There are just 21 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 Indians are the smallest public school in the state. But that did not stop them from seeing a 25 percent increase in the roster heading into the 2020 season. However, with a roster still below 30, they will always have depth issues.
Coach Jason Roquemore said things are positively moving ahead as he enters his second season.
We caught up with ‘Coach Roq’ to see where the Indians stand heading into the fall practice session.
QUESTION: Coach, your program saw an uptick in the number of players going into your second season. What is the state of the program moving forward in terms of interest and enthusiasm?
ANSWER: I believe numbers, interest and enthusiasm are directly related to the culture and the day-to-day expectations you have for your players in your program. Players want to experience positive, contagious things. There are several opportunities daily I have as a coach to coach 'more than just football.' It is these opportunities that shape our culture for our program. Don't get me wrong, everyone wants to win football games, but at the end of the day if that is your only purpose, I believe it's hard to sustain long term success. I tell our kids all the time, "The score board will never define us as men." Our peace as a program has to be found in the process and not just the end result.
QUESTION: The offense last year really struggled in a tough Region 8-A. The new region figures to be just as tough but you had a key move-in and have been moving some parts around on the offense. Do you feel that unit is ready to have a breakout season in 2020?
ANSWER: Last year, we struggled at times in all three phases. Some of that was due to the tough region schedule and a lot can be contributed to the "lack of grass time" most of our players had. We were a young football team. However, that being said, I do believe our kids got better each week. Looking forward to this fall, I believe we have a very talented group of skill kids that have a chance to be special. I think we have several skill kids that can win individual matchups. We are no longer an offense where you only have to account for one or two players. That in itself will make us so much more diverse and explosive on that side of the ball.