GPB Sports' Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson talk with new Lowndes Head Coach Zach Grage. After a whirlwind hiring process that took a little over a week, the former Thomasville Coach brings a promise of 'simple, fast, fun and first class football' to the storied Lowndes High School program. He also weighs in on the podcast crew debate over their favorite Easter candies. That and more on this month's Football Fridays in Georgia podcast.

Lowndes Head Coach Zach Grage

Zach Grage meets the press after being announced as the new head football coach at Lowndes High School on April 12, 2022.

Credit: Lowndes Viking Football Facebook page

Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing this, however you are doing so. Large device or small and it's us hands over there. I'm over here and our guest this week is a fun one, probably the busiest man in high school football right now in the state of Georgia.

Hannah Goodin: Yes, he is. New Lowndes Head Coach Zach Grage. He should be calling in any minute now so he could interrupt our very defined rundown here in the open. Yes, but that's welcome.

Jon Nelson: Yes, welcome. Yeah, we always like interruptions here on the show, so we'll catch up with Zach a little further along in the show. But you have the rundown. So what topics do you have on your mind that you want to get to before we get to Zach?

Hannah Goodin: I've got the rundown.

Jon Nelson: Yes, you do.

Hannah Goodin Well, I want to know how your Easter weekend was first Jon. The weather held off this weekend. It did. So it was beautiful. How was he Easter?

Jon Nelson: Mine was kind of split with the duties that I have on Match Day for Atlanta United. You know where you get to see somebody big ole foot head now on the Halo board at halftime?

Hannah Goodin: Yes, I hey, tell the folks, the fans of Jon Nelson, you can't just skim over that like, it's nothing.

Jon Nelson: Why not? Seasons already started.

Hannah Goodin: Jon is now on the big screen at the Benz during halftime of the United games, and that is so awesome. Congratulations.

Jon Nelson: Thank you know it's fun and you know what we get to do. It's like doing a sportscaster literally at halftime for Atlanta United to go over first half highlights. You go over keys and stats and things and literally three and a half minutes goes by like that. But it's like doing a sportscast, except it's in front of 40,000 people live on a Halo board. But now it's been fun.

Hannah Goodin: So cool. If you need a co-host, you know who to call. Yeah, I'm pointing to myself.

Jon Nelson: Yes. For those of you only listening, Hannah just pointed to herself. But no, thank you very much now. It's very cool to be able to do that. And, you know, share my love of soccer and Atlanta United and get to do that on our own for every home match is very cool.

Hannah Goodin Well, we had the girls first Easter. OK, we split time too. We split time between my in-laws and then my family, and everybody was so exhausted. The girls slept 12 hours last night. Straight.

Jon Nelson: Far out.

Hannah Goodin: I don't set an alarm because they woke me up around 6:30 seven. They didn't wake up till eight, so it was a mad dash this morning to get them fed and ready and out the door. Well, me out the door. (Yes) they're at home. (Hmm) So they had a great weekend, though they were just it was a lot. (OK) The day was great. Sunday was beautiful. All of the family time, right? But they screamed the entire way home. 30 minutes in the car nonstop, tried everything. All the tips and tricks. They screamed the whole way home. OK? But the moment we walked in the door? Sigh of relief because everyone's fine. Yeah, bottles and mouths. Yeah. Early bedtime.

Jon Nelson: For you. Yes.

Hannah Goodin: 12 hours straight. That was great. That's great.

Jon Nelson: And so what I will do is I will let everybody here on the cast. Let's see. It's King James and let's see. It's the outlaw Jesse and Commander Sandy. Sorry, Jake, this time. So it's Jake the snake. So happens when you have, like a really dark thing that you're having to look through. So Jake the Snake, King James and Commander Sandy. Here's my question for everybody that we'll talk about after the interview. Favorite Easter candy that's on the board. So.

Hannah Goodin: So I'll add it to the rundown. Add it to the rundown.

Jon Nelson: So that's favorite Easter candy. And I'll just tell you right now, my entire freezer is filled with Reese's, all the different kinds of Reese's and actually have the actual eggs now, too. It's not like the not like the Reese's, the big peanut butter egg, the one that's the flat one they actually do have like eggs now. And so that's a good. So that's the question to the floor that we'll discuss a little later on. All right. So for me, the boss was back home with her mom, and so she got to have Easter service back home in Ozark. Alabama got home yesterday and with me with my duties with Atlanta United, I was back home, so it was a split holiday for us. Topic number two What's on your mind?

Hannah Goodin: Well, we hope everyone had a great weekend. Yes, that too. We're going to give everyone updates on the reclassification, spring schedules, coaching carousel. But first, you brought a new friend in.

Jon Nelson: We have a new friend.

