Football Fridays in Georgia: Two Small Schools and One Really Big Rivalry in Savannah
On this week's Football Fridays in Georgia podcast, Hannah and Jon discuss one of the state’s biggest rivalries, between two small schools, Calvary Day vs. Savannah Christian, down in Savannah.
Savannah Christian's Baker Woodward talks about what it’s like to take on his alma mater, Calvary Day. Calvary’s Mark Stroud breaks down the rivalry and how it is instilled in the players, many of whom have been classmates since elementary school.
Jon Nelson: He's the only coach that came to his interview riding a bicycle.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Yes, sir.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: The opportunity that the kids have to play in such a historic rivalry.
Hannah Goodin: You ran a different defense every single week. He needs you to pick one.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Okay. It's that one.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing us, however you are doing so: large device or small. Jon here, Hannah there. And this week is going to be kind of fun because we took a bit of a different tack toward our two guests this week.
Hannah Goodin: Well, with last week, we had on two friends.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: Which we did not know.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: So, in sticking with theme now, we have on two coaches in a big rivalry matchup across the field this Friday who were also friends.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: So, it's going to be a really good podcast.
Jon Nelson: And one of them is going up against his alma mater; it's Baker Woodward, the head coach of Savannah Christian. And he's going up against his alma mater, Calvary Day. Coach Mark Stroud, also the guest on the show, both teams undefeated at the top of region 3 AAA. And we kind of get to pull the curtain back on this rivalry a little bit and what it means to Savannah and the stars that are attached and things like that. But before we get into that and everything that happened last week, we have a new friend.
Hannah Goodin: Yes, we do. We have.
Jon Nelson: A friend.
Hannah Goodin: Some sort of panther.
Jon Nelson: Yes. And it is from Jason McEachin and our friends at Portal.
Hannah Goodin: Very cool helmet. So, it's a white helmet right there — Navy stripe down the top and a Navy Panther on the side.
Jon Nelson: So, there you go. Jason sent this. So, Jason McEachin at Portal.
Hannah Goodin: Look at the inside of it.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Like bright, it's like teal blue.
Jon Nelson: That looks like an off-. Well, it's all the padding.
Hannah Goodin: I know, but it is still like-.
Jon Nelson: It's attached to it.
Hannah Goodin: It's normally just black.
Jon Nelson: It looks like an offensive lineman helmet. It really does.
Hannah Goodin: It's pretty scratched up.
Jon Nelson: But so, I mean, there's been some paint-.
Hannah Goodin: Pretty banged up.
Jon Nelson: But no, but that's good stuff. And thanks to Jason at Portal, and this will be added to the set very, very cool there. So once again, if you want to show yourself off to the rest of the state, send us a helmet so we can have new friends. We like new friends. And so, you want to reach out to us on social media. I'm at OSG Nelson. GPB at GPB Sports, GPB Sports at GPB dot org. She's Hannah C. Goodin?
Hannah Goodin: Hannah C. Goodin.
Jon Nelson: Hannah C. Goodin on the Twitters. You can reach out to either of us by email J. Nelson or H. Goodin at GPB dot org and let us share your helmet with the rest of the state. We like new friends, and we got our new friend here at Portal.
Hannah Goodin: How did you get this one?
Jon Nelson: Because I asked Jason. I asked Jason McEachin I said, do you guys have a helmet that no longer meets spec that is just kind of hanging around in the field house and goes, Yeah, I got one, and I'll put some new stripes on it, and I'll send it to you. And so, Jason said he worked on this one really hard and sent it to us, and here we go. So Portal is now added to the stacks.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. Well, also, when I think of Portal, I think of their flag football team, and we've got that coming up.
Jon Nelson: Excellent plug, nice cross promotion there.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, we will be showing portal flag football this October. That'll be a lot of fun. All right. Well, happy week five.
Jon Nelson: Happy week five.
Hannah Goodin: Everybody.
Jon Nelson: Or week six.
Hannah Goodin: Week five. According to GHSA.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, but we have teams that are 4 and 0, and we have a team in Marist who's already played five games. So how can it be week five if they've already played five games?
Hannah Goodin: Wow. I don't know. You're going to have to ask the GHSA.
Jon Nelson: Calhoun’s played five games. So, because it starts with zero, so this is technically week six because Marist has played every single week. Calhoun has played every single week. And they've played five games so far. So, the numbering starts with 0, 0,1,2,3,4, 5. So, it's like week six. Even though it's week five, it's week six of competition.
Hannah Goodin: Mm-hmm. Let's take a look back at next week's-last week’s-.
Jon Nelson: So, let's take a look. Let's take a look back at next week.
Hannah Goodin: Jon, you've got me. I'm just. I can't figure it out. I'm rattled. Yeah, well, I don't know what week it is.
Jon Nelson: Well, no, but there are reasons that you are rattled.
Hannah Goodin: Okay, because I did not sleep last night.
Jon Nelson: Correct.
Hannah Goodin: Because my children are teething and kept me up all night.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: So, I'm just hanging on by a thread today, guys.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: Okay. We are going to recap. Last week, it was Lowndes versus East Coweta, Garland Shoemaker Stadium. The Indians beat the 16-point favorite Vikings 49-34 for its first win in six all-time meetings, three of which came in the playoffs, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Yep. And when you've got a pitching coach combo that's responsible for six touchdowns.
