In this week's podcast, Ware County and Coffee are facing off in a Class 5A showdown for the Region title. Hannah and Jon talk to head coaches Jason Strickland and Mike Coe, plus they give us a rundown of how many Region titles have been clinched and how many are still up for grabs.  

Ware County and Coffee County Football Teams

Ware County and Coffee Football Teams

Credit: Facebook




Mike Coe, Coffee Head Coach: Being a lot of opportunity to play with your brothers and you make about yourself, not who you're playing with.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: They have played exceptionally well all year. They have to play out of their mind Friday.

Jon Nelson: Early in the week, and we get it, "Oh, man."

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: I am not one of those guys that believe I want to get somebody at their best. No, I'll like them at their worst.

Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here, Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing us however you are doing so: large device or small, please access us safely. That's the only thing that we request, knowing that this is the last week of the regular season in high school football in the state of Georgia, which means Friday is decision day. We find out where the brackets lay. We find out where your favorite team is. Are they in? Are they out? Did they win a region title? Are they a four-seed? Do they go on the road? Do they stay at home for one or two, possibly even more games? Not a whole lot to talk about. Is there this weekend of Goodin?

Hannah Goodin: Nope.

Jon Nelson: None. Nothing whatsoever.

Hannah Goodin: Hey, one team that is in, in Region 5 7A and one region play, is North Cobb.

Jon Nelson: Uh huh.

Hannah Goodin: And I have got my North Cobb Warriors T-shirt on that Shane Queen so kindly gave you to give to me.

Jon Nelson: Yes. He bequeathed that T-shirt to you.

Hannah Goodin: And the reason I'm wearing it —

Jon Nelson: Yeah.

Hannah Goodin: — is because it's got some orange on it for Halloween. Happy Halloween, everybody.

Jon Nelson: Happy Halloween. The big debates that we always have and we probably should have it as a bit of the staff whip around. We probably should have Halloween candy.

Hannah Goodin: We can save it. We'll save it.

Jon Nelson: Halloween candy debate.

Hannah Goodin: We'll do it at the end.

Jon Nelson: That's what I'm saying. As part of the staff whip around, your Halloween candy.

Hannah Goodin: Instead of talking about any of the games that happened at all, let's just do the candy.

Jon Nelson: Outside of the last after losing to Sprayberry by fifty-three points.

Hannah Goodin: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Jon Nelson: Yeah.

Hannah Goodin: We're going to do the can.

Jon Nelson: So here's the staff whip around right here. I have the evidence.

Hannah Goodin: We don't need to do it now. Yeah, we don't need to do.

Jon Nelson: Absolutely, we do. But no. Two top four teams in Class 5A is the focus this week. It is Ware at Coffee, and we catch up with the two head coaches Jason Strickland of Ware County and Mike Coe, who is new to Georgia high school football. Storied career in the state of Florida. Now he's the new head coach taking over for Robbie Pruitt at Coffee there in Douglas. Very, very cool matchup. Two great football towns colliding for the last week of the regular season.

Hannah Goodin: Coach Strick is hilarious. You're not going to want to miss his interview. Here's what else is coming up on the show will recap our Football Fridays in Georgia game of the week, which was Langston Hughes versus South Paulding. Take a look at region winners around the state and preview our TV and Web game. Also give you a flag football update. So, that's what's coming up on the show, Jon.

Jon Nelson: Yep. So, it's time to catch up with our first guest, Jason Strickland, the head coach of the Ware County Gators. Right now they are the top ranked team in Class 5A coming into this game with a record of 8 and 0. And we start the discussion about all of the losses that he had, all the big names that were part of the discussion last year. When you talked about Ware County, it was quarterback, Thomas Castellanos. It was running back, Cartevious Norton. They're now at Temple and Iowa State. And so, what do you do for an encore? Here's your answers from Jason Strickland.

Hannah Goodin: Hey, Coach Strickland, you're 8-0. 4-0 in region play coming off a 59 to 7 win over Statesboro. Now you turn the page to the last regular season game of the year and winner takes all against Coffee this Friday. What has your preparations been like?

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Uh, busy. I can say that. You know, there's obviously there's a lot of excitement around this game, and there is every year. But I don't know, you know, when or if ever that the two schools have played for like region championship, kind of coming down to the last game, all the marbles and, you know, a lot of a lot of stuff riding on this thing. But, you know, they are really, really good. And we're going to have to play out of our minds to to get this thing done. So, we're you know, we're trying to prepare for everything we can. Here's the thing. And it was crazy. This is my fourth year here. This is the third time I've had to go over to Douglas to play these guys.

Hannah Goodin: Oh.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Somebody's got to get this thing right. 

Hannah Goodin: Yes, I agree. Who's making those decisions?

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Exactly. Exactly.

Jon Nelson: Well, and I mean. Coach, when I caught up with you to try to schedule this thing, you were already in planning meetings. It's like I just reached out to him, you know, middle of Sunday afternoon, and it's like, you know, you know what? I figured he was, like, watching, you know, NFL games or something just to kind of decompress a little bit, getting ready. He texted me back and he goes, "No, I'm sorry I haven't got back to you. I'm already in planning meetings." And I'm like, "Whoa."

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Yeah. I mean.

Jon Nelson: Is there such a thing as a typical week for you right now as you get toward the end of the regular season?