Hannah Goodin: A new helmet, a used helmet is very scratched up. So we're going to add this to the studio, Jon. Tell us about it.

Jon Nelson: It is from our friends at Cook. Believe it or not, our friends at Cook down in Adel Georgia. Adel, Georgia and, you know, Region 1AA. And someone who knows a lot about Region 1AA.

Hannah Goodin: Speaking of Region 1AA.

Jon Nelson: But he's now left 1AA and now he's headed to other places. OK, Zach, my first question to you since you're not going to be on to answer this question after the show is over favorite Easter candy. What's your favorite Easter candy?

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Oh, great question. Right now it would be the Starburst jellybeans.

Hannah Goodin: Oh OK. Those are so good. But you know what I had for the first time this weekend is Sour Patch Kids jelly beans way better than Starburst. Way better.

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Ooh, that'd be tough.  I got to try this.

Jon Nelson: OK. So, you know, we have new friends here. Our friends up at Cook in Adel. They sent in a helmet. And so now we get to add it to the studio, and that's what we kind of we're kind of, you know, steamrolling our way through region 1AA and into your new gig.

Hannah Goodin: Do we have a lounge helmet?

Jon Nelson: No, we don't.

Hannah Goodin Oh, well, we might need one.

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Don't feel that I don't have one yet.

Hannah Goodin Yeah. So coach, you uh..

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: I have to get my office organized.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah. Congratulations on the new gig you just got into town last week, right? What's it been like?

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Uh, I talked to my old offensive line coach, T.J. Easterly who's now at Mary Persons, and he was talking about saying, I said,' it's like a Category five hurricane all the time.' But it's awesome is exactly what you signed up for. And things are going a million miles. I got my O.C. waiting in the staff room to meet with him about what we need to do. And it's like, it's just it's been great trying to get staff together, and the fact that it's April 18th puts even more added pressure. But I mean, where else would you rather be?

Jon Nelson: I mean, when it comes to this, the job and the availability, we all know that Jamey DuBose left and he went to Orange Beach and went back home to the state of Alabama. I mean, how long? How what was the timetable here to to make sure that everything was in place for you? I mean, what from beginning to end? How long did it take for this to happen for you?

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: I guess a week, maybe I think he left thursday. I think, is when the news started coming out, or maybe he told the kids that Thursday before spring break. And then I went in for an interview that next Friday. I got called Wednesday. We're in spring break, we're just hanging out of the house, redoing our kids rooms as matter of fact and got the call Wednesday, interviewed Friday did the family visit on Saturday, made the decision Sunday and told my coaches on Monday night and told my kids on Tuesday morning and then started here Wednesday morning, so we had our first staff meeting Wednesday morning at seven a.m..

Hannah Goodin: Wow. Well, you didn't have to go very far.

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: It was quick. And that's it. Well, it's far when you drive like real early in the morning and real late at night and a lot further. Solid 45 minutes. But my in-laws are kind of halfway to Thomasville, they're in Dixie and Brooks County and, you know, I can always stop there if I need to. But again, you know, small sacrifices for, you know, an opportunity like this.

Hannah Goodin: So are you going to commuter's the family planning on moving there?

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: No, we're moving. We actually did. Today was a huge day, so we actually just found a rental, which are, I'm assuming all over the state of Georgia and probably over the country are just crazy to come by. So we did get a call. We got a rental will be in there June 6.We'll be all in. Our kids are going to finish over at Thomasville for the rest of the year. May 20th is their last day of school and then they'll come visit schools the last week of Lowndes schooling, which I get out on May 25th and then. Yeah, we're we're moving right after that in states. Get over here, start some workouts and go and then we're hoping to try and find some land and build.

Hannah Goodin: Oh wow!

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: So we're able to rent a place exciting while we're yeah, we found some awesome land yesterday. We'll see if the guys are willing to part with it. But no, right now again flying around hair caught on fire and a headset off and. But no, it's been. It's been really, really, really good. A lot of people trying to help as well.

Jon Nelson: Well, and that was one of the things that I wanted to get into since you mentioned it and you talk about family visits and things like that. I mean, you're talking about families and coaches and everyone that's associated with all of this stuff. I mean, there's a lot of moving parts that I don't think a lot of folks understand and realize that have to do when there is a coaching change and a staff comes in. I mean, that's a lot of different dimensions that are in play here. I don't think a lot of folks understand all of that other stuff that goes into something like this.