Hannah Goodin: Six touchdowns.
Jon Nelson: And some of those catches were pretty sick, by the way.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah.
Jon Nelson: And so, six touchdowns with a pitch and catch combo. And it wasn't all one way because the wide receiver ended up throwing a touchdown pass to the quarterback, too.
Hannah Goodin: Unbelievable.
Jon Nelson: But yeah, I mean.
Hannah Goodin: Sophomore quarterback Christian Langford and his favorite target, senior wide receiver Brady Tillman. They were unstoppable.
Jon Nelson: That was, and Lowndes. I think the margin, first and foremost the fact that the Lowndes was upset, and then the margin, I think, surprised a lot of folks this past week where a lot of teams that were favorites did get the wins. A lot of big numbers were put up on the board. And I think that our game with East Coweta to putting up the number that they did, I think, stunned an entire state that they were able to do that against a Lowndes defense that has been pretty stout so far this season.
Hannah Goodin: Absolutely. Well, let's take a quick look around the rest of the state. And my theme was Battle of Unbeaten.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: So, all of these teams were amount about that we're about-.
Jon Nelson: That we were about to talk about. Yes.
Hannah Goodin: Jon, just help me out on this podcast. Just go with it. Okay.
Jon Nelson: I'm going with it. That's why I'm having so much fun here.
Hannah Goodin: So, all of these teams were 3 and 0 heading into last week.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Okay, let's start with Cedar Grove. Mill Creek. Yeah. Playing for the first time ever, which I did not know.
Jon Nelson: Once again, Cedar Grove will play anybody.
Hannah Goodin: I know, but I just thought they. I assumed they had played each other before. Wiped him out. 52 to 36.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And this one was tight. It was 28, 14 at one point and then.
Hannah Goodin: Broke away.
Jon Nelson: Then Mill Creek put the pedal down, and it was 52 -29 late fourth quarter, and then you had another touchdown late. So, a big win for Mill Creek Cedar Grove. And for Cedar Grove, by the way, Cedar Grove next week or really this week since we're talking next to this is Cedar Grove, they go to Colquitt County once again. They're ready to play anybody, any place, any time. And so, yeah, let's go to Moultrie. And that's what they're going to do.
Hannah Goodin: And they're going to be hungry for some revenge after that score.
Jon Nelson: That's going to be a great game to keep an eye on Friday.
Hannah Goodin: Yes, we'll put that on our scoreboard.
Jon Nelson: There you go.
Hannah Goodin: Let me make a note. Make a note.
Jon Nelson: So, she's going to make a note. What other games were on your board in the battles of unbeaten?
Hannah Goodin: It was also the first meeting for Starr's Mill and LaGrange. This one went to O.T. Panthers pulled it out by 1, 25 for 24.
Jon Nelson: Went for two, didn't get it. And so that was how you ended up with the margin that you did. Great game there. And LaGrange, I'm sure, is going to be hovering around number ten when it comes to your polls this week when it comes to Georgia high school football. But a big signature wins early on for Starr's Mill, having to go to free football to do it.
Hannah Goodin: Then, two-time state champ Buford faced off with the Class 3A runner-up, Carver Atlanta. The Panthers were leading it at halftime.
Jon Nelson: 16- 15, yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Couldn't hang on to it, though. Couldn't maintain that stamina. Buford wins it 44 16.
Jon Nelson: 22 Points scored by Buford in the third quarter. Carver did not score any. Justice Haynes 216 all-purpose yards, three touchdowns of 50 plus. So big, a big offensive effort for Justice Haynes. And that's what a lot of folks are looking at when with Justice Haynes in the next level.
Hannah Goodin: Over at Tiger Stadium, Elbert County defeated Washington-Wilkes 32-20, and Troup handed Whitewater its first loss of the season, 43-33. We had Tigers head coach Tanner Glisson. He was our first guest on the postgame show.
Jon Nelson: Taeo Todd is a cheat code. I feel like we should have that as a drop.
Jack Patterson, WRBL-TV in Columbus: Troup County's Taeo Todd was a human cheat code.
Hannah Goodin: So, a couple of bonus games as always, let me give our stream game score Sandy Creek beat Collins Hill 33-17. Prince Avenue beat it.
Jon Nelson: Defeated.
Hannah Goodin: Beat, and I'm going to go beat it.
Jon Nelson: Beat slash defeated.
Hannah Goodin: I feel like beating it. Beat ELCA 30 -15.
Jon Nelson: There you go. It wasn't that close.
Hannah Goodin: In our fun post-game bonus game.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Osborne goes 4 and 0. 70 to 8 against Clarkston. I don't care who it is. 70?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, but I think that once again, this speaks to-.
Hannah Goodin: Osborne Yes.
Jon Nelson: But we're speaking, yeah, but we're speaking more about Osborne and what they've been able to do getting another win where three or four in a season is a banner year for Osborne, and this year they've got four out of the blocks. So, it's great stuff that we're seeing out of the Cardinals there in Cobb County.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Jon Nelson: Uh huh. You want to-.
