Football Fridays in Georgia: Get Back To Where You Once Belonged
On the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast, hosts Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson catch up with coach Jeff Herron. Camden County welcomes him back to the sidelines in 2021, but he has to first finish his college assignment at Tennessee Tech.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing us, however you do so, large device or small. It is the offseason for playing games. It is never the offseason when it comes to high school football here in the state of Georgia. Jon here. Hannah there. Hi.
Hannah Goodin: Hey. We’re back. Happy 2021, everybody. First podcast of the year.
Jon Nelson: What is up? I know you had some — you — see now, Hannah comes in with a rundown. I come in, it's like I just say, ‘OK, here's the guest.’ And Sean Powers, our irreplaceable producer. Tell him who the guest is and how we're going to access the guest from parts unknown. Here is the guest. I come in and you see all the notes that I have here. Hannah sees all the notes that I have. And they’re nonexistent.
Hannah Goodin: A.K.A. the empty desk in front of you.
Jon Nelson: Hannah comes in with a rundown.
Hannah Goodin: We all can't work like you, Jon. I cannot keep everything in my brain like you do. So I have a rundown for us today, guys.
Jon Nelson: So what's the rundown on Hannah's — on Hannah's laptop, which is actually in front of her?
Hannah Goodin: All right. Here are our topics.
Jon Nelson: Sure.
Hannah Goodin: We need an update on The Beast first.
Jon Nelson: Aw, you had to go there.
Hannah Goodin: I know. It's going to get dark. We're going to talk coaching carousel, all the vacancies that have been filled, some of the mix up, some coaches retiring, coaches resigning. There's a lot to unpack there with Jon.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: We are going to give you an update on what's happening in Valdosta without getting into the drama.
Jon Nelson: And, yeah, the biggest thing that we'll say here is that, yes, we know that there's a lot going on in Valdosta involving the Valdosta high school football program. We're keeping an eye on it. And when there's stuff to report, we will report it on all of our platforms. But we're just going to give you the facts in the situation and we'll go from there. So there's your Valdosta update
Hannah Goodin: We are going to give you — all of the schedules have been released for the upcoming season by the GHSA. Our guest today is brand new Camden County head coa — well, not brand new.
Jon Nelson: Brand new well —
Hannah Goodin: He’s back.
Jon Nelson: It’s — it’s 2.0.
Hannah Goodin: 2.0. Jeff Herron is on the podcast today with us. And at the end, we will wrap it up by telling you what's to come on our networks. We've got some shows coming back. We've got our schedule planned. So we've got a jam-packed podcast today, Jon. But first and foremost, let's rip the Band-Aid off.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, OK, thank you.
Hannah Goodin: The Beast died, everybody. R.I.P. What was the final mileage on her?
Jon Nelson: 357,235, I think.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Jon Nelson: 1997 Toyota Camry. And for those that follow me on all the social media, whether it's on Facebook or Twitter or the ‘gram or the IG or whatever the kids call it, after 24 years, the Toyota Camry is no more. And so I now have a newer Nissan Murano,
Hannah Goodin: Which is also having problems.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, yeah. That's another that's another podcast in and of itself. And this is what happens when you buy a car “as is” and you don't buy it with a warranty and then you know, then you take it to your mechanic and it's like the guy that I implicitly trust and the first words out of his mouth were less than optimistic. And I'm like, “OK, great, thanks.” So those are being repaired. We still have some other things to do, but it is a larger automobile than the one we had before, and it is a lot cleaner. And I'm actually allowing my wife to sit in the car.
Hannah Goodin: Wow. Like, don't have to put a towel down on the seat.
Jon Nelson: Don't put a towel down in the seat or anything like that. No, it's like she actually gets more use out of it than I do. And that's — and that's, that's the way it should be.
Hannah Goodin: Our last podcast, you couldn't make it because The Beast broke down. So we ended there. So we had to give everybody an update.