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Well, I mean, for instance, today staff meeting, we met this morning at 7am. Kids are coming in at 8a. They all have first block, you know, weightlifting, I guess, football class, whatever. And our opening topic at 7am was academics. Recruiting, getting kids on trips like it had nothing to do with the quote unquote football X and O's. We talk all right, here's what we're doing day when kids walk in today, here's our schedules. Everybody good with that. Yes. All right, good. Now let's focus on this. You know how our academics down here before? Here's what I've done in the past. Here's where we need to delegate  your responsibility. We got to get, you know, access to all their grades, the coaching staff, the way to set up like a football class on the computer and get that approved with the administration and how we're going to sign it. I mean, there's you're right, Jon. I mean, it's just between that recruiting start looking at, you know, we've got coaches coming in next week, you know, starting next week with their recruiting visits with colleges. So. You know, getting everything ready who are and that's and that's me too knowing. You know, I might have nicknames for about five kids right now, but I don't. I'm still trying to learn all of our kids and coach Anders and coach Akers, our OC and DC right now. They've been phenomenal about you guys need to get me a list of all recruitable athletes, so I kind of know who I'm talking about when people come in and ask me, you know, who's Cooper Melvin or Tate Thurmonds or Elijah Coleman? Or That's about all I know right now with both names, so I can't go any further. But yeah, it's it's there's a lot of of parts that go into it and then you've still got. You know, mom and the kids back at home and trying to make it back for some baseball games and things in the evening. It's a it's been fun

Hannah Goodin: When you hear Lowndes high school in Valdosta, crazy football town, that's what you think, right? So this is a big coaching position, big shoes to fill lots of expectations and pressure. What was your original message to the team when when you showed up last week?

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Just know we're going to get you're going to get our best, I mean, everything you can do with the men that are around you, I can just promise you that we'll be all in, we'll be all in as a family. We're very excited about trying to help you build the One Lowndes Movement. And when you go around and you're meeting, you know, I spent last week meeting in the middle schools. I'm about to go meet with the middle school kids later this week, meeting with our staffs at all levels 6-12.  But the.. Hearing what people are willing to do and sacrifices they may be willing to make or just Coach whatever we can do to help Lowndes, whatever we can do to help this movement is what we're willing to do. And just the support that you have from the administration and the community, I mean, you know, again, folks are coming out of the woodwork in the honeymoon phase. People are trying to help out. And you know, there is a lady up in the board office last week, say, Coach, we just love football and we'll do whatever we can to help you. And that it's really easy to say since ain't lost any games yet. But you know, we'll see if that's the same on that Monday morning and hopefully when I have that opportunity. But you know, we're trying to win them all. But it's been again.

Hannah Goodin: Take it while you can get it.

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Well, you can get to use our resources. It has been a big transition. Oh, you know, and a smaller place, but the pressure, I mean, the pressure in South Georgia, anywhere you go, is going to be the same, and that's why I tell about the best thing I ever did was go to Elijay and realize how important it was to get back down here where, you know, football really has that importance. And it's a, you know, it's a way of life down here it's not just something you do.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, I mean, you've done it in different football towns and Thomasville. You know what it's like to get to the last game of the year and be successful there. And now you're jumping from Thomasville into Valdosta and at Lowndes in one of the toughest regions, not just in the state, I would say, and I would say it's one of the toughest regions in the country, especially the way that things have now regrided with reclassification, you're going into a you're going into a bit of a forest fire there in 1-7A.

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Yeah, with unbelievable coaching staffs. And that's been great to reach out, you know, as a coach with Sean and Shelton at Colquitt. So we've got that relationship. Coach Heron was one of the first ones to reach out. I think you'll not find a better man in high school football than Jeff Herron. And then I knew Matt LeZotte of Richmond Hill. We coached a couple of all star games together, so you have that relationship with them. But you also understand, I mean, every Friday night, just like any, I think I've said it before Region 1-AA, Single A, Triple A, 7-1A. I mean, any Region 1 football is going to be what a lot of folks live for. And that's where, you know, you have the people that are interested in coming down and getting a piece of it. We've had a couple of guys, even at Lowndes, that we had a guy come back from from North Georgia and started work today, and it's fantastic. But some of those guys that have taken a similar path that I have, I think that, you know, got their feet wet here at Lowndes and then went off to try and grow their career. And then bam, they end up back here. And how many, you know, the guys that have had success here, the the Greg Reeves and Calvin Smith and Randall Godfrey's. And I mean, you can go down the list.. Kenny Moore. Oh, my goodness. But then listening to people in the community about how much they're involved and they come into youth camps and they're already, you know, so really trying to continue to grow that and get everybody back in here. So, you know, show these guys what they're working for and, you know, the pride and everything South Georgia is going to be there. We just got to continue to grow it. And, you know, give everybody our best effort, just like I mentioned before.

Hannah Goodin: Well, you don't have very long to implement your new system, especially before spring practice really gets ground rolling. How would you describe your system? What can people there expect from you?