Hannah Goodin: I'm an Osborne fan. Hey, I live in Smyrna.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, you do. So, Lassiter grad and Osborne fan. So, you want to talk to our first guest?
Hannah Goodin: Let's just get to it, Jon.
Jon Nelson: First guest. It's the Savannah Christian half of the equation with Savannah Christian and Calvary Day.
Hannah Goodin: Hey, Coach Woodward. So, you are an excellent head coach, but maybe an even better fisherman and outdoorsman. We've got to get right to your adventure YouTube page, and we want to play a clip for you.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Oh, I don't know. It's a big fish. It's a big fish. It's a bass. It's a big one. Oh, he's coming in hooked. Yes, sir.
Hannah Goodin: Yes. Okay. So, we thought we had to start the podcast off this way. What? What is it about?
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Y'all aren't supposed to know about that.
Hannah Goodin: Tell me about your fishing activities.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Well, you've got to know. It's just, you know, an off-season. Yeah, I have two boys and, you know, my son is 4, and he is 10 now. He loves to go fishing. I've grown up going fishing with my buddies from high school. And, you know, I just started a YouTube channel mainly to document things for my family. Like when we go camping, or we go on vacation down to St. Augustine, we put it up on YouTube to save some space on memory cards or stuff, and then it started something like a little outdoor channel.
Jon Nelson: Awe, Okay.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: And now I'm in a little competition with my buddy to see who can get the most subscribers. And I believe he's actually winning right now. During in football season, I don't put out much content, so he's probably got me right now.
Jon Nelson: Okay, so what's the biggest fish you've ever caught?
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: The biggest fish? I mean, I guess size-wise would probably just be like a, you know, just an Atlantic Sharp Nose shark. But the biggest bass, I mean, I'm a big bass fisher, the biggest bass of all probably is only about a seven and a half pound, eight pounds, maybe.
Hannah Goodin: Only? Well, you say you're in competition. Tell everyone your YouTube page here so that they can go subscribe. And we can get you some numbers.
Jon Nelson: We can help you out during football season.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: I'm actually drawing a blank right now, but I think it's just Coach Woodward is the YouTube channel.
Jon Nelson: Okay, so Hannah is going to-.
Hannah Goodin: It is Coach Woodward on YouTube.
Jon Nelson: Okay.
Hannah Goodin: Everybody go subscribe.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: All right.
Jon Nelson: So that way, we'll help you out with getting subscribers during football season when you're focusing on football and not on fishing and outdoorsy kind of stuff. All right. So now that we got the fun part out of the way let's talk about your season so far. And I mean, right now, this game that's coming up this weekend is the battle of unbeaten in Savannah with you and Calvary Day. And when you look at where your team is right now, how would you grade how you are right now at this part of the season heading into this game against Calvary Day?
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Yeah. Well, I think we're right where we want to be. I don't think we got here the most normal way, considering our first three games were all affected by the weather.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: And as you know, going into game four, I was hoping to have at least played, you know, 12 quarters with our starters. But unfortunately, that just wasn't what was in store. I mean, we went into Friday night against Country Day with our starters only playing, including the scrimmage eight quarters. So, they've only played a half all year long whether we've, you know, kind of blown out teams, or we had to start the game at halftime because of the weather. And, you know, so that was scary to me. And, you know, I'm looking at Country Day, and I'm looking at all their film and they've played, you know, three games, and they're all fourth-quarter games. And so, I was worried just, you know, from being in shape, you know, are we in shape to go four quarters with somebody? And it proved, you know, Friday night that we did make it four quarters, but there were several of our guys that had to sit out for a little while being cramps or, you know, just a little bit of nagging injury. So, but we did finish the game, and we finished strong. And, you know, if you tell me we were 4 and 0, if I take that before the start of the season, I definitely would. It's the first time we've been 4 and 0 since I've been here. And I think it's the first time we've been 4 and 0 since 2014. So, it's a really great start for the Raiders.
Jon Nelson: So, when you go into this particular game, there's a couple of different layers to it with you, you know, your history with Calvary Day being an alum and going up against your old school. What's it like for you staring across the sideline at a bunch of familiar colors and, you know, and a coach like Mark who has been there for 15 years and coached to save for the one year when Coach Tomberlin was there? What's it like going up against your alma mater?
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Yeah. I mean, it's different, you know, of course, like when I played there, it was called MC Energy field and now it's called the Specialty Sports Complex. And I didn't know that you could change the name of a field, but apparently, you can. So, you know. And it's different. You know, the school changed quite a bit when I was there, my mom dropped me off at nursery when I was just a baby. And then, you know, I graduated in, I think, 2000, and I ended up working there and worked under some a great head coach named Danny Britt took me with him to Benedictine, and I was at Benedictine for a long time. But I think the main thing about the game Friday night is just the opportunity that the kids have to play in such a historic rivalry. Rivalries are kind of, you know, there's not many rivalries in Savannah. There's a rivalry like, you know, D.C., Savannah High, you know, that's done. That's not involved anymore. There’re rivalries out on the west side with Effingham South & Effingham. But you know, the Savannah Christian & Calvary game is one of the biggest rivalries in the state. And what makes it even more interesting is, you know, we're both undefeated. Mark Stroud does a great job, and he's got a really good team with, you know, apparently, over 80 players, which is just kind of unheard of for an A well, now I guess we're AAA.
