stephenson; I appreciate it guys, and I appreciate all of the the coverage you give the high school sports. We appreciate it.
Hannah Goodin; Coach Chastain, you put up 66 points against Eastside in the second round last Friday. How were you able to do that and take us through your game?
Coach Mike Chastain; Well, first of all, it wasn't me, and it wasn't any coach. We got really good players, but our offense coordinator, defense coordinator, they both do a phenomenal job and and so I want to tip their hat. But John Alan, as we call him Jar, he's a he's playing really good ball right now. I think he was 81 percent the other night in the game and threw it 40; 40 times, I believe. And so he played really good. Our running back had a phenomenal game. He rushed for over 200 yards in a game, so our guys just started executing and hit everything at the right time. So we're really hitting on all cylinders right now. We got everybody healthy and just just glad to see what what can happen over the next few weeks.
Jon Nelson; When you've got a quarterback like John Alan Richter.
Hannah Goodin; JAR JAR. I know it's JAR. I love that.
Jon Nelson; So when when you have as jarring a quarterback as you have,.
Hannah Goodin; Thank you.
Jon Nelson; there at Jones County this year, I mean, what's it been like since we caught up with you at your spring game? And I know that it was getting him integrated into the offense, getting him comfortable? What's it been like to see his his game grow this year to where it is right now?
Coach Mike Chastain; It’s really been awesome. He's he's blossomed in so many ways. When he was in the ninth grade, a lot of folks didn't think he would. I mean, just everybody kind of mature before him, kind of. Maybe in he's just physically starting to hit everything, going at the right time and he's arm. He's had two really, really good years. And this this senior year in the off season has been awesome for him and and he's just a great kid, first of all and a football junkie. He loves it. Toledo just offered him. Lehigh has already offered him. There's been several other guys that are interested in him. I think he's going to be a phenomenal gift for whoever ends up getting him over the next few weeks. So, he's just a great young man, and when he's on, it's pretty hard to stop.
Hannah Goodin; I just pulled up his recruiting profile in 247 sports needs to get with it because I have no offers on here.
Jon Nelson; Yeah, they get with it. I mean.
Coach Mike Chastain; All right.
Jon Nelson; So then let's let's get into this. You know, traditionally on our Friday night programing, we have the Recruiting 2021 show that precedes our game of the week. And there's a segment at the end of the show that we call Make That Kid an Offer. And for whatever reason, overlooked, underappreciated, under starred. And I think that JAR probably fits into this. We always like to ask the question make this kid an offer or make this kid a better offer who on your roster this year would qualify for that? And would John Alann be in that category too?
Coach Mike Chastain; Well, JAR has already got an offer, but yes, no doubt if he did, he would definitely fall in there, but I think I think we have a couple guys. We have a center that that is a strongest kid on our team is he's 375 cleaner, which is at the state meet if they had a state meet, which we don't compete in. But he probably would win it most years at that number and really strong, really smart. He wants to be an engineer, so he's probably not going to take an offer. But but because he wants to go to Georgia Tech, be an engineer, but if it were to happen, I mean, he's he's definitely a guy that I think somewhat should offer. He's only 5' 11, but he is a really good center force and has been the anchor for office line this year. And then and then we have another guy that's a three year starter for us in the secondary, but again, just a little bit undersized, little short. But people try them all year long and and the odds are he's he's come out most of the time and he's a he's a really good player. That's TayJativus) Whiple (And the center was Grayson Dugger.
Hannah Goodin; Love an academic guy. I mean, engineer at Georgia Tech. That is something special. That's strong. Yeah. Well, I want to get back into the playoffs. You're putting up some serious numbers, 56 points against Griffin. Like I said, 66 points against Eastside. You got Warner Robins coming up who just beat the region champ Cartersville. What are your expectations for that game? I mean, you're averaging averaging.
Jon Nelson: 61.
Hannah Goodin; 61 points. So high expectations for you Coach
Coach Mike Chastain; Well, it's going to be a tall task. They're really good and they're not giving up points, nowhere near that throughout the season and and they are putting up big numbers themselves. They are really good team and everything as advertised and and I Coach Westbrook over there and and those guys do a phenomenal job. I mean, they play with phenomenal tempo on offense and and and in the blink of an eye, I actually watched the Lee County game and I watched several games now, but I watched that live and I was just kind of amazed at how fast they scored and they just do a good job. They're a really good job. And so we got a very tough task in front of us and hopefully get out there and do the best we can do.
