There are just 26 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2017 high school football season. But make no mistake, preparations for the upcoming campaign got underway months ago in weight rooms, sand pits and practice fields throughout the state. And teams throughout northeast Georgia are in full countdown mode.
With that in mind we spent the last few days catching up with programs around our area to get a feel for how spring practice went, how the summer is going and what coaches believe the fall will look like. We call the series "Two-a-Days" in honor of those old-school grinding sessions that lead us out of summer and into fall, asking each area coach two key questions about the state of their respective programs.
Over the next few days, AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night will get you prepped for the start of gridiron action with responses from coaches throughout northeast Georgia. (Teams run in alphabetical order)...
West Hall coach Tony Lotti has constantly told everyone they have been building for the long-haul. The future met the present in 2016 for the Spartans with their first-ever road playoff win against Troup County. Now, Lotti and his staff will see if their long-term plan has taken root as the Spartans try to overcome a slew of key losses across the board to graduation. Lotti said the success of the 2017 season is in the kids’ hands.
QUESTION: Coach, with all the losses from last year, will this be more of a reloading or rebuilding season?
ANSWER: That’s a good question. I guess we’ll find out. Whether it’s a rebuild or a reload so to speak is up to the senior class. We’re going to need them to really step up for us because overall we’re going to be a very young team. I can say that they have been working extremely hard. They know they have some big expectations to meet coming off of last year. But, that’s the way life is every year.
Q: How are the new fieldhouse and other changes in rebranding West Hall football affecting the perception of the program? And, how are those changes coming along?
A: The fieldhouse is coming along great. The target to have it finished was August 1 and it’s going to be close. The rainy period we had set things back a little but it’s getting closer every day. As for a rebranding of the program, this is huge for us. Our goal is to be competitive on the field every season no matter what region we’re in or who we play. I think we took a huge step last year and we hope this project will let people see that when they come to the campus. We’re just very thankful for (the Board of Education) approving this project for us. We’re hoping that the perception of who we are at West Hall is that we’re a good bunch of people who play by the rules and play hard.