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Oh, no, there's not. There's no typical week going forward now. Y1ou're, you know, that's what we've tried to talk with our guys and our coaches specifically to give them some early days as often as we could, kind of through the regular season. But, you know, because the thing I'm always fearful of with my staff and our players is that we get at this time of year and guys are tired and they're just almost ready for it to be over. And, you know, we try to build in a lot of short days at times and give them days off and those. Because we know when we get here, you know, there's probably not any days off and it's going to be some long nights. And we want Momma to be okay, and we want Wife to be okay and all that.

Jon Nelson: Boss to be okay. Yes.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Yeah, absolutely. So, this is you know, we're working on a lot of long hours right now. But, you know, our guys have put in a lot of work for it, and our community is is jacked up. So, right now, we want to just do everything we can to to represent Ware county is as good as possible.

Hannah Goodin: What do you do on your days off?

Jon Nelson: You're assuming that he has them.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: To say, you know, I'm a beach guy any time I can. You know, any time we have a chance to get away, you know, I'm probably sitting on beach somewhere or at least, you know, at a restaurant down there. But we don't. We don't get many. But, you know, it's also one of those deals. We you know, we signed up for this. We knew what we were getting into when we when we got into it. So, we love what we do and, you know, we like getting away and those type things, but we love being around the young men on our program as well.

Jon Nelson: How have your student athletes grown into this season? Because I know last year it was all the talk about Thomas Castellanos and what their offense was doing and your stout defense. How long did it take for this new group that was starting here in 2023 to get integrated into the ideas about what you wanted to do as a program on a game by game basis?

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Well, you know, a couple of things. It's it's almost been like, you know, you know, kind of three different seasons for us. And I'll explain what I'm talking about. But to kind of get back to your original question is, you know, our guys kind of were offended a little bit, you know, about some of the talk outside of our program. You know, obviously, we lost a freak. I mean just a genetic freak in Thomas and anybody to watch him play against Temple was this year or something. You see what you see. And then, you know, Cartevious Norton, you know, had a ton of snaps last Saturday for Iowa state against Oklahoma. So, a two phenomenal, phenomenal football player, phenomenal kids as well. But, you know, what our group understood was, you know, the group of seniors that we had come and the Trey Hargrove's, the Zac Watson's and those guys and our Brandon Washingtons in our program knew, hey, you know, we're pretty good football players, too. And and those guys have had a lot of success. And and, you know, it wasn't like all of a sudden they felt any worry that this thing was going to step back. What we had to do as a coaching staff was find out what these guys do well, from offensive perspective. We got a lot of guys back defensively. We felt like we could be pretty good over there. And, you know, they have played exceptionally well all year. They played out of their mind on Friday. But, you know, we kind of started the season with, I thought, process of who we were and obviously, you know, breaking into the quarterback and finding out what he likes and getting him used to being able to just tell us, Coach, I don't like that play. Can we take that completely out of the game I just don't like it because initially, you know, new quarterback, first year starter. They want you to think that they like everything and every you know. And that was what was so great about Thomas. He was a great communicator and he would say, "Coach, we need to call this more." Or, "This is my favorite play, you know, on third down." You know, communicate and Thomas, you know, we of course, we let him have a free will to check to whatever play wanted to play. You know, Nikao was having to learn it, so. The early part of the season, it was just kind of figuring out who he was and what he like. And then all of a sudden we got in the weather stuff, you know, second part of the season and it just really, really we felt like reset our offense. We were trying to just not turn the ball over and know our fields were just, you know, slop fest. And so, we felt like that kind of hampered Nikao's growth a little bit offensively. We took the air out of the ball just trying to, like I said, turn it over. And then we kind of got in a region play and feel like he's kind of taken off and he's gotten more comfortable communicating what he likes, what he doesn't like, you know, playing with some tempo. And he's gotten used to making the correct protection calls and, and those sorts of things. So, you know, defensively we knew coming into this thing that we were going to ride their back for a little while. But you know, I think offensively we're starting to start to figure out who we are.

Hannah Goodin: You mentioned the crazy numbers last Friday and I want to go through some of those. Nikao was 14 of 23, passing 311 yards, three touchdowns, Jarvis Hayes, five receptions, 114 yards, two touchdowns. And then RJ Boyd rushed for 113 yards. Dae' jeaun Dennis 109 yards. That is just outstanding on offense. On the other side of that, I know that you have been sifting through film like crazy. What have you seen from Coffee's offense?

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Well, they're offenses like you go back to, you know, 50 years ago when, hey, we're going we're going to put 22 bodies inside of a four by four squares.

Jon Nelson: It's going to be a meet and greet in a phone booth.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: So, I mean, it is it is impressive to watch. And they are deliberately trying to bludgeoned to death and and they make no bones about it. And the thing about it and they've got the personnel to do it. I'm gonna be a massive up front. They are really well coached up front coming off the football and I'm just moving guys. And then I've got, you know, really kind of three different backs they rotate back there that all you know ball guys are just they're not very tall, but man they are thick and little thick legs and just, you know, everything they get is downhill right at you. And then the hands like you're the quarterback is one heck of an athlete. They mix in the option game with him. And I mean, it is a difficult thing to sit and try to prepare for. And, you know, a lot of I was just trying to hang on for dear life and make them play another play.