Jon Nelson: Right.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Yeah, for a school with only, you know, we have 420 students, and I think they have a little bit less than us. And, you know, they've almost got double the players that we've got. And so, but you know, I think the biggest thing is it's just such a great experience for the kids. And, you know, when I played in that rivalry, I remember I was just a freshman when I got in the game, late, because we were winning. And, you know, I think I committed a couple of penalties that wasn't the greatest experience. But it was really cool to grow up playing in rivalry games between two private schools. And it's, you know, it's even better now coaching in it because it's a great atmosphere. I mean, you know the game Friday night, you know, Savannah Christian side will be just packed. There'll be people on the track. There'll be people everywhere. And so, it's just going to be a great experience for our guys. But, you know, I think I think at first when I got to Savannah Christian, it was a little weird, but now it's just like, hey, you know, I'm a Raider man. When I could choose, I chose Savannah Christian. So, you know, that's just how it is now, you know?
Hannah Goodin: Well, we're going to have Coach Stroud coming up next right after talking to you. What would you like to say to him or ask him about Friday night's game?
Jon Nelson: I know what he likes to ask, and I don't know if Mark will agree to it. I know. I know that Baker, you would ask him not to start his quarterback.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Well, you know, I'm not, you know, my defensive coordinator, Robert Walsh. He does a great job in our defense.
Hannah Goodin: He's got a plan, Jon.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Yeah, they're incredible. Our defense does so well. David, D.C., and Elijah Griffin kind of lead our defense, and I wouldn't really ask him about the quarterback. What I would say is, hey, you know, Mark, are you going to pick a defense? I mean, you have a defense, a different defense every week. You know, can you just tell me what defense you're going to be in? Because, you know, we run the same defense, and apparently, Calvary does not. And so, I would just like to know. Now, I'm just messing with Mark.
Jon Nelson: We will ask him.
Hannah Goodin: I'll ask him.
Jon Nelson: On your behalf, we will ask that question.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Yeah. No, he and I are good friends. I think what he does is great. He's not only a really good football coach, but he's an even better man. And he teaches those kids how to be good young men. And, you know, that's he’s just a great coach and a great guy. We've become friends through the years, even before I got to Savannah Christian so.
Jon Nelson: Well, thanks for hanging out with us.
Hannah Goodin: Sounds like such a fun game.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: I wish we could be there.
Jon Nelson: Well, I know. And so, when we'll be keeping an eye on this game, we wanted to catch up with both of you because we know what this game means to the city of Savannah and the rivalries there on the coast. And thanks for giving us the perspective from your sideline as we get ready for this game on Friday night. Thanks for hanging out with us on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast and pulling back the curtain on your adventures in the off-season. Thanks for doing a lot of that stuff.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Absolutely. I can't wait. You know what? We have the best year I've ever had here in Savannah Christian this year. And then and then I'll start taking my kids fishing and hunting, so.
Hannah Goodin: And then catch the biggest fish you've ever caught.
Baker Woodward, Savannah Christian Head Coach: Well, I appreciate you all have in us. And we look forward to Friday night.
Hannah Goodin: Thanks, coach.
Jon Nelson: One coach down, one to go. And now it's time to catch up with the head coach of the Calvary Day Cavaliers. Here's our talk with Mark Stroud.
Hannah Goodin: Hey, Coach Stroud. Okay. Thanks for joining us. We just got off the phone with Coach Woodward, and he's got a question for you. He wants to know what defense you're running this Friday because he says you ran a different defense every single week, and he can't figure it out, and he needs you to pick one. So.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Okay, it's that one.
Hannah Goodin: Okay, that one. Got it.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Yes. They know.
Jon Nelson: So, in the interest of equal time, you have a question that you wanted to have asked of him. Is this true?
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Yeah. Just are they going to run counter Friday Night?
Jon Nelson: Okay. All right. So, it's picking a defense versus are they going to run counter? Okay.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Yeah. Yeah.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. So, when both of these fan bases and coaching and coaching staffs listen to the show, then we'll then they'll have the answers to the questions asked of each other.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: 100%.
Jon Nelson: So, let me ask you this. And we got into it with coach off the top. For those who've never seen this rivalry around the state of Georgia, this was one of the reasons that we wanted to focus on this game this week. For someone who has never seen Calvary Day and Savannah Christian, how would you break this rivalry down?
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Well, I mean, for a lot of our most of our fan base that starts, you know, when our kids are really before the fifth grade. But certainly, by the time they're in the fifth grade, we have fifth and sixth-grade football. We both compete against each other. They're, you know, they go through seventh, eighth-grade football, J.V. football, and really, truly, probably even before that, we have a lot of our kids play in a certain organization, so their kids play an organization. So, they're competing against each other for a long period of time. And so, the fan bases themselves, you know, have this you know, this thing rivalry does the fan base is, right?