Jon Nelson: We had to do it remotely — with me, anyway. And that's how we caught up with Jeff because he's up at Tennessee Tech and Cookeville. But, yeah, I had to do it remotely last time out because it got to the point to where the oil line was shot. I mean, there's just no way around it. And it was making massive, just massive leaks and stains on concrete and driveways and roads. And it couldn't go a half a mile, really, without starting to smoke out from underneath the hood…
Hannah Goodin: It was time. It was time.
Jon Nelson: It was. And the last time that I drove it, it actually started to send smoke back into the cabin of the car itself. And I'm now saying, “Yeah, it's time to go.”
Hannah Goodin: We — we need you. We need you here for the season. You do not need you inhaling any carbon monoxide.
Jon Nelson: The windows were rolled down, but one of the cars I had before The Beast, by the way, actually did go auto flambé on the connector southbound in traffic. So, you know, having cars with smoke and fire is something that's been a part of my DNA and driving ever since I was eligible to drive.
Hannah Goodin: Speaking of smoke and fire.
Jon Nelson: Yes?
Hannah Goodin: Let's get into the coaching carousel!
Jon Nelson: Oh listen to you with the transition elements.
Hannah Goodin: OK, that was great.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: All right. Just to name a few, Paul Standard went to the mountains, left St. Pius. Brian Lamar went to South Gwinnett. Tift has a new coach from Michigan.
Jon Nelson: Yep.
Hannah Goodin: Bob Sphire resigned. That's why we have Jeff Herron on to talk about heading back to Camden County, Cook, Tennessee.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: John Ford to South Effingham. Yeah. Ron Gartrell retires after 33 seasons.
Jon Nelson: That is correct.
Hannah Goodin: Hit me with — hit me with that.
Jon Nelson: I mean, just. Yeah,
Hannah Goodin: Give us the update.
Jon Nelson: Well, you know, you look at DeKalb County, the exodus out of DeKalb with Paul Standard leaving Pius, Brian Lamar going to South Gwinnett. You've got Ron Gartrell retiring. You've got Miguel Patrick leaving Cedar — Cedar Grove and going to Crisp. I mean, just the exodus out of DeKalb is something that really is probably going to be one of the storylines that we're looking at coming into the 2021 season. And Joey King to Carrollton, we haven't had a chance to talk about Joey coming back from the college ranks and going to — to his to his alma mater. And I think that one's — going to be one of the big hires definitely of the offseason. And he's bringing in a great staff. And Jeff Herron at Camden is bringing in some folks who are veterans of the Georgia high school football game. John Lindsay, I think, is going to be a part of his staff now, too, with some of the other names that are there. So a lot of coaching carousel happened. Usually it comes out to about 18 or 20 percent somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 jobs in a GHSA of 400, usually on a year-by-year basis. But, you know, Tim, you know, we had Tim Baron leaving Hurd County go to Villa Rica. That was one of the early ones. And so there are a lot that are there. And what was the other one that popped into my head? Oh, Tim McFarland left Blessed Trinity.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, yeah! Duh? That’s a big one.
Jon Nelson: And so that's another one as well. And so those are just a lot of the big names that shuffled and a lot of the big jobs got shuffled around this time, too. And obviously, as we get closer to the season, we'll have more and more names to talk about. But those are just some of the big names and a lot of the big places that happened here, so far, in the offseason.
Hannah Goodin: Why such a big shakeup in DeKalb County in particular?
Jon Nelson: I don't — I don't know. I mean, it's just, you know. If someone's going to come knocking on your door because of the success rate that you've had in and Coach Standard has been at St. Pius for a very long time. And so you're getting to that point to where, you know, you'd like to perhaps be closer to family or things like that or go to the — go to the mountains. In this case. You know, for Brian Lamar, when a Gwinnett County school comes and knocks on your door, I mean, it's something that you have to seriously consider. Coach Gartrell had been at Shamrock and had been at Stephenson. And so a variety of reasons that come across the bow for these coaches. But, you know, when folks come knocking on your door, you have to listen.
Hannah Goodin: Does John Ford just keep his bags packed at all times?