Jon Nelson: Because if you're looking in your books at 33 and 30 for Wham! And then all of a sudden he busts it outside. When everybody's in that phone booth, then you're in serious trouble.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: That's exactly right. And so then the other side of that, Jon, is, you know, you've got to put somebody on the quarterback and you got to put somebody on a Pitt's player. Well, that's two more guys that now don't get to fit in the box against, you know, their dire stuff. And it just it is it really, really creates a lot of stress and, you know, kind of seeing them evolve through the course of the season and they have just gotten so much better. They don't do a lot, especially from a blocking scheme standpoint. But the presentation of what they do, they do really, really well mixing up and make things, you know, making teenagers have to think about a lot of stuff and we're, you know, man.

Jon Nelson: Man, that's it. Why we're not.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: I wish we weren't playing them game ten. Let me say that. I wish we were playing earlier in the season.

Jon Nelson: Lunch time early in the week and we get it, "oh man.".

Hannah Goodin: I love it.

Jon Nelson: Strick is already gassed about the mental aspect. He's like, "Man."

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Yes, yes, yes, absolutely.

Jon Nelson: Well, we've.

Hannah Goodin: Well, we've been doing something fun this year. We've switch things up on the podcast and we've had both head coaches of a big game like this on. So, we're having Coach CO on after you. Okay. There was something you could ask him about the game on Friday. What would it be?

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Are the rumors true?

Jon Nelson: That he's in line for the Auburn job? Well.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: No, You know. You know, supposedly Handley is nicked up a little bit from last Friday.

Jon Nelson: Okay.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Yeah, we we know that kid's going to play his guts out Friday on the thousand mile an hour like he has been all year long. So unfortunately, boy.

Hannah Goodin: That's awesome.

Jon Nelson: Are the rumors true? So, that'll be the question for Coach Co.

Hannah Goodin: We'll get a question from him for you, too. Yeah.

Jon Nelson: Obviously, yeah. In the interest of equal time.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: You know, now I am not one of those guys that believe "I want to get somebody at their best. I want all their guys." No, I like them at their worst. You know. And I like all their best players out of the game.

Hannah Goodin: In cast.

Jon Nelson: Body cast

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Absolutely, we'll brag about that win? Just as much as if they're all out there.

Jon Nelson: Exactly. For those who've never for those who've never seen this game, who've never been to Douglas, who've never been to Waycross, who've never seen a game in these two environments, how would you break it down for someone who's never been?

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Well, let me let me say this. Number one, it's two bigger schools that we've got a unique deal. The school names have the word county at the end of their name. And you know that that's just different in itself.

Jon Nelson: Mm-hmm.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: It's the only show in town. You know, the Ware County Gators. The Coffee County is the only show in town and. So, they're not competing in anything else. And the other thing that makes this one unique, I guess it's kind of like Fitzgerald and Erwin and some of those places. You know, they all these guys know each other. I mean, they play travel ball together, you know, seven v. seven stuff together. I mean, they make up half of them. Some are related. Mean they all know each other. So, then all of a sudden, you get the ferocity and the physicality of what takes place is so loud, Jon. I mean, it's they are trying to knock each other completely out. I mean, it is it sounds like a shotgun going off every play. And then all of a sudden, if there's one really, really physical strike, the next play, the other side's trying to make something bigger. And it's no, it has been that way. Every year I've played it, it has been very, very intense. But the energy that is created by both fanbases on almost Friday nights is, you know, it's incredible. I mean, not getting anybody in trouble. But back to years ago, we had all the COVID protocols and all that type of stuff. We got them over here. The one time that we played them over here, there was not any social distancing going on that night. I can tell you. It was packed to the gills. And I mean, it was just a every year it's just an electric environment. And now, you know, you're looking at two teams that that could possibly be two of the best teams in our classification playing for region championship and the number one seed and last game of the year man it's going to be crazy.

Jon Nelson: Plus, plus home games and making sure that all the path and postseason and season three comes through you.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Yeah.

Jon Nelson: Jason Strickland.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: That's it.

Jon Nelson: Jason Strickland, head coach of the Ware County Gators hanging out with his first half of the equation. Ware County and Coffee going at it Friday night for all of the marbles in 5A. Two of the two top-four-ranked teams chasing after a region championship. Jason, it's always great to catch up with you, my friend. Be safe and just wow, just have a good game.

Hannah Goodin: Hanging in there.

Jon Nelson: We know it's hang in there for a long week, brother.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: It's just Monday, right.

Hannah Goodin: I know.

Jon Nelson: But now, just everybody. Be safe, and be well. Have a great game this Friday night. We'll be keeping an eye on you. And we will tell you this right now, the winner of this game, we are going to be hunting you down for the post-game show. We'll tell you that right now.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Okay. All right.

Jon Nelson: See, he that he's ready to go.

Hannah Goodin: It makes me want to know now.

Jon Nelson: Yes.

Hannah Goodin: See, we'll be calling.

Jon Nelson: And then on Friday, you'll go. What? What are you talking about? Because he's blocked it all out.

Hannah Goodin: What show?

Jon Nelson: What show exactly. But no. Jason as always your great friend here at GPB. Thanks for hanging out with us. We'll catch up with you soon. We keep an eye on one of the best games in the state on Friday night.

