Football Fridays In Georgia: Rapid Fire All-Stars 2022 Season Preview
Football Fridays in Georgia's panel of media all-stars is back with Jon and Hannah for another rapid-fire edition, to break down the top storylines, teams and players from across the state to watch for in the upcoming 2022 high school football season. Guests include: Christian Goeckel from ESPN Coastal, Todd Holcomb from the Georgia High School Football Daily, Jack Patterson and Rex Castillo from WRBL-TV in Columbus, Marvin James from WMAZ-TV in Macon, Phil Jones with "Extra Point!" ITG Next-Georgia and GPB's own voice of Football Fridays, Matt Stewart.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. The season is about ready to start, so that means one thing. One thing and one thing only it means the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast All-Stars Assemble, and we tour the state to find out what they think about the upcoming 2022 season. Jon Here. Hannah there. And we ain't gonna waste no time.
Hannah Goodin: We're getting right to it. `
Jon Nelson: Yeah. So Christian Goeckel from ESPN Coastal hanging out with us, too, to let us know what's going on down there on the coast. Welcome back! Did it seem like football season just continued until now?
Christian Goeckel (ESPN Coastal): Well, it never stops man. It's 365 now, you know that.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, that's absolutely true. So, let's get into it. When it comes to storylines, what's your top storyline from the coast this year?
Christian Goeckel (ESPN Coastal): Replacing really, really good talent. I mean, I know BC had a guy like Holden Geriner , or a Benedictine for the Atlanta folks. Listen, had a guy like Holden Geriner head off to Auburn, or Justin Thomas, who maybe should have been the player of the year last year Quad A of that state champion team is headed to Georgia to play baseball. So, who fills his shoes? Barry Kleinpeter from Civ or from Country Day, who was outstanding last year, who steps up for him. So, some big shoes to fill. And also, not just the player ranks but the coaches' ranks. Sean Pender leaves Brunswick. He's at North Hall now. Garrett Grady, his offensive line coach who's been with him forever, takes over there at Brunswick, which is a big job. So just shoes being filled I think is the biggest storyline.
Hannah Goodin: Coastal is the flagship for Benedictine football. They are the crown jewel for state champs over Carver Columbus. What was it like covering their season last year, and what are your expectations out of them for this upcoming season?
Christian Goeckel (ESPN Coastal): Yeah, I mean, it was a pretty good first year of covering them in a state championship, so it's going to be tough to live up to those expectations this year. So just a little bit of pressure. But no, I honestly, right back where they were, I think anything short of a semifinal appearance would probably be a disappointment. I think once you get to the semifinals, such a coin flip because all the teams that get there are so good. But you replace one power five quarterback with one that already has multiple power five offers and is committed to Florida State. And, Luke Kromenhoek, the dude who's a junior, has never taken a snap as the starting quarterback at BC and has already committed to Florida State has multiple other power five offers, multiple other FCC offers. And the dude is a stud like 6' 3" 6' 4" 210 pounds played safety and tight end for BC last year. So, adds a different dynamic to that offense, but I know you guys remember the name Blackshear as Travis Blackshear who played for BC for a long time. He has a cousin with the team now named Thomas Blackshear, whom I believe had two touches last year in limited roles and scored touchdowns on both of those. So, kind of living up to the family name. Then, of course, Jaquan Ryan, the wide receiver/ corner for them, probably going to see him playing more wide receiver this year just to limit his reps and let him be more of a weapon because he's going to have a more expanded role he's committed to Minnesota. Might be the fastest player in South Georgia.
Jon Nelson: Give me a sleeper there on the coast this year. Who do you think might fill that role?
Christian Goeckel (ESPN Coastal): Oh, I don't know if you can call them a sleeper, but like taking the next step, I can see Calvary Day. They lost a really good running back in Johnson, who's headed down to IMG Academy, but you have Jake Merklinger, the backup quarterback who's outstanding. You have Troy Ford on the defensive line, who's amazing as well. And then just a ton of other great guys. I think they could be a team that pushes for the semifinals. And then I mean, you know, me, I always have a soft spot for Glynn Academy, right? Rocky Hidalgo, something about what he does. He's gonna make it to the playoffs, and they're going to give somebody a headache. They're going to play outstanding defense. They're going to run an offense that you haven't seen all year, and they have a quarterback coming back and Tyler Devlin. So, any time you got a returning quarterback, a really a couple of really good running backs, and Rocky Hidalgo defense, I think is a recipe for success.
Hannah Goodin: Benedictine was not affected by the reclassification. But, when it comes to that topic on the coast, who was affected the most in your area?
Christian Goeckel: (ESPN Coastal): Honestly, we didn't see anybody getting moved in terms of the private schools. They're all actually going to be the same this year.
Hannah Goodin: Nice.
Christian Goeckel: (ESPN Coastal): There are a couple of public schools that got bumped up. I know, right? Richmond Hill, that's a jump in half right there. I mean 6A to 7A just-
Jon Nelson: To Region 1-7A, brother.
Christian Goeckel: (ESPN Coastal): Yeah. You ain't playing, and I mean, that's going to be a wake-up call. And Matt LeZotte is an excellent football coach. I don't know that he gets the credit he deserves for what he's kind of built there at Richmond Hill. But it's-that is going to be a rude awakening for a lot of fans.
Jon Nelson: Christian, it's always great to catch up with you, my friend. You got one more?
Hannah Goodin: I've got one more.
Jon Nelson: Okay, then go one more.
Hannah Goodin: I want to throw some non-football questions at some folks.
Jon Nelson: Okay, let's go. Go for it. Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, this is an easy one. I want to get a quick thought on flag football. Oh, there you go. Since we are expanding our coverage here on GPB and you've got a couple of really good teams, Portal, and Southeast Bulloch. Tell me what you know about flag football and preview competition for those teams I mentioned and anyone else noteworthy?
Christian Goeckel: (ESPN Coastal): Hey, not just Portal, Southeast Bulloch, Calvary Day won a state championship in flag football. I-also I'm-a big fan of sports in general and so any way that we can expand kids being active I think is huge. And so, I think flag football, is a really enjoyable thing to watch. I think it's super exciting and I think like anything, if we put our coverage behind it, I think we've seen it like with the NWSL and a lot of other women's sports that we actively put the coverage behind it. The eyeballs will be there. I mean, we had softball on ABC this past year, so we put the coverage behind it. The fans will come to it, but I think it starts with us.
Hannah Goodin: I was having babies during the championship, so my-uh, my memories are a little fuzzy.
Christian Goeckel: I guess- I guess we will let it slide. Well, let it slide.
Jon Nelson: Do you have any other questions?
Hannah Goodin: I am done.
Jon Nelson: Okay, now Christian Goeckel from ESPN Coastal, part of the Football Fridays in Georgia All-Stars. Thanks for hanging out with us for the premiere of the season. We'll be catching up every week.
Christian Goeckel: Thanks, guys.