Jon Nelson: Well, I mean, he was he was at Bleckley and this is what we're going to try to do over the we're going to do one of these a month and we're going to try to catch up with some of the newer places with familiar faces as we go here in the spring, in the summer, as we get you ready for 2021. But Coach Ford was at Bleckley and he was an assistant for Von Lassiter for the last handful of years. And when we caught up with him, when we were doing Southern Swing, when he first was was in Cochran, it was for him to get a change of pace, you know, just to to kind of get away from the city of Atlanta and just kind of get a change of pace and be an assistant and help out Von Lassiter with the big — with the offensive lineman.
Hannah Goodin: Amarius Mims.
Jon Nelson: BIG MIMS! See, we have to do it that way.
Hannah Goodin: I’m not going to miss that. Neither is anybody else listening.
Jon Nelson: Everybody's going to miss Big Mims. But — now that he's heading to Athens. But now that — that John is in Effingham County now, in South Effingham, you know, once again, it's another place where he can build a program and try to, to get them back on track and get them back in the playoffs.
Hannah Goodin: I want to give Ron Gartrell a little love. So 33 seasons, a head coach, amazing stuff. 243 football victories, which ranks second all-time in DeKalb County. He had a pretty incredible run. Was it just time to retire?
Jon Nelson: Well, you know, I think that when you're looking at coaches who've been head coaches for 20-plus years and you've been coaches for 30, you know, obviously the grind gets to you at some point. And, you know, if that was the case for — for Coach Gartrell, then it's completely understandable, considering he built Stephenson from scratch and built Stephenson into a program where, I mean, they were ahead of the curve when it came to college recruiting. And they had folks who were dedicated to making sure that a lot of the student-athletes that were there at Stephenson got looks from colleges. And so, I mean, that was — in their heyday, you're seeing two dozen kids on National Signing Day getting college offers and things like that. And so what Coach Gartrell did with Stephenson was ahead of the curve in a lot of aspects of it. And, you know, it's a grind to — to try to be continually successful, as Stephenson was, the way that they were in DeKalb County.
Hannah Goodin: Tift’s new head coach from Michigan?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, he retired from there. And I think he had family in south Georgia. And so that's why it was naturally attracted to a job like that. But you're stepping into that hornet's nest of 1-AAAAAAA.
Hannah Goodin: Yes. And coming from Michigan. Well, sir.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Welcome to Georgia.
Jon Nelson: And so it'll be it'll be interesting to see the adjustment period that happens there with Tift. And so you have a new coach at Tift. You have a couple of year head coach in Justin Rogers, couple of year head coach in Jamey DuBose and a new head coach who's an old head coach from Camden. So it's going to be an interesting dichotomy this year in 1-AAAAAAA.
Hannah Goodin: We already talked about Bob Sphire always taking a position at High — Highlands High in Kentucky. That's interesting. I did not think he would leave the state.
Jon Nelson: Well, but once again, for him, it's going home. Yeah. And so it gives him an opportunity to go back and go home and coach back there. And so you understand that pull sometimes. And, you know, we got into that in the interview with Jeff here a little bit.
Hannah Goodin: We did. Any — any other notes on coaching carousel before we move along?
Jon Nelson: Well, there's a lot and obviously we'll keep you posted on all of them as we go. And so since we're talking carousel and keep —
Hannah Goodin: We'll keep that a rundown topic.
Jon Nelson: no doubt it's going to be a topic to — to see how everything evolves going forward. But since we're on carousel, why don't we go ahead and catch up with Jeff Herron.
Hannah Goodin: Let's do it.
Jon Nelson: Who was on campus at Tennessee Tech with his other job? So the guy's got two jobs right now, balancing them both at Tennessee Tech, getting ready for an opponent and his job at Tennessee Tech. So he was calling us from his cellphone in Cookeville, Tennessee, as he had finished hopefully cramming for his next test early, started cramming for his next test against Murray State. Here's me and Hannah with Coach Herron.
Hannah Goodin: So your current title is assistant coach at Tennessee Tech. This is going to be a big switch to high school football. What are you most looking forward to?