Jason Strickland, Ware County Head Coach: Well, good. Hannah, and Jon, appreciate what they'll do for high school football.

Jon Nelson: One coach down, one to go. Time to catch up with the home team, Jardine Stadium. If you've never been in Douglas, the home of the Coffee Trojans, tremendous atmosphere for high school football and the man in charge on the sideline for the Coffee Trojans, first-year head coach Mike Coe.

Hannah Goodin: Hey, Coach Coe! You're 8 and 1. 4 and 0 in region play, coming off a 48-to-nothing win over Greenbrier. Now you turn the page to the biggest game of the year Ware County for all the marbles, as Jon likes to say this Friday. What have your preparations been like?

Mike Coe, Coffee Head Coach: Well, just try to treat it as normal as possible. I mean, we know that there's excitement in the town and all around and all. So, big time match up, you know, not only cause for the region title but, you know, it's our rival right down the road. And but you know, like I told the kids yesterday and this morning, you know, the the quicker you can just make it a normal football game because that's what it is. And when it comes down to the same things that, you know, just don't win or lose in the game, and of course, we can just make it a football game the better off we're going to be. And it doesn't matter if there's 10,000 people there or a thousand, it still comes down to the same attributes that, you know, you won't have to have on Friday night to perform well and get out there with a victory.

Jon Nelson: How hard is that, though, considering all of all of the noise, all the attention, all the folks like me and Hannah calling you up and asking about how difficult is that, knowing that you want to try to have everybody locked in as possible. But I would imagine that's got to be one of the biggest challenges you have this entire week is to have them just locked into the idea that it's just a game in quotation marks.

Hannah Goodin: Right. So, we've got fans, you know, with the Kool-Aid man, you know, just telling the kids don't drink Kool-Aid. Well, there you go. And talking about rat poison, like coach say, because, you know, here's the deal. And I told them yesterday no matter what happens Friday, both teams still got to go play the next Saturday. And both teams still have a shot to accomplish their ultimate goal. And who knows? Who knows? Could possibly play each other again. You know, so really, at the end of the day, what you're talking about is, is the winner of this game is guaranteed, you know, two home games if they can get past week one of the playoffs and then after that, you know, you could eventually be looking at the same fate or fortune or however you want to look at it. And so, you know, the thing is, you know, you're playing a quality opponent. You're playing a very athletic team. You're playing a very well coached team. And if it prepares you, no matter what, for the games moving forward. And so, we're looking forward to Friday, and hopefully, we have a great week prep and go play really well.

Hannah Goodin: Your last two region games have been on the road, huge wins by 42 points or more. How does it feel to have this one back at home in Douglas?

Mike Coe, Coffee Head Coach: Well, you know, it's been, you know, weird. I mean, obviously, I mean, we've. Feels like we're having a home game, and then we're away for a month, you know? Feels like so. You know, the town's really excited. We've got a bunch of alumni coming back on their own, put together maybe the alumni weekend, which I'm all for, you know? Yeah, more, better. And then we're trying to create that bond between the past, and I'm really trying to get things going from that standpoint. So, alumni is excited. They like what they're seeing, like the energy our kids are playing with. They say it really looks like a brotherhood, and they're having fun playing together. And so definitely glad to be home. Definitely glad to not have to run a yell at all 3 hours or more.

Hannah Goodin: It's not often that a new coach comes in and does what you've been able to do, and I'm not trying to give you more Kool-Aid, but putting up the points that you have, your defense is also been outstanding. Brag on some of your players and what they've been able to do this year. And a second part to this is looking back on this season. I guess how would you assess it as a whole?

Hannah Goodin: Well, you know, everything. So, our three running backs, we call them to be in BMW, Brown, Mcduffie and Woodgett been all three bring something different to the table but they get a lot of the credit, but everything starts up front, and you know, those guys are from Luke Lariccia, Tico Smith, Dane Rish, Mason Roberts, and Jerzabeon Grant and Elgie Paulk. I mean, I mean, those guys do a tremendous job. Coach Bob Hall, he's the best in the business coaches those guys. And we go as they go, you know, and then our quarterback, Maurice Hansley. He actually only got two snaps in the spring game against Burkes County, and that's the first move we made. I told Coach Ready our offense coordinator "we've got to get Maurice's shot." Man, has he just he's done amazing. I think he's 72% completion rate, ten or 11 touchdowns, and only one interception, and that was a pit ball. Just done a great job on our receivers. I can't say enough about how they block first, and I told them when I got here, you're going to get one-on-one last because we're going to be able to run the ball. And that's what the guy in the Billy Hat really have as a 12. There has done a great job of blocking and then one on his number, just been able to take shots. Billy snaps. I'm not really sure. I coached Billy Snaps about 15 years ago.

Hannah Goodin: A coach never forgets.

Hannah Goodin: You know, but Billy's done a great job. Our slot receivers, McCall, Keyshawn, and Turner, they all does a great job of those guys blocking them. And I think that's the reason we've got big plays and running game to those guys being aggressive blocking and then defensively Larry Daniel Mike linebacker, he's only like a buck 95, but what a tremendous kid. His mom's battling breast cancer and then you just never know. And I mean, the kid has not had a bad day, since I've been here. He's yes or no, sir? Again, just make it as normal as possible. And our kids have done good with that. And, you know, you just want to build to it. You want to be able to it and proud of you, want to let it all out. Our kids have been good at that. Our coaches has been good at that. And so again, looking forward to Friday.