Hannah Goodin: Thank you. Our next victim on the All-Star podcast is GHSF Daily founder and editor, Todd Holcomb. Todd, I always love catching up with you, and I have prepared a trivia question for you today.
Todd Holcomb: Oh, all right.
Hannah Goodin: We all know I love to stump Jon, so I want to talk about media days that are going on. I went to the DeKalb County Media Day. There's been like Gwinnett, West Georgia, Fulton. So, I want to talk about, you know, what you've seen and what you've heard from-from some of those media days. But I was at DeKalb...
Jon Nelson: Here's your question.
Hannah Goodin: And Cedar Grove, head coach John Adams won a state championship in his first year as a head coach, which is truly unbelievable.
Jon Nelson: First ever first.
Hannah Goodin: First-ever, first year. Okay. And I got to catch up with him. I got to talk to him about the excitement around the program. But I wanted to ask you when was the last time that happened that a head coach won a state championship in his first year as a head coach?
Jon Nelson: First ever, yeah. First year.
Hannah Goodin: First ever year as a head coach.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): The last time it happened, and I'm sure of this, it was the last year with Cedar Grove. No, you didn't mean. Oh, no, I actually I do know the answer. Actually, it happened, and it is rare. So, my answer is going to make it seem like it's not rare, but it is rare. But you know, Buford's Coach Bryant.
Hannah Goodin: Ohhhh.
Jon Nelson: Oh, Coach App. Yes. Yes.
Hannah Goodin: We stumped you on that, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Well, that's yeah. That but that, yeah. That makes a lot of sense with the App coming through the system and just hopping right in as a head coach. There you go.
Hannah Goodin: I thought I was going to stump you, Todd.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Yeah, but it is a very pretty good accomplishment. And we also did a trivia question last year about how many times a coach had won it in his first two years. Okay. Which Appling had done. And, and I guess Appling. He won two in a row of three. Now, I forget. But anyway, there was another coach-
Hannah Goodin: It's three.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): He won at Dublin back in. Yeah. He's three for three. Yeah. Yeah. So, there's only been one other coach besides Appling that's done it twice in a row, which Adams can do. And it was a coach at Dublin, and I believe in the fifties. Off the top of my head, I can't remember his name. So, Adams can make history. If they can pull it off, again and again, he'll probably be ranked number one in the preseason. So, they have a shot.
Hannah Goodin: Awesome. Well, that rolls right into my media day question. What have you seen and heard and hot topics from the off-season? I know reclassification is one, and we can touch on that in a minute.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Yeah, well, if you're talking about the-the-the-broad offseason began, you know, months and months ago, I mean, the two big stories would be reclassification. And I think I have counted 129 teams that are either moving up or down in class. So that's about 30%.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): So quite a few teams are going to be playing in a different class. And then-and also every and that's every two years that happens in. And this year, like every year, you have a bunch of interesting coaches that are moving around. And now, Jaybo Shaw, it's hard to imagine him being in Wayne County.
Jon Nelson: I know.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Wayne County. That's a big-a big change. Jonathan Gess, I've seen, you know, things on social media with him wearing a Hebron Christian's shirt, and that just doesn't look right yet. But I'm sure it will pretty soon. But if he had such success at Eagle's Landing Christian he won't be, he won't be there. He'll be in Gwinnett County. And lots of other coaches like Travis Nolan from Oconee County to Jefferson and Robert Edwards of Riverwood are going to be back at his alma mater, Washington County. So yeah, Colquitt County has a new coach.
Jon Nelson: Sean Calhoun. Yeah.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Yeah. They're great.
Jon Nelson: So, like 1-7A churning and everything up with two new coaches with, with Sean Calhoun and Zach Grage coming over from Thomasville. I mean, and now we've got Josh Niblett coming over Hall of Fame coach from Alabama, and he's looking at Gainesville program now, too.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Yeah, that was probably the biggest offseason hire, in my opinion. I mean, I didn't-I didn't know that was coming or see it coming. It-it just shows you that Gainesville it's got a lot of resources to be able to attract a coach of that caliber. He'd won six or seven state titles in Alabama, probably Alabama's most famous coach.
Jon Nelson: When it comes to on the field, are you anticipating, and this is kind of a question that I'm going to be asking everybody as we go here today. Are you anticipating a lot of the same names competing for championships, even if they're going up in classification? I know that Buford is going to be garnering a lot of attention in 7A. Are you looking at this as a chalk year, or do you have some surprises up your sleeve?
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Well, I think there'll be some surprises because when I say surprises, I mean, you know, it's changed enough. Yet, it will be different. I mean, even if Buford were to win it again, they've never won in the highest classification. You know, I mean, they've never had to beat out, you know, Grayson or Colquitt County and Collins Hill so that would be something and-and then also in I mean we can go down the classes. I mean, you know, Hughes was the runner-up in 5A, I think, last year. They're going to be in 6A. They may be the most talented team in 6, and they've never won a state title. So, that would be huge if they were to win. And of course, Roswell is down from seven A to six A, and I think that increases their chances of winning. And also, if you want to go all the way to the bottom. But I mean, you know that the new class A Division 2, you know that's going to there's a lot of teams right there that may be able to win state titles for the first time or first time in a long time. I mean, Schley County is one that they're maybe the most talented loaded team and never won a state title. And the reclassification may open up some opportunities for schools like that.
Hannah Goodin: I want to do a quick, deep dive on reclassification. We used some of your GHSF Daily emails as a good timeline, so we appreciate you as always, your emails on that. And I'm just trying to figure out how it all went down, and we were able to put together a podcast on it, but we haven't really talked to anyone on our show yet about what they thought about it all. So, what were your thoughts on all of the reclassification? And-and who were some of the ones most affected, in your opinion?
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Well, it was the most it was the wildest reclass that I've ever seen. You know and covering it for at least 20 years and sort of following even before that. I mean, I mean, it started last summer with the head of the class committee saying that he wanted all the larger private schools to be in their own classification. So, schools like Marist and Westminster and Woodward Academy, Blessed Trinity, all in one league like of about eight or ten schools and completely segregated off from the public schools. So that's where it started. About a month or two later, they came off that. But in the end, ironically, it turned around, and you've got private schools from Class A now mingling again with the public, so you no longer have a public-private split. So now you've got, you know, Prince Avenue Christian is going to be playing against Brooks County and Irwin County.
Jon Nelson: And I know you've got the secession of a lot of schools, the one region in central Georgia, that basically was like, no, we're out. And so you have the secession of all those schools heading to the GISA, which created Division one and Division two.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Yeah, that's yeah, that's exactly what happened. So, I think it was 13 or 14 schools, including, let's say, Brookstone and Columbus Pacelli and a lot of Macon schools: Tattnall Square and Stratford Academy. so they go into the GISA, and that so then the Class A private, what used to be Class A private, didn't have enough schools they felt to have a meaningful state chairmanship tournament. So, then they had to just wipe away public-private. And now those private schools are playing public schools again.