Jon Nelson; And it's two great football towns and this is something that, you know, we talked about on the last week after your win, but I wanted it to address it again here. It is that it's two great football towns that are about 30 miles apart. I guess my first question is have tickets gone on sale and have you already sold out?
Coach Mike Chastain; No, I haven't gone on sale or they may have been on sale. Just usually go sell around 12 or one o'clock on Monday. So being that it's Turkey week and I don't know if we’ve already got them up yet or not, but I'm sure it will sell out soon or whatever. They'll be a big crowd. I know that. I know Warner Robins travels well and its awesome so I have no doubt it would be a be a phenomenal atmosphere.
Jon Nelson; What’s it like with these two football towns that you've spent time in- Warner Robins you know what Warner Robins football means to Warner Robins, and now you're spending time in Gray and know what it means to Jones County. What does football for someone who's never been in Middle Georgia to see a game. What does football mean to these two football towns?
Coach Mike Chastain; Well, I mean, you know, and at Warner Robins, I mean, it's what the community does is not football, just football is baseball, basketball anything here. I mean, the community loves the sports here and and I think I think our school does a phenomenal job a getting make it making sports important. And and you could tell with the crowd, we generally put a pretty good crowd in in the stands for every game. And it's not. It's not just because of what we're doing right now, it's the people, people are great they're awesome and they love the sports and they come out in a mighty way to support, support every sport, not just football.
Hannah Goodin; You’ve been with Jones County for three seasons since 2019 made it to the semifinals each year. So if you beat Warner Robins on Friday, you would go to the semifinals for the third year in a row. What's what's been the the secret behind having success right off the bat there at Jones County?
Coach Mike Chastain; Well, I was very fortunate to follow Coach Rogers and have been very fortunate to be around a lot of really, really good head coaches throughout the state. I've been in a lot of places and and I think I think there's a bunch of keys that you have to have to be able to get things going. And one, first and foremost is the support from the central offense and it is second to none here in Jones. And and I tell people all the time, if you can't be successful here, it's probably got something to do with the coaching. This because they are they really do a great job of giving you what you need and to be successful and still still maintaining the respect of academics. And I just think it's a great place. It really is. And we have good players. And when you're in a one horse town where all the players come to you all the time, is this awesome, awesome deal. So we have really good players. We got good coach, we got good admin supoort, we got good facilities. That's that's key to being able to have success, first of all. And and then just then just being able to find a way to stay healthy long enough to play good in the playoffs. I think that's that's big, too. So. And lastly, and certainly, certainly not least, but the Good Lord has got to bless you and I thank you for that on my way. So we've given Him glory and honor for letting us play this far.
Jon Nelson; Mike Chastain, the head coach of Jones County, hanging out with us for another couple of minutes on the Football Friday's and Georgia podcast. Now it's a holiday week. It's Thanksgiving week. Yes, you want to be practicing and no, there's no school, so you're somewhat you can kind of have a singular focus. But how difficult is it to practice during a holiday week with family demands and all this kind of stuff? How difficult is it to practice on a week like this?
Coach Mike Chastain; I think its tough a lil bit, sometimes I think you got you got people that have stuff going on, but but a lot of times in football to make it to be able to play on Thanksgiving week, it's a big honor and a lot of people don't ever get to do that. So. So it's a little easier on this week than it is most. And then obviously, when you've got a big game like this week that we have, I don't think it will be hard of our guys fired up ready to practice this week.
Hannah Goodin; Well, let's talk a little bit more about Thanksgiving. What's Thanksgiving like there at the Chastain household? What do you guys do?
Coach Mike Chastain; Well, usually we spend time with family and friends, and this Thanksgiving Thursday we'll have some family over at our house. And then Saturday, which is kind of neat after the game. Well, we'll meet at Warner Robins and eat at my brother's house. But when we do that, we have our all of our family from South Georgia come up and. And Kelly Chastain is the offensive line coach at Warner Robins. He was there with me at Warner Robins and he he'll be there Saturday and then we'll see him and his family from South Georgia, from Thomasville, who will be there. So it's it'll be neat. We actually actually spent Thanksgiving or Saturday at Thanksgiving eating Thanksgiving dinner with a with one of the opposing team coaches.
Jon Nelson; So when you fill out your plate and this is a question that we asked Clay Stephenson of Calhoun. So, when you're filling out your plate, what's on it?