Jon Nelson: Mm-hmm.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: And so, they have that thing going on, and it's on fire. So, it's, you know, it's a phenomenal rivalry. It's, you know, it's close proximity. Everyone, everyone knows each other. It's bragging rights for a whole year. I mean, you know, everyone's going to hear it for an entire year at every other sporting event. So it's, you know, it's a big deal for both schools. I mean, both schools have been successful through the years. And, you know, it's just always a measuring stick, and you just never know what's going to happen in the game either. I mean, one team could actually be better in the long run than the other team, but it has really very little bearing on the game—tons of excitement. Everybody typically brings your best game to the game. Fans are wide open, they're excited, and they're bringing their best to the game. So, it's just, you know, it's everything you expect rather be with all the ingrained things that have gone on just by these kids, a lot of the cool kids know each other for a very long time.
Hannah Goodin: Despite it being a big rivalry, Baker said. You guys are friends. Do you pass notes? What's that relationship like?
Jon Nelson: Do you pass notes in class?
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Yeah, I mean, I have a lot of respect for Baker. I think he's a really good guy. I think he's a really good coach. He's done a very good job at Savannah Christian, you know, they're doing exactly what they need to do. They're on both sides of the ball. And yeah, it's I have a ton of respect for him as a coach, and I respect him as a person as well. I like him a lot. He's a good dude.
Jon Nelson: Do you remember your first round with this rivalry? I know you've been the head coach, say, for one year. I want to say for the last 15, 16 years when Coach T for that one year, Rick Tomberlin. Do you remember your first version of Calvary Day and Savannah Christian?
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Well, you know, you probably remember I came out of a very similar rivalry. Maybe even-.
Jon Nelson: Toombs and Vidalia. Yeah.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: More. More hated. So, yeah, I was. I was very accustomed to that kind of rather game where, you know, everything just kind of gets. It's like, you know, times two, everything all week long. I mean, everything time two. So, you have to just kind of keep a lid on everything. You feel like somebody's going to do something foolish and outside of your control. Um, so anyway, yeah, I mean, you know, having, having left that rivalry, and coming right to this rivalry, you know, we, we play Donald when Donald Chumley was the head coach there.
Jon Nelson: Mhmm.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Um, you know, coming to the rival game, we played the very first game in a pouring downpour here, and you know, we were just trying to get things going here. He kind of got established there, and I think the game ended up being like 14 to 8, and I think we went four and six sets you, and they had a really good year that year. So that's a testament right there. Right. And that's kind of how the game can go. We had, you know, it was my first year here. We were trying to get things on track. We had about 32 kids on the team, and they had already established themselves, as you know. They were all ready. I think it was maybe Donald's second or third year, maybe something like that. And somewhere in there, maybe. And he's already got it going. So that was, you know, it was a great football game. That was the first one. And I think it was the next year was, you know, a pretty good game. And the following year, you know, we beat them for the first time, which was which I think is usually put in the dome. And we beat them eight, six, and a game at their place. And we think we went 8 & 3 that year. We finally were turning the corner a little bit here and getting things going here. So, we went eight three. We got bounced in the first-round playoffs, you know, close game with Miller County I'm pretty sure that they went to the dome that that year that would have been, I guess, in 2010 maybe.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: So that was, you know, so you never know what's going to happen in the game, right? I mean, we we've gotten beat, we've gotten beat over there. One time we thought we had a little bit better team than they had. On the last play of the game, basically, I mean, they beat us on a quick screen out to a guy that went to Minnesota's play for and with a game that was in the bag for us. And crazy things happened at the end. So, you know, it's great. I mean, it's great, you know, I mean, you know, I woke up this morning feeling great because, I mean, you know, you look forward to games like this when kids are going to be super excited about preparation. Coach, everyone's excited, you know, you know, we've said the from the get-go, we don't want this experience where everyone's tightened up, anybody's worried about this kind of things, and we just need to enjoy the journey and have a great time prepared, and a great time gets ready for hopefully a great football game.
Hannah Goodin: Well, this one could be one for the memory books, too. Home game. You're both undefeated. Yup. You're 3 and 0. 1 and 0 in region play ranked. Let's break down your season a little bit so far. Leading up to this one, you just began region play and got a 48 to 27 win over Liberty County. That's a great way to start it offensively. Your quarterback, Jake Merklinger, was eight of 12 passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. You have Edward Coleman, four catches for 126 yards in that one. So offensively, it seems like things are working pretty well so far this season, coach.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: It's been a very weird year, but I totally agree with that. I mean, we played our first game, and the way we were able to get out the blocks well, and we had a running clock the first game we got, we didn't really play a complete game that game. Then the next game against Eagles Landing, you know, in the third quarter, we got lightning out. It just made it.