Jon Nelson: So, then my last question here, we've had kind of fun this year when we've had two coaches for one game, and we've talked to both of them about the matchup. If there was a question that you could ask,-

Hannah Goodin: Well, we've got to ask him. We got to tell him the question that Coach Strickland asked him.

Jon Nelson: Okay. All right. So, we asked Jason Strickland what question he would ask you about this game. And like I said, this is all in the nature of fun. And you guys can talk about it at the 50 there at Jardine on Friday night. He wants to know if the rumors are true. That's the only that's the only thing he said. That's literally that's the question he said. Are the rumors true? And you can take that however you want. 

Hannah Goodin: He said more than that.

Jon Nelson: He did. He says I want to play teams. I don't want to play teams that their best. I want to play him at their worst. Are the rumors true? Hannah is over here.

Hannah Goodin: Somebody's banged up.

Jon Nelson: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so he just wanted it.

Hannah Goodin: Coach Coe has no idea what we're talking about.

Jon Nelson: In jest and having fun about this game. So, Jason Strickland, he's like, Are the rumors true? That's the question he would ask you leading into this matchup. What question do you have?

Hannah Goodin: Maybe his silence. Maybe his silence is the answer.

Jon Nelson: So, what question would you ask Jason Strickland about Ware County going into this match? If you had the chance to sit down and interview him, what one question would you ask?

Mike Coe, Coffee Head Coach: What rumors are you asking about that?

Jon Nelson: That's how you answer the question.

Mike Coe, Coffee Head Coach: And I'm the guy with a marker last.

Jon Nelson: Yeah. So, when you guys meet at the 50 at Jardine on Friday night, you guys could talk about that question of thanks for being such a good sport, about this big matchup and answering questions and all this kind of stuff. We know it's a big one down there in South Georgia. It is for all the marbles. Two teams ranked top four in the state in 5A. Welcome to the last week of the regular season Mike Coe, the head coach of the Coffee Trojans. Coach, thanks for hanging out with us on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. Everybody be safe, have fun, and have a great game this weekend thanks for hanging out with us and putting up with us.

Mike Coe, Coffee Head Coach: Yes, sir. I appreciate you guys.

Hannah Goodin: So, Ware County versus Coffee will be for the region title, as was our Football Fridays in Georgia game of the week last Friday. Region 5 6A. It was Hughes versus South Paulding at Spartans State.

Jon Nelson: Spartans Stadium.

Hannah Goodin: And Jon, this one was all Panthers.

Jon Nelson: Well, I mean, and think about it, it was seven nothing South Paulding. And then it turned.

Hannah Goodin: Then it turned.

Jon Nelson: And then it turned.

Hannah Goodin: And it turned, and it turned.

Jon Nelson: Well but full credit. And once again.

Hannah Goodin: Of course.

Jon Nelson: I mean, what we've seen from South Paulding in the building of the program, and once again, I'm going to violate a TV tenet here because we have a new friend who. It is from Sumo Robinson, the head coach at South Paulding.

Hannah Goodin: That's a new helmet.

Jon Nelson: It is.

Hannah Goodin: That's a brand-new helmet.

Jon Nelson: So, what's the year on the back of it?

Hannah Goodin: Have we ever gotten a new helmet 2022?

Jon Nelson: Uh huh. No, I said.

Hannah Goodin: I can see how shiny.

Jon Nelson: Yeah.

Hannah Goodin: So, describe it. For the people who aren't watching. It is a white helmet.

Jon Nelson: It is a white helmet with the South Paulding Trojan logo on the left ear. And it is a 2022 Riedel helmet right here with us. And it is going to be on display.

Hannah Goodin: Do they call that maroon?

Jon Nelson: I think so. I think that this is it's the.

Hannah Goodin: The face guard is a maroon color.

Jon Nelson: Maroon and gold, maroon face, maroon face, guard, and the logo for South Paulding. But no, once again, thanks to Sumo Robinson and everybody at South Pawling, tremendous to be with you guys for the first time ever in our history at South Paulding. We had the South Paulding v. Carrollton game last season, but it was our first visit to South Paulding, and you guys were fantastic. Great to add you to our family in the studio here. That to Georgia Public Broadcasting. Broadcasting is where we are.

Hannah Goodin: GPB both got one already.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, we did. And so, this gets added with a great amount of thanks to everybody at South Paulding. Thanks for letting us hang out with you guys on Friday night; even though the result did not go your way, it was a great atmosphere. Two great guys with Boone and Sumo and otherwise known as Daniel Williams and Eric Robinson.

Hannah Goodin: No, I like Boone and Sumo better. So, the final score was 68-14. Hughes goes 9 and 0, 6 and 0, and clinches the Region 5 6A title for the second year in a row. Quarterback Aaron Noland with 16 of 23 passing for 287 yards and 4 scores. And our Cotton Commission player of the game, running back Jekail Middlebrook rushed, 19 times for 258 yards and four more touchdowns. Just an outstanding game by them.