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Simple, fast, fun. We challenge them all the time. We're going to do the small things the best in the state. We're going to fall in love with the fundamentals. We're going to challenge ourselves to be great every day. It's just like this morning. I was running around the weight room and they were walking in and I said their name and without me saying what it was they were doing wrong or what I expected they started to run, and so they knew they had to. But I just had to say, hey, so and so and bam, they started running. That's my challenge. And I thought the whole team, like I said, when you get to the point where you do that on your own or your teammates are able to hold you accountable without somebody going over your shoulder, that's when you start talking about like champions and that's how people become president and that's how people become CEOs. And that's how people, you know, there's there's only a few presidents, there's only a few people running companies, there's a lot of people that work for them. So we want to be the ones that run this place. We want to be the ones that, you know, go on to bigger and better things and maximize our ability and once we start learning how to do that. So we will push these these young men as hard as we can and we will love on them even harder. We will challenge ourselves, you know, I can't stand, you know, the the mental penalties or mental break up. So our organization will be as gritty as possible. And I challenge the coaches that I said, you know, we're going to really do a great job of having a D1 locker room. Everything we do is first class. Everything we do is D1 we're going to the best stuff and spoil the kids. That way, I guess you could look at it. But then we also got to make sure that we're setting a great example. So I kind of challenge the coaches to have little spring cleaning of our fieldhouse in the spring cleaning of our locker room. And, you know, make sure that our offices are in tip top shape using our facilities to the best that we can so that our kids can mimic that. But I know again will be, you know, uptempo, exciting type atmosphere. We will do our best to maximize our kids abilities that we've got a great quarterback, a bunch of great receivers. Then, you know, may throw it a little more. We've got a big O-line with the couple great backs, which I think we have. Yeah, may run the ball a little more than defensively. You know, I think Coach Anderson will be multiple as far as our looks, but everything's going to start with being gaps down and fundamentally sound and aligned correctly and then get it to where our kids can just go, play fast and just let them go. Being South Georgia football players that already have a ton of pride in Lowndes and this program in this town and let that show itself on a Friday night.

Jon Nelson: Zach Grage, the new head coach of the Lowndes Vikings, hanging out with us for another couple of minutes in between meetings as he's running because I can hear the I can hear the wind in this conversation as he's been.

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: I promise you, Jon, I'm not running anywhere right now. So when you're..

Jon Nelson: In between meetings right now, so we won't keep you much longer. What advice would you give a younger coach that wants to challenge themselves like you are challenging yourself going from a Thomasville to a Lowndes? What advice would you give younger coaches that want to challenge themselves the way that you have with your career?

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: I tell you, man, if you look me and my wife talked about it the other night. I guess 15, 12 years ago, I was a ninth grade coach at Colquitt County High School. Seven years ago, I was the head coach at Gilmer High School. But you look at, you know, been blessed with working underneath great mentors and great coaches and not just head coaches, just the guys I've been able to surround myself with and continue that network and continue the communication and not being afraid. You know, if you see something done, we kind of have a motto and here we have people that are delegated with certain responsibilities. But if you see something that needs done, do it, you know, go in and work. Don't be afraid. I think it'd be great for every young coach to come up and learn how to paint fields and mow grass and do all the things that you know some of the old school guys, you know, they'll tell you stories about to, you know, walk uphill both ways, 10 miles to get to work. But in the snow, a lot of that's true. Yeah, in the snow. I mean, it's a lot of that is true. You know, putting in the extra work is. You see more and more nowadays, I think young guys coming out of school that want to go straight to chasing a title and being a coordinator and, you know, get all the accolades on Twitter. And you know, right now, I really hope that it doesn't get to be about that. I hope that people find themselves wanting to work as hard as they can. And then that, you know, when you find somebody that's willing to help you and teach you and, you know, be somebody you can call on for advice. You know, really cling for those people and understanding it is a fraternity now and people are willing to help you get to bigger and better things or help you accomplish your goals. But don't be afraid, you know somebody's got to wash the clothes. Somebody's got to get the equipment out. Somebody's got to do some of those things. And when you put in that work and people see it, then they'll always be in your corner trying to help you out.

Hannah Goodin: Well, you certainly set the bar high after your first head coaching gig at Gilmer. You never had a losing season at Thomasville in your six seasons there. You never missed a playoff, including a final appearance last year against Fitzgerald. So we're excited to see what you're going to do there at Lowndes this fall. My last question for you is give us an idea of what your spring schedule looks like when we can expect your scrimmage and and what you're going to do in the in the next couple of weeks. Just gathering your thoughts?

