There are just 25 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 past few days, AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night presented responses from coaches throughout northeast Georgia. This is the last day of Two-of-Days, with another article set for this afternoon. (Teams ran in alphabetical order)...
The Warriors experienced a change at the head coaching position this offseason, as Bill Ballard stepped aside following six seasons and three state playoff appearances. White County tapped former Greater Atlanta Christian and Colquitt County head coach Tim Cokely to step in -- he had been coaching at Leon, Florida. And now Cokely will look to get his Warriors back on track after two tough seasons that saw White County go 4-16. The new coach says his team has plenty of ability and athleticism, and he likes what he's seen in Cleveland so far this offseason...
QUESTION: The last two seasons were disappointing for White County football. From what you've seen this summer, how quickly do you think your program can turn things back around?
ANSWER: It's a process. I never talk about winning and losing, really. I think that's something that just follows doing things the right way. Certainly our team is not depleted. We have guys and athletes in places where you need them. We don't have a returning quarterback, so (senior) Jordan Palmer and (freshman) J. Ben Griffen are going to be competing for that spot that have never played varsity football. But teams have won in that situation before. I really like the way we are going through the process. I think we're going to have a great season, and the goal is to win the region championship.
Q: In the hustle and bustle of the high school sports season and your hiring, we never got a chance to talk, so tell me about the styles of offense and defense you're implementing in Cleveland.
A: I'm an old two-back guy from way back, and then we kind of morphed into running one-back, and then I got suckered into running the spread. So that's kind of where we are. I like spreading them out. It doesn't mean we throw, it just means it makes it easier for our players on the perimeter to identify who they have in the run scheme. So we'll spread it out offensively. Defensively we're an odd front team, 3-4, 5-2 type team, with good players in the positions that we need to be successful.
- Previously in Two-a-Days: WEST HALL
- Up Next in Two-a-Days: WINDER-BARROW