Jon Nelson: When you look at numbers like that one on the scoreboard tonight, do you guys even blow yourselves away with what you guys are able to do now?

Jekail Middlebrook, Langston Hughes Running Back We're pretty much used to it. We come in. We come into the game thinking we are going to put up 60 points every game.

Jon Nelson: Yep. Hughes put up a marker for everybody in 6A to pay attention to. When you're going up a team that was 6 and 2 going into that game and was chasing after you for a region title, and you put up 68 on the board. That's a marker for everybody to sit there and take notice right now in 6A.

Hannah Goodin: 25 other regions were clinched on Friday, and here are a few at North DeKalb Stadium. Decatur clinched the region for 5A with a 42-38 win over Chamblee. What a game. Colquitt is now the winner of Region 1 7A with a 24 to 6 win over Valdosta. And we got to give a shout-out to our Northern teams at the burial grounds in Dahlonega. Two mountain schools have met 43 times, but this was by far the biggest game. Dawson County beat Lumpkin County 38 to 10 to clinch Region 7 3A. And our web game, Fitzgerald won Region 1 2A with a 36 to 14 win over cook. Jon, give us the rundown on other top region winners. All right.

Jon Nelson: All right. There are a lot of them. So, I'm just going to give numbers.

Hannah Goodin: Yeah.

Jon Nelson: We have five regions clinched in 7A.

Hannah Goodin: Okay.

Jon Nelson: We have five regions clinched in 6A. We have six clinched in 5A, including 2/1 timers, North Side, Columbus, and Cambridge. The first time they've ever had region titles 6A and 4A, four in 3A, five in 2A, and three in class A Division 1. Saint Francis got their first-ever region title, and in class A, Division two, we have another five, including Deron Alford and Schley County, out of Region 6. We had him on the postgame show, their first-ever region title in the history of the school.

Hannah Goodin: Wow. Well, how many on the line this Friday? Do you have the numbers yet?

Jon Nelson: So, let's see if 39 teams have clinched four for the first time. So, 39. So eight times. Oh, God. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. So, seven times eight is 56, 56 minus so 39.

Hannah Goodin: Oh, we got the pen out.

Jon Nelson: So, 17 region titles remain on the board this weekend, so we'll keep an eye on that. So yeah, if my math is correct, then it's 17 region titles, with 39 having clinched region titles for first-timers.

Hannah Goodin: And one of those being our Football Fridays in Georgia game of the week. Region 7 7A. The clincher could be either North Gwinnett or Norcross.

Hannah Goodin: Check.

Hannah Goodin: Bulldogs are 7 and 2. 5 and 0 in region play and got a win over Discovery 45 to 8. Blue Devils, 7 to 5 of those same exact records. Got a 52 to 13 win over Peachtree Ridge, both coming off big wins, and both undefeated in region play. It's going to be a good one, Jon, yeah.

Jon Nelson: That one in both of the in with the Webb game being Cedar Grove and Carver Atlanta, that one's another one that will determine the conference title, and that is the old Panthers Stadium for those of you that might have a history with the DeKalb County footballs but originally Panthersville now it's named after Buck Godfrey, the legendary head coach of Southwest DeKalb, a couple of seasons ago. So, we have two region title games on the line from those 17, on the GPB family of networks on Friday night.

Hannah Goodin: And an update, Putnam at Wa. Co. Moved to Thursday, everybody. So, we just got that announcement.

Jon Nelson: Keep an eye on your social media platforms. Because of a lack of officials, we're starting to see games get moved. Keep an eye with your favorite teams attached. Whether or not your game sticks to its original day or is slid one direction or the other. Does it go to Thursday? Does it go to Saturday? Keep an eye on that. So, you know when your favorite team is playing, but that's the first one that came into the barn for us. That game moved to Thursday in Sandersville.

Hannah Goodin: Last order of business.

Jon Nelson: No.

Hannah Goodin: Before we talk about our candy.

Jon Nelson: Well yeah, well, that and there's other orders a bit.

Hannah Goodin: Like football flag football.

Jon Nelson: That is not the last order of business before we talk about candy.

Hannah Goodin: It is. It is. It's the last order of business.

Jon Nelson: Are you listening to this?

Hannah Goodin: Before we talk about candy.

Jon Nelson: Commander Sandy, are you listening to this?

Sandy Malcolm: Yeah. Wait, wait a minute.

Hannah Goodin: My team's the only one that matters here, everybody. Yeah. If you didn't know?

Jon Nelson: Well, so then her team is the only team that matters-.

Hannah Goodin: Wait, we got to get through flag football.

Jon Nelson: Then get through flag football.

Hannah Goodin: Everybody, you got to tune in. Thursday, we have a doubleheader. Thursday, November 3rd, River Ridge versus Sequoyah at 5:30, Creekview versus Roswell at 6:30, streaming on GPB, dot org slash Sports, and the GPB Sports app. The girls have been killing it this year. We are giving them a shout-out every week.

Jon Nelson: Yeah. And so. Okay, so now, since it's the only order of business is, Hannah's team in the staff whip-around.

Hannah Goodin: That was it. That was it.

Jon Nelson: Lassiter lost 63-10 to Sprayberry. They're now 3 and 6. 1 and 4 in Region 6 6A play.

Hannah Goodin: Feel better? Does that make you feel good?