Jeff Herron: Well, you know, listen, I've been there before, so, you know, my is not as big a switch, I guess. But, you know, I'm certainly more familiar with the high school game than I am the college stuff. But this has been a good, good year-and-a-half now, I guess. And I really enjoyed it here. But, you know, I'm looking forward to getting back to what I know.
Jon Nelson: And I know that coaches are always ones who like to learn about whether it's about themselves or about coaching itself or the industry or whatever, in your time up there at Tennessee Tech, what have you been able to learn as a coach that you might not have known before, that you’ve adjusted to now?
Jeff Herron: Certainly a lot of things. It really has been a learning experience for me, you know, as a coach, I think that's one of these things, is you can always learn something every year, and I've felt I always have. But being able to see things from the college perspective in terms of recruiting, I would probably start with that. And you know, how it actually really works at this level. I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know as a high school coach. And the other part of that, I spent most of the time here on the offensive side of the ball. And, you know, we have a really good offensive staff. And I was able to learn more about, you know, the passing game. I was able to learn more about, you know, spread offenses and things like that. And now recently I've been on the defensive side and I certainly learned a lot from those guys as well.
Hannah Goodin: What's the biggest difference aside from recruiting? Well, it depends on what part of the state you're in, but we won't — we won't get into that. What's the biggest part? The biggest difference of college coaching and high school coaching?
Jeff Herron: Well, you know, there's a bunch. You know, 1: In college, you don't deal with parents. I’ll say that.
Hannah Goodin: Nice.
Jeff Herron: You know, we expect the young man to be old enough and mature enough that anything that comes up, we expect them to handle it. So, you know, talking to parents and family is not — it's not like it is in high school. You know, we're not with them typically in class every day, that sort of thing. But, you know, we're dealing with a more mature kid. And, you know, they're all, you know, they were all smart enough to get into college. And so I think the pace that you can go at, the pace that you can install things, the pace that they're expected to pick things up is much greater at this level, just like I'm sure it would be even greater than this if you’re with the NFL. So because I think the maturity aspect that you're dealing with, you can certainly coach in a different way.
Jon Nelson: When it came to going back to Camden, I mean, how far back the discussions go, what was the process here and how much thought went into it from both your family side and from the Camden side? How far back are we talking here?
Jeff Herron: Well, honestly, I mean, it started, I guess, the day that Coach Barr announced he was going to leave. You know, I got a call that day from one of the administrators that I know and said, you know, hey, we've got an opening. Are you interested? You know, and, you know, at first I thought they were just joking around about this. And, you know, again, we were content we were at, doing what we were at. But, you know, in the next couple of days after that, you know, I realized they weren't joking around about it. So, you know, we became a little more interested. You know, my wife and I, we spent a great deal of time thinking about it, praying about it. You know, three of our four kids, their job and a major enticement: two sons were actually on the coaching staff this year, although they were at the middle school. And then Taylor, our daughter, lives right up the road and Brunswick's a lawyer up there. So, you know, I think that my wife is great. You know, she's always been a great coach's wife. You know her, Jon. You talked to her.
Jon Nelson: Well said on International Women's Day, sir. Very good.
Jeff Herron: I didn't know that. But, hey, there you go. You know, she's never you know, she's always said, “You tell me what you want to do. You know, I'll be sitting in the front seat ready to go.” And but this time I really felt strongly that this was something she really wanted to do because of the kids and stuff. And she has so many friends still down there, as I do. So, it made a lot of sense to us from a family perspective. And quite honestly: You know, I enjoyed this job in college, but I missed being a head coach.
Hannah Goodin: You've coached all over the Southeast, and before we get too deep into your stats and — and what you've done and at Camden County, just what are you most looking forward to, to be being back in Kingsland? I know that you said your, your kids went there. Is it home to you? You know, will you be seeing familiar faces? What are you most looking forward to?