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: We'll be passing out equipment next week. We will open up with pads on May 4th and we'll do kind of a two practices and then a full day. Two practices a day to reflect on those practices throughout those 13 days where we can get to 10 practices and then May 20th, we do host Tift. They will come over and we'll have a spring scrimmage that was already set up. And now I think we turn around and scrimmage them again in the fall. So, you know, we'll try and do our best. And like you said, we've got we got to have our daily focus and then our daily focus will turn into what are we trying to get out of this spring? And right now it's going to be, you know, learning our personnel, getting us. It's not going to be a big thing. We're going to come out in the spring and watch us do a bunch of new, different schemes out of there. You may not see, you know, the trick plays and all the different things we've hope to get out of the summer. Right now, the focus is going to be playing sound, sharp football, being fundamentally sound, making a sample to where our guys can fly around and really learn more of how we practice and how we do that, how we approach the fieldhouse, how we break the fieldhouse, how we attack. This morning, we practice our breakdowns so the kids are done with the weight room and how to teach them how, how we respond to one whistle and how we respond to two whistles. And are we going to say Lowndes or are we going to say Vikings? Yeah. But then also understand this is not a program that you have to go in and reinvent the wheel. So like I said, they what have you know, what have you all done is I think there's a Vikings and boom. So that's we continue to do that. But it's not something that you have to, you know, you're not coming into a 1-9 program. You come into a 10-3 program that's had a lot of success over a pretty long amount of time. So, you know, don't come in and ruffle a lot of feathers per se, but also do enough to, you know, put your stamp on and get the program in. And I will tell you, the kids have been so receptive. The coaching staff has been extremely receptive and that's tough with it being so late, but they've been unbelievable. So I couldn't pick a better group of men to work with as well.

Jon Nelson: Well, Zach, thanks for hanging out with us in between meetings. Rushing from one end of campus to the other. We know how large that Lowndes campus is and thanks for hanging out with us and letting us in on the 9000 miles an hour that you are approaching this job now at Lowndes. Thanks for hanging out with us on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast. Go to your next meeting!

Lowndes Coach Zach Grage: Yes, sir, I appreciate it. Thank you all.

Jon Nelson: Thanks. So that is Zach Grage, the new head coach of the Lowndes High Vikings. And yikes, he sounds like he's running a mile a minute, even though he says he's not running. He sounds like he is running more than a mile a minute right now. I mean, you talk about hitting the ground running. What's faster than hitting the ground running? I think that's what Zach is doing right now.

Hannah Goodin: I'm tired just thinking about it all and I'm just saying and have two  baby twins!

Jon Nelson Yeah, but now that was that was it was good to catch up with him in between meetings, literally. I just have this vision of him. Yeah, because I mean, how many times have you been to the Lowndes campus if you have not? OK. Literally, it takes up an entire exit. I mean, it is that much real estate like you. If you're driving up and down 75. The stadium, the school, I mean, everything. It is a huge campus. I mean, literally, it's like a college campus right there at that exit, and it almost takes up half of an exit. It's almost like at, you know, like a quarter mile long, maybe a half mile long. I might be exaggerating, but there's a lot of real estate there, and I just have this vision of him now kind of like, you know, doing the the run like, you're like, you're late for your plane kind of a run. That's how I envisioned Zach right now going from meeting to meeting

Hannah Goodin: just hair in the wind.

Jon Nelson: Absolutely. But no, it was great to catch up with him and see how things are going.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I'm happy he squeezed us in.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, it's very, very cool. OK, so back to Region 1-AA

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, we'll go from Region 1-7A back to Region 1-AA to his old  job at Thomasville.

Jon Nelson: When he was in Thomasville and Region 1-AA. We want to thank Doc Mike McCartney, the play by play voice of the Cook Hornets in Adel. See now, You know that you're, you know when you're wearing something on your hand, you can pound a helmet, but right here for those watching on the video side, we now have a new friend, a Cook Hornets helmet right here with us. But that is not the only thing that we got.

Hannah Goodin: You have more.

Jon Nelson: That is not the only swag that Doc Mike sent us.

Hannah Goodin: All right. Let me open this.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, open it. So I know that that may not necessarily sound good for radio, but he sent as a part of the care package

Hannah Goodin: Jon wouldn't let me open this before the podcast.

Jon Nelson: No, because people want to hear you opening the package.

Hannah Goodin: OK, let's see what.

Jon Nelson: So it is a I want it because I haven't seen this either. Yeah, so it is a..

Hannah Goodin: 20 ounce tumbler.

Jon Nelson: It's a 20 ounce Arctic tumbler that has..

Hannah Goodin: Cook.

Jon Nelson: It's yeah, and it's got the Cook.