Jon Nelson: You said that this was the craziest version of reclass that you've ever been a part of. And I mean, you and I have you and I have been through a lot of A's when it comes to reclassification here in the state of Georgia. Do we still have too many A's, you think?
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Well, depends on, I guess, what the goals are. You know, the GHSA obviously thought so because beginning in 2000, I guess, 14. They couldn't do it sooner. But they're going to trim one staff is only going to have basically seven classifications. So, I don't know. I mean, you just get. I mean, I still think even with so many A's, I mean, you've got 50, 55, 60 schools, and you win in a state championship. That's still pretty impressive. So, but it's just but, you know, the only one trouble I have sometimes with so many classifications is that it kind of waters down, not so much the competition, but just the recognition of that champion, you know? Right now, I might get a parent emailing me and saying, well, you know, this such and such tennis team has made the semifinals for the first time. Well, there's 24 teams in the semifinals, you know, with all these different sports. So, it doesn't mean quite as much as it used to, maybe. And it waters down the media coverage and recognition you might get. You know you might get for it.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, that is very true. All right. Last question for you. I won't-I won't make it too hard.
Jon Nelson: Not a baseball question?
Hannah Goodin: All right. No, not a baseball question. Who do you think will be some of the top performing schools this year? And then, give us a few underdogs to look out for this season.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Top performing...Well, I'm going to say. Well, I mean, just quickly go down the classes. I mean, I think I feel like, you know, Buford is probably going to be the preseason number one of most, you know, in most, most polls. And they're getting a lot of high national rankings. So that's going to be really intriguing. If they can win it, I expect them to drop back a little. But, you know, Grayson, Fulton County, North Cobb, those guys will be good again. And then, I mentioned Hughes before. They should be really a team to look at along with Lee County, Roswell, in 6A and in 5A Warner Robins as the defending champion. They'll probably start number once again and quarters. But I think Jones County is a team I think is going to be really good this year but doesn't normally win. You know, but it has a chance to in 4A. I guess Benedictine back.
Jon Nelson: Mm hmm.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): And would be the favorite, maybe. I don't know. I mean, they lost a lot. That one's going to be pretty wide open. I'm seeing teams like North Oconee, Perry, Cedartown that has not won and might have a chance to win. Cedartown in 3A. I mean, I'm so sorry. Cedar Grove in 3A defending champions. You got the two Carvers Columbus and Atlanta. And then Crisp County is going to be really good. I think they'll be a top three team. And then, ELCA Iin 2A it'll be interesting to see they're out of class-A and then they're moving up into Double-A, which used to be so, so much public dominated in football. And they're going to be in there with teams like Fitzgerald, Appling, Pierce, Callaway. And then, in class-A Prince Avenue Christian, I mentioned that before Prince Avenue in there with Brooks and Irwin, Raymond County is going to be in Class A division one instead of two A. It'll obviously be very good. I mention Schley County that they're one of my favorites along with Macon County. Watch for teams like Clinch County, Charlton County to counterbalance back maybe Lincoln County because it's a smaller class now, it's only schools with about 400 students. And below that, I'll give them a new opportunity.
Jon Nelson: Well, Todd, as always, great to catch up with you here. In the pre-season version of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast all stars will be keeping an eye on stuff as we go. This season is always great to catch up with you, my friend. The season starts before we know it.
Todd Holcomb (GHSF Daily): Sure. Thanks for having me.
Hannah Goodin: Don't forget to follow up at GHSF Daily, everybody. It's a must.
Jon Nelson: What, she said. Next, up here in the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast All-Stars, it is the tag team titles on the line, again.
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): We might as well just cash it in. It's ours already.
Jon Nelson: Set out. Look at this. He's already got the briefcase. It's money in the bank.
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): Briefcase here.
Jon Nelson: Rex Castillo, Jack Patterson, the western tag team champs from our friends at WRBL-TV Columbus. All right, so, Rex, since you're the sports director, here's how we're going to determine who's asking who. The questions.
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): All right.
Jon Nelson: I have a number between one in ten. Rex, give me a number first.
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): Eight.
Jon Nelson: Jack.
Jack Patterson (WRLB-TV): I'm going to go with the old number three.
Jon Nelson: All right. Rex was closest. So, Rex. You choose who asks you questions for this segment?
Hannah Goodin: What! This is so-
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): Hannah asks him a question.
Jon Nelson: So, Hannah asks Rex, and I ask Jack. Okay, so that'll work. Hannah, go.
Hannah Goodin: So, after all of this, I have to go first. Yes.
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): I think we get the brain of the operation.
Hannah Goodin: So, thank you. Thank you. Yes, you're completely right. Okay. I-I'm a little thrown off, but I'm ready. I'm ready.
Jon Nelson: All right. Okay.
Hannah Goodin: Okay. Rex? Yes. Since you're my guy, I'll keep it really easy for you.
R Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): I knew I made the right choice.
Hannah Goodin: Tell me about some of the hottest topics around the state that you've seen so far this off-season.
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): One of the hottest topics, I think, especially here in Columbus, has been the change at Carver High School. Pierre Coffee comes over to be the new head coach after Corey Joyner led the Carver Tigers to the state championship game. We thought that Corey Joyner was always a guy who was the right guy to get them to that next level. And getting to the championship game against Benedictine was the culmination of all of that. And all of a sudden, he leaves. We thought, all right, Corey Joyner is going to come back maybe to make another run at it. The interesting thing, though, is to fill those fill big shoes that he left. They get a guy who was an assistant coach under Dale McGee at Carver. So, it looks like they got the right guy. And Coach Coffey used to be the head coach at Spencer, the direct in-city rival of that team. So what Coach Coffey has done, I mean, you already have guys committing to big FCC schools. You just had an offensive lineman commit to Georgia and a defensive lineman commits to LSU. Looks like things are rolling, but things are going to be a little bit different, and a lot of pieces had to be replaced with Carver. So, I think for me, the biggest storyline is what in the world is Carver is going do to have an encore season to a tremendous season that they already had.
Jon Nelson: All right. So, Jack, Rex kind of alluded to it a little bit with some of the studs that are there at Carver. Who are some of the athletes that folks who aren't locked into Columbus in the Columbus area, as you two are, and who are some of the studs that folks can focus on this year?
Jack Patterson (WRLB-TV): I think we're going to go with the guy that just committed to UGA. We're going to talk about Kelton Smith, the dude has been an absolute beast for this Carver line, and he's going to be a guy that's going to be making a name for himself this year. He's committed. He's going to be playing in the all-American game later after the season. And, you know, obviously, the Dawgs just pounced on him as well. So, he's going to be a guy that you're going to when you go watch Carver, he's going to be a guy that's going to be making a name for himself, for sure.
Hannah Goodin: Rex, what's it like to cover Carver Columbus, and what is it going to take for them to get back to that state championship again this season? Because we just talked to Todd, and he said they're one of the hottest contenders in the whole state.