Jon Nelson: You're the one that said that Lassiter is the only Team that matters.

Hannah Goodin: Do you feel like you have some stress relief?

Jon Nelson: Decatur beat Chamblee 40-38. So, Commander Sandy is apparently part of the group that's dancing in Decatur.

Hannah Goodin: Oh. It must be nice.

Jon Nelson: Lakeside beat Druid Hills 24- nothing moving to 7 and 2 in Region 4 6A. We are playing a non-region schedule, but I think this is the most wins since the mid-1990s for the Lakeside Viking. Parkview lost to Brookwood in the Battle of Five Forks Trick, 41-33. That's an oopsie.

Hannah Goodin: Whoops.

Jon Nelson: Falling to 6 and 3, 2 and 2 in region play. Now get this Parkview. And I mean, you're going to have to if you don't want Grayson to be the Region Champ, Snake.

Hannah Goodin: Jon, enough with the paper.

Jon Nelson: You're going to have to root for the opposition. He's going to have to root for the opposition, the hated rival, to try to throw things into the blender in his region. Central Macon lost to Spencer 33-14. Spencer having a tremendous season. This is not anything having to do with the Chargers and King James. But Spencer, the green wave chasing after their first region title ever in GHSA history. There and they're going to have to be chartered to do it. So, 2 and 7, 2 and 4 in Region 2 2A. Okay. Now, Halloween Candy. So, let's start with you.

Hannah Goodin: Thank you, Halloween candy.

Jon Nelson: Halloween, candy.

Hannah Goodin: Halloween Candy.

Jon Nelson: All right. So, which one?

Hannah Goodin: Well, who goes first? Which team? Which team is doing the best? Darlington.

Jon Nelson: Darlington with the kick-off at 9 and 0, 5 and 0. I know they get try on to determine the set 7 single A Region.

Hannah Goodin: Jeremy gets to tell us what his favorite candy favorite and who is being for Halloween.

Jon Nelson: And what's your hot take about candy? The candy that you don't like that you think would freak people out. So, what's your Halloween hot take?

Jeremy Powell: Halloween hot take would be M&M's peanuts. Don't like those.

Jon Nelson: Wow.

Hannah Goodin: Wow. Oh, wow.

Jeremy Powell: I would be the kid that would suck the chocolate off and spit the peanut out.

Jon Nelson: Wow, Ambassador Jeremy.

Hannah Goodin: Okay, what candy do you like?

Jon Nelson: Yeah, what's?

Jeremy Powell: Let's see. I'm a candy, candy person, not a chocolate person. So, I'm going. Twizzlers, Dots, Bottle Caps, those things.

Jon Nelson: Oh, okay, so Bottle Caps are very underrated.

Hannah Goodin: I'm on board for Twizzlers, but not Dots and Bottle Caps.

Jeremy Powell: I'll make-.

Jon Nelson: Bottle Caps are underrated.

Hannah Goodin: Okay, so what are you for Halloween?

Jeremy Powell: Oh, I bought one of those. You remember the really bad plastic masks that you wore as a kid? It was like a bad plastic mask. A plastic smock. They make them for adults now. Yeah. So, I bought one. It's a Batman one.

Jon Nelson: There you go.

Hannah Goodin: It's going to be awesome.

Jon Nelson: All right, Snakes. Since you're the one holding the microphone. Halloween hot take.

Jake Cook: I love it. I love mounds bars. Okay, maybe it's not a hot take, but.

Jon Nelson: But not Almond Joy?

Jake Cook: Almond Joy is too healthy for me.

Jon Nelson: Okay, understood.

Jake Cook: Too much nutrition.

Jon Nelson: Okay.

Hannah Goodin: What are you for Halloween?

Jake Cook: Oh, you know, I haven't thought of it yet.

Hannah Goodin: Well, you better start thinking now.

Jake Cook: Oh, jeez.

Jon Nelson: By the time the show is on the air, it will have passed.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, yeah, I'll. I'll start. I'll start brainstorming.

Hannah Goodin: Okay.

Jon Nelson: There you go.

Hannah Goodin: We'll get back to you.

Jon Nelson: King James. We'll keep this shot. We'll keep the two shot up, so King James can wander over and give his Halloween hot take.

James Turner: I guess my favorite candy bar right now is a Take Five.

Jon Nelson: Interesting.

Hannah Goodin: Okay, okay.

Sandy Malcolm: That's a good take.

Jon Nelson: That is one. That is off the beaten path.

Hannah Goodin: A Take Five.

Jon Nelson: Okay. So, what is the most evil Halloween candy, the one that you do not like at all under any circumstance?

Hannah Goodin: Probably not too much of a hot take, but it's like the peanuts, those little Styrofoam.

Jon Nelson: Oh, yeah, the Styrofoam peanuts says it all.

Hannah Goodin: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Those are-.

Jon Nelson: All right.

Hannah Goodin: Those are regular candy, though, too.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, well done. Well done.

Hannah Goodin: What are you for Halloween?

Jon Nelson: Well, yeah. What are you doing for Halloween, James?

Jon Nelson: Oh, it's the most ingenious thing ever. I'm going to be a stagehand.

Jon Nelson: There you go.

Hannah Goodin: Meaning he has to work.

Jon Nelson: Yeah, meaning he has to work. Commander Sandy, hot take for Halloween.

