There are just 37 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2018 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 couple of weeks 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 two weeks, 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)...
The Tigers posted their first 10-win season since 2014 but probably feel like they should have had more after a last-minute, 26-23 loss to Irwin County (state semifinalist) in the quarterfinals of the Class A Public playoffs in 2018.
Coach Michael Brown has another solid group returning with loads of experience but can they navigate another tough schedule in 2019?
QUESTION: Coach, y’all are coming off your first 10-win season since 2014 and another strong playoff run. Can this group build off that with another brutal schedule in Region 8-A?
ANSWER: Our schedule this year is the toughest in recent memory. In addition to three very talented non-region opponents, Region 8-A is stacked again this year with top notch teams, many of whom have several D-I players on their roster. For us, we have always focused on getting (Commerce) better on a daily basis and controlling what we can control, especially in the area of game preparation. That is really the only goal we talk about in terms of the season.
Q: The linebacking group lost some tremendous players from last year. Who do you see filling some of that void in 2019?
A: We have several candidates at inside linebacker including Hunter Nunn, Andrew Duncan, Grey Holbrook, Josh Frates, and Sam Roach. At outside linebacker, Elijah Burns, Jake Frates, Jace Veal, and Jaylon Haralson are all competing for starting positions.