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): It's kind of like covering at a university, just the way that the kids are locked in. The coaches are locked in. But I think even Jack alluded to this the way the fans are locked it; it is a football school. And you can count on Memorial Stadium always being sold out with the fans being right on top of you. For what Carver has to do, you can celebrate what you did in the past. But as Coach Coffey mentioned, this is a new team, a new chapter, a new mission, and you can't do it that way. Like unfortunately Credo is not walking through that door. C.J. Miles isn't going to be on the practice field any time soon. Other guys have to step up now with the with UGA commit having a guy who was six foot five 300 pounds helps that out on the line. But, you know, it's one of those things that these guys, they understand what it means to represent Carver on a football team on a football gridiron. And I think that that goes a tremendous distance for kids who have that maturity, who understand high expectations of here. That doesn't mean we're going to run away from it.
Jon Nelson: So, Jack, let me go into the smaller classifications, the less number of A's here, and Todd, who Todd Holcomb from GHSF Daily was on before you guys, and he mentioned Schley County in single-A, possibly chasing after a state title in Ellaville. When it comes to the schools that have a less number of A's than Carver, what are you looking at in the smaller classifications this year?
Jack Patterson (WRLB-TV): I think for us, you start with Schley County. This is a team that has been on the rise in the last couple of years. What Darren Alford is doing down in Ellaville has been absolutely incredible. The Lewis Solomon has been absolutely just a playmaker for those boys and their quarterback, whose name leaves me at the moment. But goodness gracious, they're just a dynamic duo down there. And honestly, I listen, I kind of agree with Todd, Schley County is a definite state title contender, especially with all the changeovers, you know, the lower classifications, as you know, no more public, private, everything's mixed together. I think it's Schley County that can definitely be a contender this year.
Hannah Goodin: Rex, we've been asking everybody about reclassification because we did our reclassification podcast, and we had coaches' opinions and GHS- GHSA official opinions. But it's really good to hear from the media members. What were your thoughts when all that went down, and how does that affect schools in your area?
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): So, a lot of the schools in our area, especially along the lines like a single single-A, they would find themselves doing fairly well in the regular season. But once they get to these other schools that are technically single-A but are in the Atlanta metro area who maybe have a bigger budget, it becomes a struggle, and it becomes a clear, unfair advantage. I think especially I'll go with a school like Pacelli. Corey Black was very vocal about he wanted to have the best avenue and the best experience for his kids. I think self-awareness is always so important, and especially when you're dealing with high school athletes, you just want to reach their best potential. For us, it's definitely like, okay, now we have to do a little more research with scheduling. But at the same time, I think when you have fair competition, that's the best way for anyone to be involved in and to get a fair avenue to their championship. I mean, being blown out by 50 points in any sport is not fun for anybody, but for the team who's winning it for the teams, especially for the team that's losing. I think it’s very interesting to see a kind of self-awareness of, hey, we know what we have, and we know what's fair to us to compete in to chase the championship or to at least give our kids the best chance to shine in athletics. So, it's very interesting. And I you know; I think it's just. I think it's just really interesting to see what kind of matchups we'll see in these leagues, especially with these teams that we have in our area.
Jon Nelson: Jack, last question for you. And since you're the local, this is why I wanted to specifically ask you about this. When it comes to the other schools in the Columbus area, of which you are an alum of one. What are you anticipating there in the Western frontier? Looking at Callaway Troup, LaGrange, with what Coach Napier's doing in building that program, what are some of the other places that are kind of flying below the radar this year?
Jack Patterson (WRLB-TV): Man, I'm going to tell you in kind of tapping back on reclassification. I'm really interested to see how these teams are going to play in new regions for the first time pretty much since I graduated back in 2010. Not all the Muscogee County schools are not clustered together. And you have some schools in 2A, some schools in 3A. Some schools are 4A, some schools are 5A. It's been a long time since we've had that here, so it's going to be really different for me and I'm really interested to see, you know, you got Hardaway and Shaw playing now teams like Bainbridge and Cairo, you got Troup, LaGrange playing, you know, in some of these teams there in the Atlanta, Atlanta Metro, you've got Carver and Columbus in 3A. I'm really interested in seeing that. And then you got the dirt, and Kendrick and Spencer is playing in 2A. I'm really interested. I think you might want to look out for it in 2A. Spencer, they got the leading passer in class 4A. Gary Gaither coming back at quarterback, and there's a lot of talent on that Spencer team, so a lot of athleticism on that team. So, look out there, Coach. A lot of former Carver head coach Joe Kegler. I would definitely look out for them.
Hannah Goodin: Jack, it's actually not your last question since Rex chose me. Oh, Jack, you have to say one nice thing about Rex?
Jack Patterson (WRLB-TV): Man. That's easy. That's easy. The man that you are talking to. He’s the guy to help me live my dream. I'll be forever grateful for that man. So, I will go to listen. We call ourselves the highlight factory, but we are indeed a tag team. And there's nobody I'd rather go to battle with on a Friday night, that's for certain.
Rex Castillo (WRLB-TV): I left the $20 under your bed, buddy.
Jon Nelson: Time limit, man.
Jack Patterson (WRLB-TV): I'll pick it up when I go back to the office. There you go.
Jon Nelson: Time limit draw again with the highlight factory, Jack and Rex from WRBL. Well, you need to we need the picture with you, with your belts, and we'll show you the picture with our belts because it's a time limit draw. We're still both champs after yet another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast All-stars. Guys, thanks a lot. We'll catch up soon.
Jack Patterson (WRLB-TV): Appreciate you guys. Bye, guys.
Rex Castillo: (WRLB-TV) Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.
Hannah Goodin: Next up, WMAZ-TV sports anchor Marvin James, our favorite Jon.
Jon Nelson: It's like everybody's our favorite.
Hannah Goodin: No, just Marvin.
Jon Nelson: Okay, All right. So, since Mr... Mr. Colin Forth is not here. I believe we have to start this in a particular way. And so, I will go ahead and introduce this before Hanna starts the question. All right. I've got my stretches. I've got my stretches in. I prepared for this. Hannah no longer has a straight face, so. Like, oh.
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): Oh, it's getting better. I like that. I like that. Okay.
Hannah Goodin: I think it's getting worse. That was terrible. Do you need another redo on that?
Jon Nelson: Like, Oh.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, it was better.
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): I like it. I like it.
Hannah Goodin: That's why Marvin is my favorite. Okay. All right. What's been going on in central Georgia? Catch us up in your neck of the woods.
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): Oh, it's been a pretty warm summer. You know, we're running around now. We're doing some little league stuff. You know, we're the home of the Southeast Regional. So, for baseball and softball. So, the winter that goes here goes on to the World Series. So, we've been catching up on that as of late. But, you know, of course, we're getting only seven on seven these days, and we're just countdown to football Friday night.
Jon Nelson: All right. So, the biggest storyline in the off-season from high school football there in middle Georgia would have been what you think.
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV):: Oh, man. I guess I think will be in Demon country.