Jon Nelson: Storm, lightning, game over.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: That's it, and it was really wild, and you know it's just we wait for a long time. They find that their administration made a decision for them to get out of here. So, we played that game. Then we lost. We didn't play the Frederica game. It was really bad weather, and we just could not get it rescheduled correctly. So, it didn't work out for us there. So, you know, going into the game with Liberty, I talked to somebody this morning running early this morning. I said you know. I felt like there was a spotlight, right. Starting to stand in the corner down there somewhere from, you know, the old show and all kind of bad things were happening in the first half for us, the Twilight Zone. You know, you hit it. Everything was going crazy at four turnovers, and the wheels looked like it was going to come off. You know, we went to that game and were down at 19, I think, to 14 at the half.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: And we came out and exploded in the second half, which is a great testament to our kids. Yes. They are really, you know, they really just and coaching staff to everybody just was very calm, like, let's just get ourself together here and fix this thing. So, yeah, I know it's a long answer, but you know, we haven't had a lot of offensive opportunities, but the offense has played really well. Russell DeMasi is a first-year offensive coordinator for us, and he's coming from, you know, being an interim at Savannah State.
Jon Nelson: Right.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: So, from the state, he's done a really good job. We have a really good offensive staff. You know, our defense staff's doing really well. Justin Fields, our defensive coordinator, and we have a lot of good guys around. Coach Chumley is over here with us from Savannah Christian as one of our defensive guys and you know, those guys, you know, wouldn't you know Coach Fields wouldn't want to be called the defensive coordinator because it's very much collaboration on defense. But so, we have a good group there. So, you know, again, offensively, it's been good, but we've been really excited about our staff.
Jon Nelson: So then, the last question for you, and thanks for hanging out this week to kind of break this rivalry down. How would you grade? And I know that you're probably more naturally a tougher greater than most folks when it comes to your teams. If you were to grade where you are right now on offense, defense, and special teams, you could go 1 to 10. You go A through F, you know, at 1 to 100. How would you grade your three phases right now coming into this rivalry game?
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Well, thank you, really. As we sit this spot, you know, I think we're probably. Offensively where I think we're six or seven in there somewhere. I think maybe, maybe defensively, we're a little bit ahead just because of personnel and, you know. Special teams are, you know, we are just a little bit we get some areas to work on there. So, we're probably hovering as a whole team around six or seven, where I think we can be. I think we have; you know, we're talking about where our ceiling could be. We're just moving a few more pieces around in the puzzle for our team. You know, I think we're hoping around six or seven for our full potential in all areas. Really, truly been good that we've had a couple of really good tests. I mean, we had Eagle's Landing, and they've had some injuries after our game, I've heard. And so, I don't know how their season going to go, but they're really still a very quality football team. Great test was there, and then having you really kind of bounce back, and that was a really good testimony to give. You know, those kinds of games give you a picture of what your kids really are. And if you get some areas that are like are not as strong as they need to be, you find out very quickly. So, we found some things out in the last couple of weeks, and we're going to try to address those and try to make that number get closer to our ceiling.
Jon Nelson: And one of the coolest things in catching up with Coach Stroud, Hannah, when I did Southern Swing, he's the only coach that came to his interview riding a bicycle.
Hannah Goodin: Hey, got to get that exercise in.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Hey, I have it on hand right now as we speak.
Jon Nelson: I mean, literally, it was a dress shirt, tie, and bicycle.
Hannah Goodin: It's Savannah. It's Savannah. I feel like you go everywhere on a bicycle.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: I had. I got places to be on campus there, got to get there fast.
Jon Nelson: So, he certainly does that. Coach, thanks for hanging out with us and breaking down this rivalry and your season to date so far. And we'll be keeping an eye on this one on Friday night. Thanks for hanging out with us on the show.
Mark Stroud, Calvary Day Head Coach: Thanks a lot, guys. Appreciate it.
Hannah Goodin: What do you think? Coach Woodward, would you let me go fishing with them?
Jon Nelson: Absolutely.
Hannah Goodin: I think he is so fun.
Jon Nelson: He absolutely would. And for you —
Hannah Goodin: I'm a good fisherwoman.
Jon Nelson: For you to go, you're just you. You are good. You're a good fisherman. Fisherman, fisherwoman. Whatever the proper term is. You fish well.
Hannah Goodin: I fish good.
Jon Nelson: You fish good.
Hannah Goodin: I fish good, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And I bet you that if you tried to keep up with Coach Stroud on a bicycle on that campus, it would be a difficult task.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, he would beat me on the bicycle.
Jon Nelson: Oh, I mean it will —
Hannah Goodin: When was the last time you rode a bicycle?
Jon Nelson: Probably when I broke my leg legitimately. When I broke my leg, junior year in high school is probably the last time I rode a bike.
Hannah Goodin: Mhm.
Jon Nelson: And but no Mark, Mark Stroud comes riding, but it's this track bike too. I mean it's not like this, you know, I didn't want one of those ten speeds, you know, it's the curly handles.
Hannah Goodin: I'm picturing a little bike, like a blue.
Jon Nelson: No, it wasn't a Schwinn with a bell on it, but it literally was like. One of those track bikes. You know, it looked like he was ready to do whoop-doos and head over to Tybee.
Hannah Goodin: Like a mountain bike.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, it looked like a mountain bike. It was a track bike. It wasn't one of those Tour de France things. But no, it's-.
Hannah Goodin: Okay. That's what I was picturing.
Jon Nelson: You said you were picturing a swing with a bell.
Hannah Goodin: No, not like the ones with the big wheels.
Jon Nelson: And the big loop in the back, the big metal loop in the back with the high back in the chair. See, you're amusing yourself on this show this week. I see how this works.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, I need to get this caffeine.