Coach Mike Chastain; A lot, a lot.
Coach Clay Stephenson; Too much. Yeah, really. There's there's one thing I don't like, and that's olives. So if it doesn't have olives is in I'm good.
Jon Nelson; OK. So cranberry homemade or out of the can?
Coach Mike Chastain; Again if it ain't olives, Ill be honest, I don't usually grab the cranberry a whole lot. but as I get older, I start grabbing a little bit more. So I'm not an expert.
Jon Nelson; OK, so light meat or dark?
Coach Mike Chastain; I’m a light meat guy. I am, yeah,.
Jon Nelson; OK. Stuffing, is it dressing or stuffing?
Coach Mike Chastain: Dressing.
Jon Nelson: OK. Let's see what's your desserts?
Coach Mike Chastain; ouuu.
Hannah Goodin; You’ve got to have a pecan pie in there.
Coach Mike Chastain; Pecan pie, Yeah, that's it.
Jon Nelson; OK. Is there something that is made inside the Chastain family tree that is like a homemade dish that's brought in because my wife,
Hannah Goodin; This is the turkey interrogation.
Jon Nelson; It is. It's Thanksgiving interrogation because this is what's important. Is there a homemade dish that is brought into the equation or is there something that's a little off the beaten track? Because the boss in my household has a dish that is a rice dish that is straight up, it's like consommé and white rice, and it is the most fattening thing ever, and it is the most glorious thing ever that she adds to our Thanksgiving meals. Is there anything that's out of out of the beaten track that's brought to the table from the Chastain household?
Coach Mike Chastain; I would say. Probably not, but if there was here lately, my mom has been bringing brisket from a, from a place in Warner Robins called Martin's, it's been it's been phenomenal
Jon Nelson: Martin’s.. writing this down
Hannah Goodin; I haven't heard of brisket for Thanksgiving before.
Coach Mike Chastain; That’s yeah. Yeah, I hadn't either till she brought it back. Where she brings it. Definitely all gone because its phenomenal. But but now, but I don't think we do a whole lot real different, to be honest with you.
Jon Nelson; OK.
Hannah Goodin; Our staple is a broccoli casserole. It sounds gross, but it's so good. Lots of cheese.
Coach Mike Chastain; We’ve had broccoli casserole plenty of times. I wouldn't say that it's gross. That's a good, good choice.
Jon Nelson: ok
Jon Nelson; All right. So last last question for you, and thanks for hanging out for all of these incredibly insightful questions, considering it is Thanksgiving week. Hannah has already put up her Christmas tree in her house.
Jon Nelson; All the decorations are up, except for the outside portion of the house when it comes to putting up holiday decorations. Have you skipped a holiday and you already headed toward Christmas? Or are you waiting until after Thanksgiving to put up your Christmas stuff?
Coach Mike Chastain; I would say I would bet that we'd be paying we but we've had our Christmas decorations up for probably three or four weeks.
Hannah Goodin; They have me beat, Jon.
Jon Nelson; Wow!
Hannah Goodin; We did ours last week.
Coach Mike Chastain; My wife loves and we have. We had fall break. I don't know whenever that was, and I had to get something out of our afterwards said. And while we were out there, she said, Go ahead, get the the Christmas tree.
Hannah Goodin While you're out there, honey, go ahead and get all the boxes in. Love it.
Coach Mike Chastain; We've had it out for a good bit now.
Jon Nelson; Well, coach, thanks for hanging out with us and giving us a bit of a preview with your game against Warner Robins. The game that is going to be the central focus of all of Middle Georgia. It's going to be a great game in 5A. Great to catch up with you. You've Had a fantastic season so far date. Thanks for hanging out with us for all the insightful Thanksgiving questions and previewing what's going to happen with Warner Robins this week. Thanks for hanging out with us on the show.
Coach Mike Chastain; Thanks for having me.
Hannah Goodin Both coaches were such good sports with our Turkey interrogation
Jon Nelson; yeah, well the holiday interrogation and to find out that Coach Chastain actually beat you hanging up the holiday, the Christmas decorations.
Hannah Goodin; People love Christmas.
Jon Nelson; Yeah, and they also like making Christmas in July, we're going to sit there and buy things in July, and they put up their Christmas decorations, why don't we just go ahead, make it a 12 month holiday then?