Jon Nelson: You know, says the alum.
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): Oh, well, you know, they're the state champs, so though, you know, you got to go with that. I mean, the band is breaking up. You know the coaching system has departed. We've got the one tribe, and the Demons have lost their offensive coordinator. He went over to be the head coach over at Houston County. Yeah. And took along with him the defensive coordinator and the offensive line coach. So that's a big deal. You know, when you're coming off a team that went to five straight state championships, winning the last two in a row, and you lose that much leadership at the top, it is enough, I think, to be concerned about because, you know, that's just the way it has been for the last five, six years at Warner Robins. So, when you ever have that kind of those kinds of leadership position off the field, especially at the coordinator spot, it's a cause for concern.
Hannah Goodin: It really is remarkable. One, two, three, four, or five. As you said, five years in a row at the state championship game, two of the last ones were titles. What is it been like to cover Warner Robins, and what do they get to do this year to get right back at it?
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): It's been incredible. And I think sometimes you take it for granted when you start winning so much. I mean, it's just like it becomes the standard, just like, you know, I mean, we look at Alabama for the longest time when Alabama loses a game, everybody's mouth drops something. Thank you. And that's the way it's been in the central Georgia area as a late for the demons. And I'm not being a homer, but just because they've been the most dominant team in the area, any coach will tell you it's not easy getting to that last game of the season. And a couple of times they did it, I think. Well, the first year they did it, they were undefeated, so it's not easy doing that. So, I think that's been the most impressive thing, is that the consistency that you've seen at that level, the level of professionalism that you see with the way these guys take to the game, though I think that's been the most impressive part about it, is that they've been kind of automatic what they're going to have to do this year. They have some great senior leadership still. Victor Burley, as we all know, is coming back, and he is a man child and the leader not only on the defensive side of the ball but just in the locker room. So, when you've got kids like that, and Malcolm Brown is coming off of a knee injury, he had about 20 or 30 offers already as far as at Michigan State and the FCC school. So, he's a running back that's coming back. Fred Perry kind of took over the show last year a little bit, though, when he got hurt. So, I think with having those kinds of leadership, those guys in leadership, they're going to have to continue to step up. We'll have to find another Fred Perry-like player, if you can do to help bring the team around.
Jon Nelson: Who are some of the other studs there in Middle Georgia that you're going to be looking at this year, whether it's on Georgia 247 or out in Fort Valley or up in Gray, who else are you looking at that'll show up big on football Friday night?
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): But we have a couple of guys on my mind. It's going blank, but there's a kid at tackle that has been very, very good. Well, he's a defensive guy in my name. It'll come to me in a few minutes. But also, we have the kid over there, Richard, over at Northside. He's been good the last. He's a safety over there, and he's been doing very well. This is, again, about 20, 30 offers of late. You know, those offers start piling in one of five, five or six come in. And before you look up, they've got a dozen or so. But Central Georgia football, again, is just going to continue to, you know, I hate to say the same couple of teams all over again. Still, everybody knows the Peach County, the Northside, and the Warner Robins are going to be the team to beat. They are just, you know, they've been pretty dominant over the past couple of years. Northside. I think that's one of the I hate to even say that they are the underdog. They like that kind of Chad-.
Jon Nelson: Chad Alligood is going to like that. Yeah.
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): Yeah. He loves for me to say that because it's not, you know, the rap voice, but they were a team that, you know, came back last year, and they were eight and four after two losing seasons in a row, which they had never had since, you know, I think the late seventies or the early eighties. So here they are, turning things around and getting things back in order. And I think that's the thing. The dark horse that you want to you want to see and see how they progress because they're just looking really strong. And I think that they are they're turning the corner, and a lot of kids are getting back that grit of what Northside football is all about.
Hannah Goodin: For anyone who doesn't know as much about central Georgia as you do, what would you say? How would you define football in central Georgia, and how would you? Bring more awareness to it for our listeners.
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): I think Central Georgia football is pretty-they are pretty tough. I think smash-mouth football. I think it's one of those things that, you know, we have a chip on his shoulder because South Georgia football gets a lot of credit for being the toughest. And then North Georgia gets the credit for, you know, being the more elite as far as top tier players. So, I think central Georgia is always going to be pushing so that they can say, hey, we got football, too, and we're proud of it. And I think when you see teams like Peach County and Warner Robins who continuously beat and those last final teams in the league and the state championships and semifinals, that's what they want to leave that lasting impression. Like, don't forget about central Georgia football, not just the interstate that connects Atlanta-.
Hannah Goodin: Absolutely.
Marvin James (WMAZ-TV): And South Georgia, we got we've got some head busters down here.
Jon Nelson: Marvin James, master of all sports, 13 WMAZ-TV down there in Macon. It'll be good to see you on the FFN as always, this year at football Fridays there at MAZ, taking care of everything there in middle Georgia. Thanks for hanging out with us for the all-stars.
Jon Nelson: Always, brother. I appreciate you guys so much, and I can't wait to talk to you all getting real.
Jon Nelson: Some time to catch up with things down in South Georgia in the man who has his finger on everybody's pulse when it comes to football in south Georgia, Phil Jones, the host of the Extra Point program at ITG Next Georgia. Afternoons for your viewing, pleasure, Phil, thanks for hanging out with us for the All-Star.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Hey, guys. Thanks for the invitation this afternoon. What a way to start the week.
Jon Nelson: You ain't kidding. So biggest storylines when it comes to the off-season that you had to kind of keep your eye on what was what were some of the biggest newsmakers in the biggest news events from the off-season as we get ready for 2022?
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Wow. Where do I start? Um, okay. Well, in terms of teams overall, I'd say everybody's looking at Buford making the jump, to 7A, you know, there are some folks that are thinking that Buford may struggle a little bit. Now, I'm not one of them, but, you know, suddenly they're going to be one of the smaller schools in 7A. So, it's going to be interesting to see. That's obviously got a lot of people talking. And guys, let me just say this. I think we are poised. For what I think is going to be the best high school football season that we have witnessed, at least I'm not going to say in my lifetime, but maybe in the last decade plus.
Jon Nelson: Huh?
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Yes. So many great stories. So, so many great playmakers. The realignment, guys, has given us just a competitive, oh, just an overload of competitive schedules. I mean, you look at the schedules for these teams, guys. I mean, you can just take your pick. You know, it wasn't long ago when we had to snooze through the first four or five weeks of non-res and competition.
Jon Nelson: Not anymore.
Phil Jones: Not anymore brother and sister. It is.
Hannah Goodin: Thank you.
Phil Jones: Not anymore. I mean, again, just look at the schedules, and I've got a few, you know, that we can talk about. But I mean, these schedules for all the teams, I'm not talking about just the bigger schools. I mean, all the way down the line from the new revamped Class A. Remember, there is no class they private anymore, right? And all the way through again, the new look 7A, i.e., the Bulford for inclusion. I mean, these schedules just are giving us the best games we have had in a long time.
Hannah Goodin: Valdosta now joins 7A...