Jon Nelson: Well, that's true.
Hannah Goodin: Okay.
Jon Nelson: All right, so get to the previewing part.
Hannah Goodin: We are going to preview.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Week five or week six.
Jon Nelson: Sure.
Hannah Goodin: Once I get some coffee, I'm going to figure out what week we're in.
Jon Nelson: Sure.
Hannah Goodin: Milton at North Cobb, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: This should be a good one. And you are back on the sidelines?
Jon Nelson: I am back on the sidelines for this one, two, and two versus two and two. And Shane Queen is hard to figure out how to do things offensively without star quarterback Malachi Singleton, whom I think is out for another couple of weeks.
Hannah Goodin: Okay.
Jon Nelson: And it was a tough loss for them in overtime. Big win for Northside (Warner Robins) had Chad Alligood on the postgame show on the drive back, and that was a fun interview went to overtime on the road and got the win some North Cobb at two and two Milton beating Alpharetta. Milton was in a tough game for about two and a half quarters and then put the pedal down third and fourth, and they beat Alpharetta by 15. So, it'll be a good one there at Emory Sewell Field on the campus of North Cobb High School.
Hannah Goodin: Friday night at 7:30, Recruiting 2022 at seven, and our web game, Warner Robins at Houston County and Warner Robins, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, Dutchtown.
Hannah Goodin: Do we call this the surprise of the week, losing to Dutchtown 14 to 7?
Jon Nelson: I think so. But at the same time, when you look at Dutchtown, you get to see, and I had folks that were there, our buddy Chad Dixon was there, and he he's texting me, and he's DM-ing me the whole time. And he goes, Dutchtown's defense is for real.
Hannah Goodin: I mean, they're 5 and 0. So there has to be something there.
Jon Nelson: Dutchtown's defense is for real. That was what he literally did in like all caps.
Hannah Goodin: Obviously.
Jon Nelson: You know, it's like so Chaz was there at the Mac, and he said, yeah, keep an eye on Dutchtown. And so, I think that that's it really is going to be an interesting race in that region with Dutchtown, and you've got Warner Robins and Jones County in that game late in the year is going to be that much more importantly, a Dutchtown is for real.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, no, they are. So, I'm keeping their eye on them and of course, on Warner Robins to see if they can bounce back against Houston County on Friday. They're 1 and 3. Freedom.
Jon Nelson: Free at, well, but once again, it's the competition. If you're a state champ, it's going to be difficult for folks to want to come and play you.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I know.
Jon Nelson: And, but yeah, in Houston County-.
Hannah Goodin: I feel like they did this last year. They had a little rocky spot. And then once they got to region play, it was like we got this.
Jon Nelson: And this is the point that I make to folks about season one is that this is where when you have coaching turnover and remember, Jeremy Edwards was The O.C. at Warner Robins, and now he and two other Warner Robins coaches are now part of the staff in Houston County. You just sort it out here the in the non-region schedule to get yourself ready for region play.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. And we talked to him about that podcast.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Okay, so staff whip around time.
Jon Nelson: Okay, so staff whip around. Do you have the information?
Hannah Goodin: I have the information.
Jon Nelson: Of course, you do. Hey, Lakeside was off. We did not win or lose. So we were still at three and one.
Hannah Goodin: So, you're three and one. Yeah. Well, Lassiter lost, 35 to 3.
Jon Nelson: Uh huh, yeah.
Hannah Goodin: To Dalton.
Jon Nelson: So, what does that mean?
Hannah Goodin: So, I lose the week.
Jon Nelson: Well, so —
Hannah Goodin: Score based on the score; I personally lost the week.
Jon Nelson: But it was minus at a -32. So, we're making goal difference, now too?
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, yeah, sure.
Jon Nelson: Okay.
Hannah Goodin: I'm just. I'm just feeling like a loser today.
Jon Nelson: Wow. Oh, wow.
Hannah Goodin: So, I'm just going to say that I lost.
Jon Nelson: Commander Sandy. Are you listening to this?
Sandy Malcolm: I am. I think for Hannah, we do need to get her some lunch or something.
Hannah Goodin: Can we wrap this show up?
Jon Nelson: We need to get her some caffeine and some lunch. Wow.
Hannah Goodin: We need to wrap up this show-up.
Jon Nelson: And this is in front of the full staff whip around, too.
Hannah Goodin: And a new intern. I'm so sorry.
Jon Nelson: And the intern, I mean, we have. I mean, look, we have Ambassador Jeremy here.
Hannah Goodin: I know. I know. I'm embarrassed.
Jon Nelson: We've got another intern.
Hannah Goodin: I know. I'm embarrassed at my performance today.
Jon Nelson: Jake the Snake, King James. They're all here.
Hannah Goodin: I said —
Jon Nelson: You just need caffeine.
Hannah Goodin: I feel like a loser today. My performance is not on point.
Jon Nelson: So, you give yourself a lot of C-minus or something.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, worse than that.
Sandy Malcolm: All right, so we'll move on.
Hannah Goodin: Decatur lost 31-14 to South Gwinnett to go 1 and 4.
Jon Nelson: Bryan Lamar's doing really well in his season out there at South Gwinnett so far.