Jeff Herron: Well, I think so. You know, we've lived there. I've moved, as you said, I've moved a bunch of times and we've lived a lot of different places. But when we went to Camden, we were there for 13 years. And so you all four of our kids were in the school system. Three of the four graduated from there. And, you know, Tyson, you know, he certainly felt like he did. He was there for two years. So I think our kids and our family feels like that's home more than any place we've ever been. And so we're looking forward to that. And, you know, again, it's a — it's a great community. They love football. They love high school sports in general. And, you know, the passion that Camden County has for football, I don't know that I've ever been anyplace where it was greater and the understanding of the importance to it to the community. And — and I look forward to that. I look forward to the challenge of trying to get it to where it was once before.
Jon Nelson: Jeff Herron, the incoming head coach at Camden County High, hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Jon Hannah and Jeff hanging out for a little bit longer. And, you know, you mentioned Kingsland and you were there when the — the town was going through a really rough time because of one of the industries basically just going away. And to your point, I think that as someone who has seen what sports can do and what football can do when it comes to unifying communities, especially in times that are tough, I think that going back, especially with what we've been through as a country in the last year, it gives you another opportunity to do that. Although the situations are different, you get another chance to — to help be that unifier down there in Kingsland, second time around.
Jeff Herron: Well, Jon, I certainly hope so. I mean, you know, back in 2001, 2002, when the paper mill was struggling and eventually wound up going bankrupt and all those guys lost their jobs and rightly so, there were so many people that worked there that, you know, that was about the time the football program, in fact, it really was the year that the closed was the first time that we made it to the semis. And, you know, I think it was a — it was a really good distraction for those people. It gave them something positive to think about instead of just having to sit there thinking about “Gosh, I've lost my job. What am I going to do?” Well, at least one night out of the week, they had something positive. And so I think football certainly did help in that time. And, you know, I think you can again, this has been a tough year for everybody. I mean, you know, even though Georgia high schools, I'm so proud of you guys and everything went on because it was almost normal in Georgia and it really wasn't in a lot of other places. You know, still, it wasn't a normal year. And, you know, we're hoping that this year can be more normal. We can have a normal spring, summer, fall and get things back to where they — were they have been
Hannah Goodin: You know, state championships gives something for everybody to rally around. Well, your record is 312 to 54. I don't know what the percentage is, but that's pretty good odds. Five state championships across six different high schools; three of those were at Camden County. Something else that stood out to me, you only lost 18 games in those 13 seasons with the Wildcats. What's your timeline to get back down there, start working out with the team and what are your expectations to get back to those winning ways?
Jeff Herron: Well, you know, Hannah, the sad part is I remember a whole lot more about those losses —
Jon Nelson: Spoken like a true coach.
Jeff Herron: You know, you started talking, you said 18. I could name them, just right like that. You know, terrible. But, you know, right now I'm finishing — finishing my commitment here at Tennessee Tech, which, you know, was something I told them up front that, you know, it's not a normal year. We're actually playing games, and getting ready to play again this week. So I felt like I need to finish this commitment now. I spent last week down there because we had an off week this weekend. And, you know, there several guys still on the staff that coach with me. And so I'm actually going to have a Zoom meeting with them tomorrow night. And, you know, we're just going to — gonna make it work. You know, I've got a few more weeks to be here. Certainly I'd like to be there, but I want to be here, too. And I'm torn between that, quite honestly. But, you know, we'll make it work. And I told the principal, you know, the first time I came here, I didn't get there till April. So, you know —
Jon Nelson: it's about right.
Jeff Herron: You know, it’s familiar to me, so, you know, I'm just trying to do everything I possibly can to to honor my commitment to Tennessee Tech, but at the same time, every spare moment I've got, I'm working on something for Camden.
Jon Nelson: I was doing the math while Hannah was asking the question. I think it averages out: 312 and 54, I think, is like at an 83% clip.
Hannah Goodin: I have to get my calculator out.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, real quick, you can check my math, but it's like an 83% clip for winning, like an 83 winning percentage-ish kind of a thing. When it comes to Camden: Once again, you're going to be in one of the toughest regions and I'll say in the country — not just in the state of Georgia, but in the country, because you're going to be there with Tift and with Lowndes and with Colquitt. I mean, as much as things change, it stays the same because it's still the same heavyweights down there in south Georgia. And you're jumping into that — those rivalries all over again.