Jon Nelson: Region 1-7A
Hannah Goodin: Region 1 7A
Jon Nelson: 1- 7A, Brother, I mean, run, run us through this.
Phil Jones: Yeah, 1-7A. Obviously, you've got Valdosta. Richmond Hill is going to come over and join the fray. Matt LaZotte is one of my favorite guys ever. You got that. Great. Here. Listen, guys. And here's another great one. And I'm telling you, we can just go on and on about all these great potential storylines this year. How about that great agent lounge?
Jon Nelson: Yeah Okay.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Sean Calhoun at Colquitt
Jon Nelson: Colquitt. Heard of him?
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Two great programs, two great coaches, two great young coaches. And what's the common thread between them.
Jon Nelson: Coaching tree of Rush Propst, sir?
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Well put, Jon Nelson.
Hannah Goodin: Common Dominator.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): So, I mean, this is going to provide a synopsis, not me. High school fans everywhere, not just in southern Georgia, but this is going to provide high school football fans with one of the better rivalries with those young great football minds, the success they've had now coming back together to face off against each other in the same region, and again, arguably the toughest region in the state. Again, guys, just one of many great storylines that we're looking at for this year.
Jon Nelson: Outside of 7A with the lesser numbers of A's, what other storylines are you looking at with folks that don't have 7A's attached to their name? What are you looking at? Like in single-A with Brooks County trying to repeat as well as a champion in some of the smaller classifications? What are you looking for?
Jon Nelson: Okay. Well, let's go to and again, for those that may not understand it, by the way, you guys did a great job a few shows back of going through and kind of explaining with the reclassification kind of how things have been revamped. Good job, Hannah and Jon, on that. It was a great job.
Hannah Goodin: You mean you? We didn't confuse you already. You're the only one that understood what we were trying to say.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): To be very honest with you, that really clarified a lot for even me, because I was when this first came out with the Class A and let's go into it, the class A, D1, D2, what's the difference? D1 your larger schools. D2, and I think the cutting line is 499 and above. If I'm not-
Jon Nelson: That sounds right.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Yeah. And so anyway, class a D1 again, there is no class AA private or public split anymore. They're all in either A1 or a D1 D2. So, let's face it, in class A D1, you've got probably the two strongest teams, arguably in the same region with Brooks and Irwin. I think they'll duke it out this year. Man, what about Metter now, guys? Look it take a look at Metter’s roster.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): They graduated I think maybe one or two from that mega team they had last year.
Jon Nelson: Right.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): That got beat by state champion Brooks in the semifinals. Watch out for Metter. They say everything's better in Metter.
Hannah Goodin: Yes, they do.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): I tell you this, their football team may even be better than it was last year.
Hannah Goodin: Better? Better than better.
Jon Nelson: Betterrr? is that what you're going to say? That they were betterer. All right, two-minute warning, and let's buzz through some of the other topics real quick. Some of the studs that you're going to be keeping an eye on this year down there in South Georgia. Who are you looking at to really show up this season for high school football athletes?
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Oh, man. In terms of personnel.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, personnel. Give me names. Who? Who are you? Who's in the spot? Shadow for Phil Jones. That's what I'm looking for.
Phil Jones: How about Lee County's Monty Cromau Came through as a. maybe as entrance into big-time football last year as a freshman and didn't look anything like a freshman. Absolutely dominated. He’ll arguably be one of the be one of the best, not the best, running back in the state of Georgia this year, leading them De Fabrizio Lee County Trojans. How about staying in 1-6A? What about Ricardo Jones, the big four-star safety? That and I tell you, Northside Warner Robins that could be the answer.
Jon Nelson: Okay, after going eight and four last year, we know what happened with Chad Alligood. So, Hannah, good. And the last question to you.
Hannah Goodin: Well, I was going to ask an underdog question, but Northside, Warner Robins is that could be the answer.
Jon Nelson: So. So, who is somebody that could fly below the radar for you since you've volunteered at Northside a little bit, are there any other underdogs for you or any other folks that can fly below the radar and bite some folks?
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): this one for me? Oh, yeah. Okay.
Hannah Goodin: They want my thunder before I can finish my question.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): Look out for Josh Niblett at Gainesville. No, they really struggle. In fact, they struggled since the days of Deshaun Watson, guys.
Hannah Goodin: Okay.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): But Josh Niblett has got that community sporting his all-red suit. If you guys have seen that or not been a sporting an the all red Gainesville Red elephant. So, and I'm not.
Hannah Goodin: Seeing any of that.
Phil Jones (ITG Next Georgia): They got about 13 new kids that have come in to really bolster what was an already up-and-coming program. But this guy is a whale of a coach. He's coaching them. Look out for the Gainesville Red Elephants this year in I think they're in eight 6A if I'm not mistaken.
Jon Nelson: The fighting Bobby grew ins and is led by Josh Niblett. As always, Phil, thanks for hanging out with us here for the Football Fridays in Georgia All-Stars. We'll be keeping an eye on stuff all season long. Thank you for being a part of our preseason kickoff, my friend.
Phil Jones: Thanks for having me, guys.
Hannah Goodin: Last but not least, a voice of GPB Sports Football Fridays in Georgia, Matt Stewart, who covers mainly Atlanta. But we are going to get his thoughts on the entire state today. Matt, what are some of the hottest topics that you have seen this summer?
Matt Stewart (GPB Sports): Well, the reclassification, I think, is the big story here, at least just right off the bat. I mean, whose number one and I think Buford, you know, you've heard I'm going to have rank number one in 7A, even though they've moved up. So, they're going to they'll be going this year to try to become the first team in state history to win a, you know, a state championship in every one of the classifications. And I, I say they're the favorite to do it in 7A. I also see, you know, a lot of the private schools moved up, some of them. Significant jumps in classification. Woodward Academy, B.T., Marist, Trinity Christian, and Calvary Day, to name a few. ELCA even moved up a little bit. They went up to the 2A, and I expect all of them to do well. I you know, I'm predicting all those teams to be to do well and be in the state championship hunt in their particular new classifications. So, reclassification, I think, is the big overarching storyline.
Jon Nelson: When it comes to athletes. And I know that you and I within Hannah with recruiting 2022, we're going to be looking at everybody across the state this year. Who are some of the stud athletes that you're looking forward to seeing?
Matt Stewart (GPB Sports): Well, okay. Well, first of all, let me, you know, kind of apply the last question to this topic, too. The two biggest stories for me in recruiting was that, you know, LTs not at Milton. He's now at Texas A&M. He re-classified and signed with the Aggies in May. So that's a huge story obviously in the state, and a lot of people already knew that. But for those who don't, yeah, you know, L.T. Overton's no longer playing high school football. The other was Verron Haynes and his surprise commitment to Alabama a couple of weeks ago. You know that Verron played that, I think Verron. I meant Justice Haynes, you know, Verron played at Georgia. You know, everybody, including me, thought it was a foregone conclusion that Justice would be would commit to Georgia.