Hannah Goodin; and we don't want to leave out any other holiday break holiday celebrations. So we are saying happy holidays. Yes, to all of the holidays.
Jon Nelson; Yes. Happy holidays to all of you. Holidays, all of them. Yes. All right. So what's on your mind before we go?
Hannah Goodin; All right. Well, as promised, let's get through some of these brackets, Jon, and we're going to skip over 5A because we've been talking about that quite a bit, huh? Let's go to 7A. We took a look at our game of the week, which was Milton vs. Marietta. So Milton will play Mill Creek. Correct. Let's look at what about Grayson and Roswell? Top right of 7A bracket.
Jon Nelson; Yeah, Roswell with the big come from behind win against North Cobb, and they're going to be hosting Grayson. I know a lot of folks are looking at Collins Hill and Lowndes down at the Concrete Palace. Our game on Football Friday's, by the way, is Walton at Brookwood, Recruiting 2021 at Seven O'Clock and our kickoff from a Brookwood Community Stadium at 7:30.
Hannah Goodin; Yeah, that's going to be a great game. Hmm. Let's go right ahead to 6A.
Jon Nelson; A lot of a lot of folks are gravitating toward Buford and Lee County in that one because the two heavyweights low right. Dacula's got a home game with Johns Creek vs. Northside, Warner Robins at Hughes, Westlake and Carrollton as well.
Hannah Goodin: Skipping over 5A, 4A...
Jon Nelson: Marist at Benedictine.
Hannah Goodin; That’s where I was going.
Jon Nelson; Marist and Benedictine and a lot of folks are looking at that one with Holden Geriner at quarterback for Benedictine and putting up some ridiculous numbers offensively as a team. Stout defense for Danny Britton and the cadets. But Marist and Alan Chadwick having to go to the coast to take on Benedictine and a lot of folks also looking at Cedar Town at Perry, Doughtery over at Carver and North Oconee and Bainbridge. That's a pack, a lunch and dinner and a midnight snack trip for North Oconee having to go to Bainbridge. Tough test for them going to go up against the Bearcats.
Hannah Goodin; AAA I'm going Cedar Grove, Crisp County.
Jon Nelson; No question. And the interesting subplot there with Miguel Patrick. The former head coach at Cedar Grove, now the head coach at Crisp, and we've had him on the postgame show for a couple of weeks in a row. That's going to be a big game down in Cordele. And once again, if you don't have your tickets yet, you probably should get them like now, get them. Now, as we say, Peach and Pierce keep an eye on Peach after knocking off Monroe area, having to go on the road down to Blackshear to take on the defending champs.
Hannah Goodin; All right. AA, where are you going, Jon?
Jon Nelson; Rabun County in Thomasville. I think with Gunner Stockton, with everything that he's been able to do offensively, we had Jaybo Shaw on the show a couple of weeks ago going up against a stout defense at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Zach Grage, you'll have him ready. But Rabun County in Thomasville, that one's going to be stout low, right
Hannah Goodin; All right, Class Single. A Public, Macon County vs. Irwin County.
Jon Nelson; Yep, and that one's going to be in Ocilla. But also, you know, you got to keep an eye on Turner County and Metter. A lot of folks were looking at that one. Our friend Maurice Freeman, having to go to Warren County to take on the screaming devils of Warren County, Manchester and Wilcox. Manchester makes it through as a four seed again, and they now get to go to Wilcox County and take on the Stowe show there in Rochelle.
Hannah Goodin; And finally, Class Single A Private. Fellowship -Christian Calvary Day
Jon Nelson; yeah, and you're going to have to go to the coast again if you're Tim McFarland having to go all the way from Fellowship down to Calvary Day, so. Mark Stroud, we've seen what they've been able to do ranked number two number three in the polls most of the season for GPB and Gpb.org. But keep an eye on Holy Innocents and Eagles Landing Christian as well came into the playoffs at four and six, but not necessarily a surprise considering how folks have to schedule around Eagles Landing Christian. That's going to be a stout one as well on the left hand side, upper left.
Hannah Goodin; So 64 teams correct, narrowing it down to 32.
Jon Nelson; Yes,.
Hannah Goodin; Woo. What about the coin flip this week? How did all that go down?
Jon Nelson; Coin Flip went to the upper bracket, if I'm not mistaken, so we'll keep an eye on that. And so once again, for the semifinals, it's the upper bracket that is your coin flip winner. Keep an eye on that for your home field advantage and all of your your home seeds if you're tied, if you have the same seeding. If you're a number one or two seed or whatever it is in the upper and the upper section of the bracket will win.