Hannah Goodin: It's kind of surprising. I didn't realize there were 1 and 4.
Jon Nelson: Graduation. I mean, it's graduation, and trying to end it once again. We're talking about how you're doing things in your non-region scheduled Decatur, another example of that.
Hannah Goodin: Parkview, going strong, won 28-21 over St. Pius X.
Jon Nelson: No, they won 38 -21.
Hannah Goodin: 38.
Hannah Goodin: Thank you, Jon.
Jon Nelson: Ten more points.
Hannah Goodin: 38- 21 over St. Pius X.
Jon Nelson: You are short selling part you and coach Godfrey with their win. You see what she is doing.
Hannah Goodin: The three and the twos are a little blurry. It's all a little blurry.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Central Macon lost 19- 26 to Rutland to go-.
Jon Nelson: Or, 26 to 19.
Hannah Goodin: 0 and 4.
Jon Nelson: But uh.
Hannah Goodin: I'm just I was reading it how Sandy sent it to us because she said 19 to 26. So that's what I'm reading.
Jon Nelson: Okay.
Hannah Goodin: I read what's in me, Jon. Darlington won. Hey, we got a winner.
Jon Nelson: Ambassador Jeremy got the win.
Hannah Goodin: 41-33 over Northwest Whitfield to go 4 and 0, so Darlington & Parkview are the leaders of the staff whip around 4 and 0.
Jon Nelson: Yes, and let's see, so by the way, we have new friends for Hannah this week. You know, in addition to our new friend for the studio, we have new friends for Hannah.
Hannah Goodin: That will make me feel better.
Jon Nelson: And for those who are watching this on YouTube, you're going to see me violate a television tenant and duck below the table here.
Hannah Goodin: You're always doing that, though, Jon.
Jon Nelson: I know. All right. So, it's —
Hannah Goodin: Woo! Is that a hat?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, it's a hat. And it's not just a hat. This is from our friends at Lumpkin County.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, that is so cool.
Jon Nelson: This is Lumpkin County Indians up there in Dahlonega, Heath Webb is off to a great start. And so here is your-.
Hannah Goodin: A black hat.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: With a gold Indian, and he has purple in his feathers.
Jon Nelson: Yes, yes. And it's a trucker lid, so it's — I always like trucker lids these days. And so that goes to Hannah.
Hannah Goodin: Thank you! You haven't gotten me a hat before.
Jon Nelson: And so, does this.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, that looks like a soft shirt. Ooh, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme. Can I put this on?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, you can put it on right now. It's perfectly fine.
Hannah Goodin: It's like a blanket. It is very large.
Jon Nelson: Yes, so right there. Lumpkin gets an extra-large. By the way.
Hannah Goodin: This is so soft. Okay. It's purple. Purple with the LC on the front.
Jon Nelson: Uh, Huh.
Hannah Goodin: And on the back, so this is awesome. Thank you. It's one of those really soft ones. This is like the Jefferson shirt that I wear all the time.
Jon Nelson: See.
Hannah Goodin: Yes. It's my second favorite one.
Jon Nelson: So, our friends at Lumpkin County, up in Dahlonega, have really helped Hannah out with her wardrobe again for another week.
Hannah Goodin: Yes, I started a new drawer for everyone.
Jon Nelson: As you should have.
Hannah Goodin: I have a new football T-shirt.
Jon Nelson: As you should have.
Hannah Goodin: Hey, I'm wearing our new Football Fridays in Georgia T-shirt this year.
Jon Nelson: Would you like to model it from behind it and get away from the microphone so folks can, actually, see? There you go.
Hannah Goodin: It's Georgia. It's the state of Georgia.
Jon Nelson: Okay.
Hannah Goodin: There you go — has a field —
Jon Nelson: There you go.
Hannah Goodin: And then it's got our logo over it.
Jon Nelson: Okay. So, there you go.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, it's a T-shirt day.
Jon Nelson: Yes, it definitely is a T-shirt day.
Hannah Goodin: It is.
Jon Nelson: Is there anything else on your mind before we go?
Hannah Goodin: All right. Let's go.
Jon Nelson: Did you hear that? Okay, fine. We'll just go. So, for Jake the snake, for Commander Sandy, for Ambassador Jeremy, for our intern, whose name I need to know, and for King James — I think that's everybody, isn't it?
Hannah Goodin: Well, what's the intern's name?
Jon Nelson: So, an intern, Evelyn.
Hannah Goodin: Thank you.
Jon Nelson: So, there we go. So? So, intern Evelyn. And for Hannah, who's in dire need of caffeine. I'm just Jon. Be sure once again Recruiting 2022 Friday night, 7:00 on GPB, GPB.org, and the GPB Sports App. Football Fridays in Georgia at 7:30. You can watch both games on GPB.org. Milton and North Cobb is our No. 1 game on GPB TV at 7:30, kickoff at 7:36 or so. And we'll keep you up to date with everything going on in the evening because when the game is over, it's not over. We got the post-game show after that brought to us by our friends at Buckle Up, Georgia. So, for everybody here behind the glass, who's going to go run out and get Hannah caffeine, play it safe everybody, enjoy your games.