Jon Nelson: He hasn't signed yet!
Matt Stewart (GPB Sports): He hasn't signed yet. You're right about that. And a lot of things could still happen. And he's no longer at B.T., by the way. He's now Buford. Mm-hmm. Circling back around to, I think, you know, another reason why Buford is the favorite to be the best team in the state. But as far as, you know, athletes to watch this year, you know, you know, Dylan Lonergan goes into his senior year. He just committed to Alabama as well. It'll be interesting to see what happens with Dylan. But, you know, he's going to have to shoulder a lot of the burden there with Brookwood. I'm not saying, I mean, they just don't have a whole lot of star quality outside of him. That doesn't mean they're not going to be good. I think they are going to be good. But he'll be-a he'll be a guy to be watching this year as well.
Hannah Goodin: So, you send us an awesome breakdown of schools that you thought were the best for recruiting this year. And your top five, Buford, Grayson, Woodward, Creekside, and Hughes winning when it comes to recruiting. Who what are you looking for this year?
Matt Stewart (GPB Sports): Well, you're right, I think, and I and I use the template that basically 24/7 sports does to, you know, figure out who's the recruiting champion every year and just apply that to the high schools. And so that's for the senior class. Those are the best senior classes in the state. And I think you mentioned so out of those five. Four of them or maybe three or three of them. I have ranked number one in their particular classifications, you know, Buford in 7A, Hughes in 6A, and Creekside in 5A. So, what am I looking for? I'm looking for those teams. Be really good this year and see how that plays out. There are some other teams out there I think that-that could make a jump. I think a team that's going to surprise you, at least from a recruiting standpoint, that's pretty loaded is Meadow Creek. And one of the coordinators from Collins Hill jumped over there and took the head coaching job at Meadow Creek. Now, will that translate out into success on the field for a team that has been, you know, one of the bottom teams in Gwinnett County for as long as I can remember. But I know from a recruiting standpoint, they've got a lot of talent, especially in their junior class. So, I'm going to keep my eye on Meadow Creek to see if what they have as far as the talent level translates into success for them this year.
Jon Nelson: Are you looking at this as a chalk year for teams competing for state championships? Yes. Obviously, adding reclassification into the mix, or are you looking are there some surprises out there for you that might come out of lane eight or something like that and challenge deep for deep playoff runs and titles?
Matt Stewart (GPB Sports): Um, you know, I think a theme that's going to be interesting to watch, and again, it goes back to recruiting. Anybody who watches us knows I base a lot of what I'm saying on recruiting, but it's not all about recruiting. It's. Obviously, coaching has got a huge part to do with that the program's stability and what they do with it. But, I think Calvary Day in 3A is going to be a challenge for Cedar Grove. Cedar Grove, I have ranked number one, and I'm going to have, and I'm going to have Calvary being ranked number two 3A. When I come out with my when I, you know when I submit my first ballot for our GPB preseason rankings. So I don't know whether that counts as kind of a team that, I mean, they've had success in 1A, but I'm predicting they're going to have success in 3A. I'm going to have Trinity ranked number one in 4A. I think they're going to even though they lost the Dallas Brothers, and they still got a lot of talent. And I think they're going to have a good chance to have a lot of success in 4A this year as well. Yeah. What? Okay, here's one for you. It as I'm just kind of brainstorm a watch for Whitefield Academy in 1A. You know, they screwed up; they split up the ones. It's no longer public and private. It's based on, you know, daily attendance. So, you've got publics and privates playing against each other in 1A division one and 1A division two. Watch for Whitefield Academy. I think they've got a chance to step up there and have a really big season led by their linebacker, Caleb Lavallee, who is committed to North Carolina. But they've got a lot of talent, too, this year. So, we'll see how that all plays out.
Hannah Goodin: We cannot wait to catch up on the first recruiting 2022 coming up. We're still deciding on that. On that first recording day. But sometime in August, we will have the first episode airing. We will very, very soon. Well, I'm going to throw you a curveball, per se—wink, wink.
Matt Stewart: Uh Oh.
Hannah Goodin: Curveball. Oh, it's really not. Now, I know you're a baseball guy.
Jon Nelson: Oooh, I see what you did there, okay.
Hannah Goodin: You do a lot of baseball broadcasts. We just had the MLB draft, and a lot of the top guys came from Georgia, Georgia high schools. Give us a quick recap of what happened with the MLB draft and catch us up on some of that thought. That would be something cool to talk about.
Matt Stewart (GPB Sports): Sure. Absolutely. So, you know, we talk about how Georgia is, you know, this great state for high school football talent. And certainly, it is, and it is in basketball as well. But you'd be hard-pressed to say that football or basketball is better than baseball in the state of Georgia. Three of the top four picks in the Major League Baseball draft were from Georgia high schools or played at Georgia High Schools. The number two pick in the draft, of course, was Drew Jones, Andruw Jones's son, who led Wesleyan to a state championship. The number three pick in the draft was. The kid is now my rock. Yeah. Yes, exactly. To my rocker, whose dad, Tracy, was a high school football legend. He played at North Oconee High School, then went to Vanderbilt, got drafted by the Mets in the first round in 2021, had arm issues, didn't get signed, then got drafted with the third pick by the Rangers in the 2021-2022 draft. Kumar Rocker, then Kumar Johnson, the second baseman from Mays High School. So those are three of the top four. And then you don't have to go too much farther than that. Dylan Lesko went number 15. He's from Buford High School. He went number 15 to the Padres. And the list goes on and on and on of Georgia high school baseball players who got selected in the Major League draft, either directly or directly from a college where they once played in Georgia High School, and then they went to college. So yeah, I agree. The baseball draft is huge for the state of Georgia, perhaps even more so. And you can't forget about the basketball league, the number three pick in the NBA draft, a guy that a lot of people thought would be number one. You know, Jabari Smith from Auburn by way of Sandy Creek.
Jon Nelson: So yeah, so let's see. So basically, this is baseball Fridays in Georgia. It's hooped Fridays in Georgia.
Hannah Goodin: I don't see why not.
Jon Nelson: And it's Football Fridays In Georgia. So, I see how this is going.
Matt Stewart (GPB Sports): Yeah, and it wasn't too long. It was just a couple of years ago that three of the top 11 picks in the NBA draft were from Georgia high schools.
Jon Nelson: So this is what happens when.
Hannah Goodin: Georgia got it all.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, we are. So this is what happens when you.
Matt Stewart: Stuff meets more.
Jon Nelson: More. Yes. When we have Matt on the show, this is what happens. So Matt, as always, great to catch up with you. I know that the sprint will begin with us with recruiting 2022 very soon. It will also also start with Football Fridays In Georgia, and we have our season premiere out, Denmark and Roswell. That one's going to be it's going to be a good one up there at Ray Manus Stadium.