Hannah Goodin: Cook Adel Dental Associates.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, and that's that is where Dr. Michael McCartney is employed. This is his this is his..

Hannah Goodin: Is this our plug? Is this podcast brought to you by ADel Dental Associates.

Jon Nelson Well, it's brought to us by our new toys from Doc Mike. And so that's very, very cool. So a Cook Hornets tumbler and as I dip below the line here. Something else for Hannah to add to her collection.

Hannah Goodin: Oh, you know what, I need a new drawer because my drawers are getting so filled with these shirts that they won't shut.

Jon Nelson: So once again and then this is apparently.

Hannah Goodin: Love it.

Jon Nelson: This was the last of its kind.

Hannah Goodin: Now that's a cool T-shirt.

Jon Nelson: According to Dr Mike, this is the last of its kind because these were wrapped up in cellophane and launched out of a T-shirt cannon at the home games.

Hannah Goodin: We got to read it for the folks who are now watching.

Jon Nelson: Yes. True Hornets equation for success. Desire plus dedication plus determination plus discipline equals domination.

Hannah Goodin: And it's it's and it's like, how would you describe?

Jon Nelson: a rather muscular Cook Hornet?

Hannah Goodin: And there's some graves. There's some it looks like you're putting putting people into the grave.

Jon Nelson: Yes. And so it's a rather muscular Cook Hornet that is doing it is is a asserting its dominance.

Hannah Goodin: Thank you, Jon.

Jon Nelson: So that goes to Hannah.

Hannah Goodin: What size did you get me now? I don't know if I'm quite if I still might be a little large. Let's see.

Jon Nelson: That's going to be a that's going to be an XL, I think for sure. I think it's an XL for sure. Is it? That's so Hannah gets to add that to the collection. And so we get to add our new toy, the helmet. And once again, thanks to Doc Mike and everybody down at Cook High and Adel for helping us out, have a tumbler, so we can have our favorite liquids, have our helmet that we can add to the set. And Hannah gets a new T-shirt because we know how it is with twins. Yes, yes, we do so big thanks to everybody and Adel. And so if you meaning a collective you that are either watching or listening, want to add your friend to our set? Reach out to me on Twitter to reach out to us on email however you want to do it and you can have your new friends. We can have our new friends added to our set, just like our friends at Cook have done it there. What's on your agenda?

Hannah Goodin: I was looking up if Cook was affected by the reclassification.

Jon Nelson: All right, so what region are they in now?

Hannah Goodin: Well. Hold, please.

Jon Nelson: Is there any like hold music.

Hannah Goodin: No, no, they're still in region 1-AA. So no. They were not affected. I was looking on the..

Jon Nelson: so it's Fitzgerald and Jeff Davis that Cook has to go with. Head coach Byron Slack, the new head coach of the Cook Hornets, has Jeff Davis and Fitzgerald for the next two seasons and reclassification.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, the GHSA website did not have this year's region updated, so I then I had to go to our friends on MaxPreps. OK? Yes. Region 1-AA still OK, but we do have an update on reclassification, right, Jon?

Jon Nelson: Yep, and it's looking like after this two year cycle, it's going to be one less A which is a good thing. Yes, I you know, I've been a proponent for less A's for quite some time because of the distance and specifically having to do with the non-revenue sports. It's always been a concern about having to go from one end of the state to the other for a non-revenue sport or anything that's in the midweek while you're in your school year. You know, you look at the the these two seasons coming up and give you an example Region 1-7A and you know, having Zach on to discuss 1-7A in your schools are basically Richmond Hill, which is just south of Savannah. Having to travel all the way at some point to Moultrie to take on Colquitt County. And so a long way, that is a long way that is from what our dear friend Tommy Palme use to say, 'That's a pack a lunch and a dinner trip' and if not a midnight snack in some cases. So you have Benedictine, and I think they get to travel from to the north to Waynesboro in Burke County to the South and Jessup. So if Benedictine's the spoke in the wheel and they're having to go north to Waynesboro and south to Jessup, how is that for Wayne County and Burke County when they have to play each other. So good that we have one less A coming up in two years after this new two year cycle. So we'll have one less A and we'll see how that applies for the championships after that.

Hannah Goodin: And as promised for our listeners, we are getting closer to a full reclassification podcast breaking everything down.

Jon Nelson: Right Commander Sandy? This has been a part of Commander Sandy's mandate in the off season.

Hannah Goodin: It's going to take a lot of work,.

Producer Sandy Malcolm: That's the vision. But it is. Yeah, it's a lot of work.

Hannah Goodin: It's coming to fruition slowly.

