There are just 24 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2020 high school football season. But make no mistake, despite the COVID-19 outbreak, swirling uncertainty since April, and the cancelation of spring practice, preparations for the upcoming campaign have been underway throughout the state since early June. 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 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 Knights probably more than any other program in northeast Georgia faced the toughest challenge heading into the 2020 season as new coach William Harrell and his staff were not able to join, much less evaluate, the Knights roster until the summer due to the coronavirus restrictions.
They also faced having to develop a young roster due to graduation. We asked Harrell how things are going now that they have finally been able to meet in-person as a group and get the season officially underway.
QUESTION: Coach, now that you have finally been able to join your team, what has been the biggest positive factor you have encountered about your new program?
ANSWER: The biggest positive factor that our staff has encountered has been the effort of our players. They go as hard as they can on everything we put in front of them, and it has been very encouraging to have even your best players have the same attitude as your young developmental guys.
Q: You already were facing the prospects of a young roster no matter the outside issues you faced when taking over. However, are there some young guys that you feel can make big impacts in 2020 for the Knights?
A: We definitely will be counting on quite a few young guys to be forced to play earlier than we may typically like. I'm not sure yet if any of them will break out this year, since the bullets haven't started flying yet, in terms of hitting with pads. I will be able to give a better answer as we approach our scrimmage.