Hannah Goodin; All right. Well, we skimmed through these brackets. You guys watch Countdown To Kickoff on Thursday at noon. Wed Wednesday!
Jon Nelson; Wednesday, at noon. I'm probably in transit to Alabama for Thanksgiving,
Hannah Goodin; Wednesday at noon. We are going to break down all of this even more so. Join us on GPB Sports Facebook Live.
Jon Nelson; Yep.
Hannah Goodin; Count on the kick off Thursday at noon. True for full bracketology. Accurate. I mean, we might just make it like a whole bracketology show, a whole bracketology.
Jon Nelson; So. But Commander Sandy doesn't care about that. She's like, You know, I'm already done. This shows the podcast is in the can. I'm doing, Oh, so what are you guys doing for Thanksgiving now that we're asking?
Sandy Malcolm; Just Stayin here. Low key, My mom will come over.
Jon Nelson; So, OK, so is there. Is there a special commander sandy family dish that's introduced into it? Is. Or is it pretty much the normal,
Sandy Malcolm; Yeah Just the normal stuff
Sandy Malcolm; My mom makes a really good lemon meringue pie.
Jon Nelson; Oh, I'll see that. That's not fair. That is absolutely not fair. Yeah, a good lemon meringue pie. Whoa. I mean that I mean that for me, it's like literally it's like, I don't know what y'all are having for dessert. But you know, if I was over at your Thanksgiving, I would definitely be like, it's like, Oh, there's the lemon meringue pie, and you just kind of slide it off the table and kind of walk out the whole with the whole thing, not just the slice, but the whole thing. And literally,
Hannah Goodin; There it is there. There It isn't.
Jon Nelson; Yeah, exactly. It's like it's on. It's like the scene in Beverly Hills Cop. It's like there's something in your hand over here and then you're looking over here and this hand, and it's just like, you're not paying attention to what's going on over here. All of a sudden, that lemon meringue pie just kind of disappears and walks out the door. And I might just walk out the door with it, just like, try and track this lemon meringue pie down. Good luck on.
Sandy Malcolm; pie? What pie?
Jon Nelson; Exactly.
Hannah Goodin; Something on my on, my in-laws side. Yeah, that's not. Not necessarily a dish that I like, but it's very interesting. They're from Indiana, OK? And she does an oyster stuffing.
Jon Nelson; Yeah, Not having it.
Hannah Goodin; No, it's not my favorite. No. And it's no. But everybody, you know, puts a little on their plate.
Jon Nelson; Well, that's a courtesy.
Hannah Goodin; So that's one of the weirdest things
Jon Nelson; that is the Thanksgiving, courtesy of putting a little bit of something. It's like, Oh, you brought the whatever the dish was that
Hannah Goodin; you brought the
Hannah Goodin; oyster stuffing. And it's great. Yeah.
Jon Nelson; smells delicious.
Sandy Malcolm; The smell alone is.
Jon Nelson; I’ll go get some. I'll be right back.
Hannah Goodin; But well, we hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving that. Yes. And we're right back to work on Friday. Yeah, it is.
Jon Nelson; Brookwood. Yep. Recruiting 2021 at 7:00 and kick off a little after 7:30. And when the game is over, it's not over because Hannah and I will have the postgame show brought to us by our friends of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety to take you through the quarters and get you ready for the semis on a holiday weekend.
Hannah Goodin; Yeah, and it'll be nice 32 teams. It'll be easier to talk about.
Jon Nelson; Well, it's always easy to talk about this stuff.
Hannah Goodin; i know, but man, that gets jumbled. It does. The show's fun, though, love the post-game show.
Jon Nelson; Well, once again, thanks to Clay Stephenson, the head coach at Calhoun, thanks to Mike Chastain, the head coach of Jones County, for taking a peek at the 5A quarterfinals. Thanks to Commander Sandy, King James and Jake the snake for hanging out with us here, making sure that the ones and twos are what they are always supposed to be. So once again, like friend, be a part of the conversation on all of our social media platforms across the board. And if you're watching us on YouTube, let us know what you think about the show being on YouTube this year. So, for everyone behind the glass and for Hannah play it safe, everybody. Enjoy your quarter finals will catch up with you next week.