Jon Nelson: But yeah, so it'll be out just before the season starts. We're going to have a deep dove on reclassification and how it looks coming out of the last cycle going into this next two year cycle, catching up with a bunch of different folks, getting a lot of different ideas as to what they think about reclassification and the next two year cycle going forward.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, and like Justin Rogers at Thomas County Central, I talked to him for my blog and vlog. I interviewed him on Zoom and the Yellow Jackets were the only county school in the state to jump to classifications from 4A to 6A. So needless to say, he's not a fan of the multiplier in the reclassification. They're making that really tough on him for his new gig. But I digress. Yes, we will hear from him on that reclassification podcast as well.

Jon Nelson: Next topic on your agenda.

Hannah Goodin All right. So spring schedules, Jon, we just heard from Coach Grage about what's happening at Lowndes. What can we expect for spring? Some schools practice is already underway. We're waiting out there.

Jon Nelson: You're looking at just the unofficial workouts, kinds of things. But you know, Zach mentioned 13 for 10, so it's basically a two week period, 13 days. You get 10 workouts and you sit there. And I think that Zach said it, you know, probably the best way you sit there and you do some workouts, you sit there and you analyze what happened and then you sit there and you learn from what you've analyzed and going forward. So what I would like, here's the homework assignment for everyone out there. And Rusty Mansell on his Twitter has done a great job of it, so I will suggest this as well for your favorite team. If it is out there, what their schedule is, when they're practicing, when their spring game is, tweet it to us at GPB Sports so we can share the information with the rest of the state so everyone can keep up with everyone else going on around the state. So that way we can have the information, you can have the information, you can have everyone else's information. Let's make this a shared experience when it comes to spring practice. Let everyone know what's going on in your part of the world, what you're looking forward to the most and what you're looking forward to with spring as well. Who are some of the stars that you're looking forward to? Who are you looking forward to when it comes to spring practice? Some of the up and comers may be underclassmen. Under is the word I was looking for, not upper, but under underclassmen. Some of those rising sophomores, rising juniors, some of the the ones that are kind of below the radar, they know the make that kid and offer types that we might need to keep an eye on. So let us know what's going on in your part of the world at @GPBSports, @OSGNelson, @HannahCGoodin. And then that way we can share it with the rest of the state and let us know. And we'll get just as prepared as you are when it comes to spring practice and spring games.

Hannah Goodin: And last thing on the list besides the obvious, yes. Zach Grage new head coach at Lowndes. That means there is an opening for Thomasville any other significant significant coaching changes since the last time we were on?

Jon Nelson: Well, I mean, obviously we talked about Byron Slack and Cook. Thomasville now being open. Obviously, the Jamey DuBose departure to Orange Beach, which created the situation in the opening for Zach, which we had Zach on the show this week. Right now, I think Worth County, I think may still be looking for a coach which goes back into the region that we were talking about. Phillip Ironside, I think after two seasons at Worth County in Sylvester, that one is open and so that the biggest one on the board has now become Thomasville as we go forward. So we'll keep an eye on that. I think pretty much everyone is in place, but the movement of Zach Grage to Lowndes has created Thomasville haven't seen anything yet about a possible successor there for the Bulldogs.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah. Justin Rogers, new biggest rival, and I talked to him just hours after it was announced. I'm not exactly sure he knew that he was leaving.

Jon Nelson: You broke the news to Justin.

Hannah Goodin I'm not 100 percent sure. But the look on his face when I asked him about it, he was like, Oh, open a little bit. So I'm actually sure he knew, but maybe he was hoping I wasn't going to ask him too much. Yeah, too much about it. All right well..

Jon Nelson: Well, well, wait a minute. We got to do the Easter candy bit. Oh yeah. Remember before we go, all right. So behind the glass and in the cage? Favorite Easter candy Commander Sandy. Commander Sandy Easter candy.

Producer Sandy Malcolm:  You know, you guys, I do like those Reese's eggs.

Jon Nelson: Everybody was right there, right there with you.

Producer Sandy Malcolm: But you also mentioned the the Starburst jellybeans, which are good too. So those are two good ones. I like both of them.

Jon Nelson: All right. So, you know, Jake the Snake and King James, you know, you can shout it out or just wander over to Commander Sandy's microphone

Hannah Goodin: or just relay the message.

Jon Nelson: Just just..

Producer Sandy Malcolm: Oh, just M&M's? Just good old M&M's, OK?

Jon Nelson: See now King James,.

Hannah Goodin: You know what that is so James. I could have guessed that.

Jon Nelson: Straight up solid stuff. I mean that that is that is a no nonsense answer. It's classic answer. There's nothing wrong with that whatsoever. And Jake Jake the Snake? Whoppers?

Hannah Goodin:  Oh,.

Jon Nelson: OK, so now, now, now, now Snake. All right, Whoppers or Milk Duds? That's a tough choice.