Jeff Herron: Well, it is. It's a great and, you know, we were, you know, even when we weren't in that region, when I was a kid and some of those years, you know, we would always be playing those things in the playoffs.
Jon Nelson: Right.
Jeff Herron: We just had some great rivalries. I mean, the games we had was loud, totally. We would go to the players and they were some of the best ever for both teams, both sides, both fan bases. And so, you know, I think it's really neat because you can go to a lot of high school games around the metro area and there won't be many people there. You know, if it's raining a little bit, people might not show up. But when you get to Tift or Lowndes or Colquitt, you know it's going to be full, it's going to be crazy, it's going to be a wild atmosphere to play in. You know, as a competitor, you like that. You want it to be important to everybody. So I look forward to that. And, you know, you might not look forward to it when it gets to that rain [LAUGHTER] … might change my mind. But no, I mean, you know, if you come out of that region and get into the playoffs, you know, you got a chance. And, you know, I told our coaches the other day when I met with them, I said, one of the first things we gotta figure out how to do is you got to beat — you got to beat two of those teams so you can get a home playoff game. Because if it can be at home and you're in southeast Georgia and somebody from Atlanta has to come down there like a trip, it gives you a huge advantage.
Jon Nelson: Oh, I did the math to back Hannah up. Sorry, 312 and 54 is an 85% winning percentage — .852 winning clip for — for Jeff in his career. So, I mean, that's — I got to do math on this show, Hannah.
Hannah Goodin: And we got it right. I'm shocked you're within a plus or minus two to three percent. I'm pretty impressed with that. Well, on on those notes, some people call you coach a legend. What does that mean to you? And what are some of the highlights of your career so far?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, legend.
Jeff Herron: First of all, I'm not a legend, you know, but people start saying things like that. It just means you've been coaching a long time.
Hannah Goodin: It means, you have 85% winning percentage.
Jeff Herron: Well, there's been a lot of highlights, things that I really remember. But, you know, as you get older and you start realizing that the wins, the losses, the whatever, they come and go. But the relationships you make with the guys you coach with, the relationships you make with the kids you coach. Yeah, those are the things I remember the most. And I can remember the first state championship I ever won. It was a great feeling that night. Oconee County, we played at home. It was so much fun. But I can remember —
Jon Nelson: That Browning kid at running back.
Jeff Herron: Yeah, that's right, Larry Munson there. But, you know, I remember the next morning that — that, you know, I've stayed up most of the night and, you know, the coaches were out of the house and it was just great evening into the morning. But I remember that morning when I first got by myself. It was almost like an empty feeling. It was like, “Well, OK, you won it. Now, you got to do it again,” you know? So you start thinking about, worrying about the next year. And so I realized way back then that, you know, winning state championships and winning games is not really going to be what satisfies you in this business. And, you know, I like winning. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy that part of it. But again, I think that, you know, when you hear from a guy that you coached and, you know, he tells you you made a difference in his life, those things are just — they’re priceless. And, you know, I don't mean to sound corny or cheesy, but, you know, I do — I remember guys and I remember players and coaches, obviously more than I do any win.
Jon Nelson: Well, Coach, looking forward to having you back on this side of the Tennessee/Georgia border, looking forward to having you in Region 1-AAAAAAA down there with Camden County. Looking forward to seeing you back here in Kingsland when the season starts and when spring football, because as we all know here in the state, there are four seasons. They are not summer, fall, winter and spring. It is football season. It is spring football. It is National Signing Day and it is recruitin’. Those are the four seasons here in the state of Georgia. Looking forward to having you back at Camden County. We'll be catching up with you soon. Thanks for taking time on a busy week as you get ready for a big OVC battle against Murray State. Jeff, thanks for hanging out.
Jeff Herron: No problem. Thank you. Thank you, Hannah. I enjoyed it. And looking forward to seeing you guys.