Matt Stewart (GPB Sports): That's going to be a great game. Remember, Roswell has reclassified down to 6A this year. There are 6A teams with a lot of 7A talent. Taylor. I expect Roswell to be very good. In fact, I believe I'm going to have them ranked number four in 6A when I submit my ballot. Denmark's a top ten team in my mind as well. Get the chance to get the Denmark games on. We've done a game from Denmark before, but it was a playoff game not involving them, so this would be our first chance to have Denmark on Football Fridays In Georgia.
Jon Nelson: Matt, as always, great to catch up with you, my friend. We'll catch up soon.
Matt Stewart: Look forward to it.
Hannah Goodin: Bye, Matt.
Jon Nelson: So, it's always fun to have the Football Fridays In Georgia all-stars, you know, we usually like to have them twice a year beginning of the year, actually three times a year because we do it leading into the playoffs, then we do it when the season's over. So this is the first time think this is the first time that we've had the Football Fridays In Georgiaall-star leading off the season.
Hannah Goodin: It just gives me anxiety.
Jon Nelson: Why?
Hannah Goodin: A little bit of sweat starts dripping down.
Jon Nelson: Why? Why, why are you anxious?
Hannah Goodin: Because we're only a month away from the season.
Jon Nelson: Less than.
Hannah Goodin: I'm not ready, John.
Jon Nelson: We're less than a month.
Hannah Goodin: I'm not ready, okay.
Jon Nelson: Week zero, week zeros. I mean, hey, the 19th. 19th is less than three weeks. It's not even a month.
Hannah Goodin: I know, I know. And we're doing a full season this year.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, it's going to be fun.
Hannah Goodin: Trivia for you. Oh. When's the last time GPB did an entire full season?
Jon Nelson: That would be back when we did the, uh, Corky kill, I believe. Yeah, when we were that far. So we're talking at least a decade.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, that's really exciting. Yeah. For GPB, so. Yeah, for us, yeah.
Jon Nelson: It'll be fun.
Hannah Goodin: We're going to see our pretty smiling faces. A whole three more games.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, that's true. But now I think. I think it'll be a fun year because I know that reclassification we talked about reclassification a lot in the off-season. After all, it really is important. But at the same time, you get to see these new recipes and what the GHSA has created and placing teams in spots and things like that. I want to see what region 1- 7A looks like.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, I know.
Jon Nelson: And you know, you've got the new coaches that are that are around. And what's Josh Niblett going to be like up in Gainesville? And the reason I asked Matt about Chalk was because you've got a lot of these teams that are coming back with a lot of talent. It's just that they're in different classifications. And so, are we going to see a lot of the same names? That's another question that I've got this season.
Hannah Goodin: A single-A private team that have been bumped way up, that's going to be. Wow.
Jon Nelson: But they did that well. Yeah, especially Trinity Christian for me, and you know when.
Hannah Goodin: We call how they fare against yeah. Higher classification competition.
Jon Nelson: Well, and a lot of it had to do with geography, and then you know, when catching up with Kenny Dallas over the summer, it's like, you know, we want to challenge ourselves. So, I want to see what Trinity Christian is. Trinity Christian, for me, is going to be an interesting test case, and all of this is too. All right, we decided that we're going to go all the way up to quad from single-A private. And so, I want to see I want to see what it looks like with Trinity Christian.
Hannah Goodin: You know, another one for me is Marist.
Jon Nelson: True.
Hannah Goodin: I want to see what it looks like.
Jon Nelson: Okay. Now, you caught up with Alan Chadwick before the season started. You caught up with him at the DeKalb County Media Day before the season started. Yes. Here's a guy who has no hobbies.
Hannah Goodin: Zero.
Jon Nelson: Doesn't play golf, doesn't do anything like that. He's just a football coach. And I think if memory serves, I think he's on average; I think he's probably eight seasons away. I think he's 80 wins short of Larry Campbell for the all-time record for wins for a high school football coach here in the state of Georgia. That's going to be for the next decade. That's going to be another storyline for us at GPB. How far along does Alan Chadwick go at Marist, and how long does he chase after Larry Campbell's record at Lincoln County for most wins in the state.
Hannah Goodin: And there since 1985, championship won two years ago. Yeah. And they get bumped up from 4A, and they will be competing in 6A for the first time.
Jon Nelson: Since you're since you're on the computers. Look at, look at the coaching numbers and see what the winds are for coaches. Click on the coaches tab for our friends at the Georgia High School Football Historical Association, GHSFHA dot org. Becky Taylor, they do a tremendous job with the databases and everything and piecing this stuff together. So what's the number between Larry Campbell and Alan Chadwick? I want to say it's somewhere like 78.
Hannah Goodin: Technology is failing us.
Jon Nelson: Of course it is.
Hannah Goodin: You have requested an invalid special page.
Jon Nelson: That is not that is not accurate. It is not an invalid special page. I'm sorry. I hate to break it to your computer.
Hannah Goodin: I'm going to let you look it up.
Jon Nelson: GHS-if I could spell GHSFHA dot org, and this specifically will be the last thing we do before we head on and get everybody ready for the regular season. So, all right. So Georgia high school football history, once again, we love what they do. Coaches click on the coaches tab, the coaches tab loads, and it's spinning. I know this makes for fantastic radio. This really does. I know it makes for fantastic radio when it comes to these things. But, as you can tell, it's loading as you sit there and you look on the TV side. It is. Oh, here we go. All right. So, ooh, it's closer than I thought. 68 wins.
Hannah Goodin: How were you able to pull that up so quickly?
Jon Nelson: Larry Campbell has 477 career wins. Alan Chadwick is at 409. So we see his formula for success, and only a certain number of folks got that joke. So 68 wins for Alan Chadwick. So that's seven years, you know, six or seven seasons that Alan Chadwick has two to chase, Larry Campbell. And so we'll see what happens.
Hannah Goodin: I'm sure he will do it.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Well, once again, you're going to have you're going to have to ask him every single year at Dekalb County Media Day until we get close. Or does he stop at 477 and call it a day? And just that way, it's time.
Hannah Goodin: Nooo.
Jon Nelson: All right.
Hannah Goodin: No way. So I think no Denmark at Roswell.
Jon Nelson: Denmark at Roswell. Yeah, on the 19th.
Hannah Goodin: I can't wait.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Denmark and Roswell.
Hannah Goodin: Will be in the studio again this season. You will be weathering the storms out on the field.
Jon Nelson: Gee, thanks. Yeah, I know I. Well, it'll be. I know. And the boss actually got me an undershirt that wicks away.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, nice.
Jon Nelson: All that stuff. So, so yeah. I'll still be wearing the dress black but I will have the specially formulated wicking t-shirt underneath.
Hannah Goodin: It only took you 30 years to figure that one out.
Jon Nelson: Basically true. So thanks to Jake the Snake, King James, Commander Sandy, and everybody here as always; great to catch up with you for hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast. Strap in the regular season is coming up just around the corner, and that's when we go weekly. So it's going to be fun. The sprint starts now for everybody here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Play it safe. Everybody will see you next time.