Hannah Goodin: Milk Duds.

Producer Sandy Malcolm: I do like Milk Duds.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, see, because when you went Whoppers, I had to go to the opposite. That's like the Almond Joy, Mounds question. It's like if you're a fan of those and I'm not a fan of either one, but it's like Almond Joy or Mounds, Whoppers or Milk Duds. See, that's the same thing.

Producer Sandy Malcolm: I'm all in Milk Duds.

Jon Nelson: Sorry. OK. So I'm right there with Milk Duds. That's all right. So for me, it's Reese's. It's the default. My my freezer is so stacked with all of the different kinds of Reese's. I mean, the large, the large three inch tall bunny.

Hannah Goodin: Those are just the ones shaped as an egg. Just taste better shaped as a bunny. They just do something about it. They just taste better.

Jon Nelson: And so I have the ones that are the races that are shaped like the eggs. I like the flat ones that they're like the eggs. The standards are the best. And then you have the they legitimately now have eggs like, you know, the Cadbury egg size thing.

Hannah Goodin: So Cadbury eggs are my favorite.

Jon Nelson: But now Reese's is trying to compete against that by actually doing like an egg that has Reese's on the inside.

Hannah Goodin: Well, I'll have to. I'll have to be the voice of reason there. To see which one is better.

Jon Nelson: So you now have the two dimensional flat one that we've always had now, the three dimensional actual egg. They've added to it too. And I also have the the king size Easter Bunny, the three, the three inch tall one. I've got that literally the boss Patty, my wife, she went and got every possible Reese's you could get

Hannah Goodin: Because she knows you so well.

Jon Nelson: Yes. And so what this means is, is that I will have enough Reese's in the fridge until football season.

Hannah Goodin: Well bring me one. Next time you come in to the office.

Jon Nelson: Well, you say one, and that's like one bag. OK, now that they see, that's that's good specificity. One bag that I can do. I mean, it's just.

Hannah Goodin: So Cadbury eggs for me and my new favorite is the Sour Patch Kids. Jelly beans, OK. One. The green ones are sour and the pink ones are sweet and they equal sour watermelon. And if you eat them both at the same time,

Jon Nelson: OK, so you're in to, you're into combining resources. Yeah, OK with your Sour Patch. All right.

Hannah Goodin: So we come like that. They come like that in the bag. OK, sour.

Producer Sandy Malcolm: And no peeps.

Jon Nelson: No, no, no, no.

Hannah Goodin: Retire the Peeps. And the girls did get peeps stuffed animals, though which were really cute.

Jon Nelson: They didn't try to eat them did they?

Hannah Goodin: No, they're stuffed peeps? OK? Large stuffed Peeps.

Jon Nelson: And did you see that peeps is trying to add flavors?

Producer Sandy Malcolm: Oh, like the coffee?

Jon Nelson: Yeah, it's like they're trying it. They're trying to add flavors to the Peep flavor now.

Hannah Goodin: Now that sounds disgusting.

Jon Nelson: It is. I mean, I have zero desire, and I'm sorry for those..

Hannah Goodin: Jon is calling it in.

Jon Nelson: There are folks who love Peeps and you know, more power to you. That is not my style whatsoever, but they've started to add flavored Peeps. And Peeps, and by the way.

Hannah Goodin: This is now Jon's podcast on Easter Candy. And the captioner on this podcast is going to be very unhappy.

Jon Nelson: Translation Commander Sandy, she's the one who puts the pieces together.

Hannah Goodin: I think she's going like this. The wrap up sign, Jon. I think I can see not talking about, can you see everyone asking you don't you know what? Let's wrap it up. Let's wrap fine.

Jon Nelson: Submit your Easter candy. Likes and dislikes as well.

Hannah Goodin: And everyone will thank us.Yeah, I'm sure you will. Everyone still listening, at least.

Jon Nelson: Yes, or watching. Thanks for accessing this. However, you are doing so on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast. For everyone behind the glass King, James, Jake the Snake, the Outlaw Jesse and Commander Sandy, I think I've covered everybody who's here this week, and let's see and you, Hannah, you're a part of this too.

Hannah Goodin: I am.

Jon Nelson: Yes. So for everybody, that's a part of this. When we do this, it's fantastic. Glad to be back here in studio. Keep an eye on all of our social media platforms and Blogs are up and I'll figure out a topic and we'll talk about that too. But like, friend, be a part of the conversation on all of our social media platforms. That was a three dimensional Football Fridays In Georgia podcast, thanks to Zach Grage, the head coach of the Lowndes Vikings. Thanks to Hannah, thanks to you for hanging out with us. Play it safe, everybody. Enjoy your Easter candy!