Hannah Goodin: Great to catch up with, Coach. Like you said, we hope to have all the new faces on each week to introduce them to everybody in the state. So welcome back to Georgia and back to Camden County, coach. That's going to be exciting to follow.
Jon Nelson: Well, and the fact that when I tried to to rope him in as the guest for this week and, you know, he mentioned in the interview that last week he was in Kingsland at Camden County. Literally, I called him on the road and I guess he was studying on whatever device he was because he was in the passenger seat. His wife, Enka, was driving them back from Kingsland to — to Cookeville, Tennessee. And I said, “So where are you right now?” And he says [IMITATING JEFF HERRON] “No, I'm literally somewhere between Camden and Tennessee Tech, literally. I'm right in between.” So —
Hannah Goodin: That was a great impression.
Jon Nelson: — caught him on the road.
Hannah Goodin: You could feel you could have fooled me completely.
Jon Nelson: Well, thank you, Hannah. So that was it was it's good to catch up with Jeff and obviously coming back to Camden County. One of the other things that will be really interesting. He ran Delaware Wing-T, OK, as the offense when he was at Camden the first time. Bob Sphire brought in the spread. I wonder if what Coach Herron is learning at Tennessee Tech is going to be — is it going to be the spread that he's learning at Tennessee Tech that Bob Sphire tried to integrate with Camden? Or are they going to go back to the offense that they had? Or is it going to be somewhere in between, like a hybrid — like a hybrid spread with wing-T type stuff? I think that's going to be one of the more interesting things in the offseason is what's the offense they're going to trot out?
Hannah Goodin: It's got to at least be a hybrid because offenses are spreading that out these days. And you got to kind of keep up with — with the evolution of football offenses. So I think there has got to be some sort of hybrid there, right?
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And I can't wait to see what it looks like. What else is on your rundown?
Hannah Goodin: Well, I guess do they — they play Valdosta?
Jon Nelson: Well, I mean, they're — they're going to be in — I don't know what their nonregion schedule is, because remember that since they're in Kingsland, which is basically Jacksonville, they had to schedule like Jacksonville schools and like Glen Academy and Coffee, I think was was on their schedule last year, plus region play. So it's going to be interesting to see what their schedule is when it comes out. Most schedules should be into the GHSA, by the way, so we should be learning in short order who's going to be going where to do what in 2021. Probably some open dates here and there, but that's what coaches text and go on bulletin boards for.
Hannah Goodin: Yes. And you mentioned it all GHSA football teams had to finalize their schedules and submit them by March 1st. That means the championship dates are also out. So those will be December 9th through 11th. Back to our regular scheduled programing, not a COVID year where the season was delayed and the championships were in late December after Christmas. So 9th through 11th. That's exciting. GPB, our first game is set for Friday, September 10th, a week earlier. Right, Jon. The week after Labor Day, I think a couple of weeks early. We're trying to add some more games to our schedule.
Jon Nelson: Our programing, though, will start August 20th, I believe, with Recruiting 2021 and Countdown to Kickoff. So I think that our programming — programming will start on all of our other platforms in late August with the Football Fridays in Georgia Game of the Week coming after Labor Day.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, Recruiting 2021 is coming back. That show did so well that we will have that back. And of course, Countdown to Kickoff five o'clock on Wednesdays. As we get closer to those dates, we will let you guys know. We will also restart our blogs this month.
Jon Nelson: Yep.
Hannah Goodin: So look for that. OK…
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: …Let's talk Valdosta.
Jon Nelson: OK, well, like I said, you know, right now —
Hannah Goodin: What are the facts, though? Because there are a lot. There are 62 pages of a deposition.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: And you have read all 62 pages twice.
Jon Nelson: Twice.
Hannah Goodin: Give us the Cliff Notes.