Jon Nelson: I like, you know, the chocolates, Milky Way, Snickers. But you know what? I hate those whoppers. Those malted milk. Ugh.

Jon Nelson: Milk Duds and Whoppers.

Hannah Goodin: I don't mind Whoppers. I don't mind.

Jon Nelson: It's too messy.

Sandy Malcolm: Like, I'll bring some in for you because we have a bunch.

Jon Nelson: There you go.

Sandy Malcolm: I'm just handing out candy, so I am not.

Jon Nelson: See, we will be a-.

Sandy Malcolm: A Candy hander outer.

Jon Nelson: Here. Yeah, we hoard at the house and. And my wife Patty knows how I'm wired. She bought.

Hannah Goodin: Extra.

Jon Nelson: No, no, she bought the bag, knowing the contents of it and has removed all of the Reese's peanut butter cups.

Hannah Goodin: So, you won't eat them?

Jon Nelson: No. So, I will eat them. She's pulled from the 275 bags. She's pulled all of the Reese's out, and it's put them in the freezer.

Sandy Malcolm: I remember this from last year. You have all the Reese's in the freezer stacked.

Jon Nelson: Correct.

Hannah Goodin: I was going to say that you would eat them before the kids could get them.

Jon Nelson: That's close. Now, that's the Kit Kats. The Kit Kats are, for me, a close second, but my Halloween hot take. I do not like candy corn. With the heat of a thousand suns, I hate candy corn.

Hannah Goodin: It's not that bad.

Jon Nelson: You can have mine.

Hannah Goodin: I will take your candy.

Jon Nelson: All right. So.

Hannah Goodin: What are you being for Halloween?

Jon Nelson: Tired.

Hannah Goodin: Gosh. You guys.

Jon Nelson: I'm going to be handing out candy.

Hannah Goodin: Jeremy and I are the only ones dressing up.

Jon Nelson: Well, it's because. Well, I mean, are you dressing up for when folks come to the door?

Hannah Goodin: I mean, maybe it's. No, we're going so we're going to sit on the end of the driveway.

Jon Nelson: Oh, okay.

Hannah Goodin: So, the doorbell and the dogs don't bark, and the twins will be asleep.

Jon Nelson: Oh. Yes.

Hannah Goodin: So, we're doing Babyland General Hospital. I know, I know. It's so cheesy.

Jon Nelson: But then John Xavier Robbo is cute. So, the John Xavier Roberts thing.

Hannah Goodin: He's a doctor. I'm a nurse.

Jon Nelson: And not the guy who created the-.

Hannah Goodin: Well, maybe he is.

Jon Nelson: And the kids and the adult. No, no, no. Like the actual dude who made them.

Hannah Goodin: He is not. He's not him.

Jon Nelson: Okay.

Hannah Goodin: And I'm going to be like the nurse.

Hannah Goodin: Okay. And the girls are going to be Cabbage Patch Kids. And it's it's so cheesy, but just wait. Just wait till you see the pictures.

Jon Nelson: Yeah.

Hannah Goodin: Follow me. Follow me on social media.

Jon Nelson: Yes.

Hannah Goodin: You can see the pictures.

Jon Nelson: Right, so.

Hannah Goodin: It will be on Instagram.

Jon Nelson: All right. So once again, thanks to our friends at South Paulding.

Hannah Goodin: Hey, you didn't get to ask me what my favorite Halloween candy is.

Jon Nelson: I told you, what's your Halloween hot take? And you went straight to wardrobe.

Hannah Goodin: I know because I'm so excited. My favorite Halloween candy is Laffy Taffy.

Jon Nelson: Understood,

Hannah Goodin: By far.

Jon Nelson: Understood. I get that one. All right. So, then what's your Halloween hot take? What do you not like that? Everybody would sit there and think you're crazy.

Hannah Goodin: Well, I kind of already said it. It's the dots. Sorry, Jeremy.

Jon Nelson: Oh, the dots. The dots. Okay.

Hannah Goodin: Dusty.

Jon Nelson: All right.

Hannah Goodin: It kind of tastes like plastic.

Jon Nelson: All right. Once again, thanks to our friends of South Paulding for adding a new friend. Love this. This is incredible.

Hannah Goodin: Great Helmet.

Jon Nelson: Great helmet right here. Promote the games one more time quickly before we go.

Hannah Goodin: One sec.

Jon Nelson: Efforting.

Hannah Goodin: Our Web game, Carver versus Cedar Grove, Godfrey Stadium, 7:30 pm Friday, and our game of the week on TV at North Gwinnett and Norcross.

Jon Nelson: What she said, it's going to be a full night Recruiting 2022 will start things off at 7:00. That is yet another version of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. Here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Big rivalry down south Ware County, and Coffee caught up with those two coaches. Got to ask each other about Halloween and get find out in the staff whip-around who really is going to make the playoffs, and it looks like it's going to be Ambassador Jeremy's last week of the regular season. So, season two ends; it's decision day, we'll be on all night long, breaking down the brackets. GPB,, and the GPB Sports app. Do you make the postseason? We find out in short order. That's another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. Play safe, everybody. Enjoy your games.

Hannah Goodin: Everybody.

Jon Nelson: The body.

Hannah Goodin: Everybody.