Jon Nelson: Well, Cliff Notes version is that the — the Rodemaker family has four separate lawsuits right now against the Board of Education in — the city Board of Education — against the city of Valdosta. And so last week, the board decided in a vote not to settle their lawsuits with the Rodemakers. So those are going forward. And in an offshoot of that, there was some news in the deposition of one of the individuals that came out, the head of the touchdown club, and it alluded to some things involving head coach Rush Propst. And so that's where things are being looked at right now. What the future is, we don't know. And that's why we're just like when we when we see facts come out, we'll let you know what's going on as things develop. We'll keep you posted on that. But it was an offshoot of a deposition in the lawsuit that started the other conversations in and around Rush Propst. And so that's where we are.
Hannah Goodin: So what's next?
Jon Nelson: That's the key. There's some meetings that were held earlier this week and we'll see what the issues that come out of those votes and all those conversations. And then it literally is taking it a step at a time. If it's “if A then B.” It's now a flowchart. If one thing happens, then you go here, what's the counteraction? It's like Newtonian physics comes to high school football. It's like each — each action has an equal and opposite reaction. And so that's where we are right now with Newtonian physics in high school football.
Hannah Goodin: I skimmed the document, did not read. There is some damning evidence if —
Jon Nelson and Hannah Goodin: — if it turns out to be true.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: About Propst recruiting.
Jon Nelson: yeah. And that's true. And that's the thing. Yeah. And like I said right now, that is just in a deposition. And right now that
Hannah Goodin: Guilty until — I mean, it's [LAUGHS] let me back that up.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: Innocent until proven guilty.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: That’s what I meant to say.
Jon Nelson: Right. And so that's where we are right now, is that there have been some things that have been put out there. And when we know more, obviously, we'll follow along and we're going to follow the story along with everybody else.
Hannah Goodin: The anticipation is killing me.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, I know it's — it's — it is a lot to digest. And I would what I would do is I would just ask everyone who wants to follow the story: Don't just get your information from one source.
Hannah Goodin: No. ‘Cause there’s too much, out there.
Jon Nelson: Get your information from a lot of different places, assimilate all the information and make sure that you have all of the information as you're going forward, because, you know, it's there's a lot to be educated on when it comes to this particular case. Don't just don't just go in one direction when you're trying to get all of your facts. Find out as much as you can from as much of — as many different directions as possible.
Hannah Goodin: Thank you, Jon, for the update.
Jon Nelson: No worries. What else is on your rundown? Is that it?
Hannah Goodin: We covered everything.
Jon Nelson: We have, for a month.
Hannah Goodin: We covered — we, we hit all the topics on the, on the rundown. So this was a success.
Jon Nelson: OK.
Hannah Goodin: I think we'll keep this layout going.
Jon Nelson: OK. So then —
Hannah Goodin: Reel Jon in.
Jon Nelson: Yes. So then what that means is we'd like to thank Jeff Herron for being our guest on this month's Football Fridays in Georgia podcast.
Hannah Goodin: And?
Jon Nelson: Yes?
Hannah Goodin: Sean Powers.
Jon Nelson: Yes. And our irreplaceable Sean Powers. Thank you for everything that you do. Every single tie that we sit here in this studio and we drive you crazy with technology and false out cues and things like that every single time.
Hannah Goodin: It's his last podcast with us.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And so —
Hannah Goodin: The irreplaceable Sean Powers!
Jon Nelson: Yes. Is always going to be irreplaceable. That's just how things are. So don't forget to download the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast on all of your favorite social media platforms and on your favorite podcasting platforms as well. Like, friend and be a part of the conversation with GPB Sports. Don't forget, if you haven't liked us on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or YouTube, any and all those places, please do so. So you know the instant that we put something out there in the media, you know that you can get it. So as Hannah's nodding and she's typing feverishly on some kind of device here, I'm just going to go ahead and say —
Hannah Goodin: Go ahead, wrap it for us.
Jon Nelson: I will go ahead and wrap it for us. For Jeff Herron, the new head coach at Camden County who is still currently coaching at Tennessee Tech. For Hannah, for Sean; I'm just Jon. Play it safe, everybody. We'll see you next time. Bye, guys.
Transcript by Khari J. Sampson