Shannon Jarvis, Mill Creek
1. What is the most memorable game you’ve been a part of as a player or coach? “I have been fortunate in my career to have been a part of many great games, many as a coach and many as a player. In looking back, however, none was greater than the one that cemented my love for football. My first year playing organized football was when I was 9-year-old. My team, the Vikings, had a great season and the result was us playing in the Granite Bowl (Elbert County) for the youth league championship. The Vikings were victorious that day over the mighty Cowboys, and I still remember vividly plays from that game. More than just the experience of winning a championship, though, was the experience of playing in our hometown stadium for the first time. The Granite Bowl is a special high school stadium that, looking back, played a huge role in my career and love for football. None of the great games and memories I have fortunately been a part of in my career would have ever happened if not for getting that experience as a 9-year-old boy in the Granite Bowl.”
2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why? “‘There are so many head coaches in Gwinnett County that I have become very good friends with over the years that it would be hard to pick one over the others. The one coach that had such an impact on me as both a player and a mentor was coach T. McFerrin. He is unquestionably the greatest influence I have had in the game of football, and if I had a son (I have two daughters), he is without question the one I would want him to play for. Coach T’s record speaks for itself in regards to ability to coach. What is not listed in his records, though, is that he is a great man that cared deeply about his players. Many coaches speak about high character and morals to their players, but Coach T modeled it day in and day out. I was blessed to have played for him in high school [at Elbert County] and then start my career coaching on his staff [at South Gwinnett].”
3. What is your pet peeve as a coach or favorite saying/motto? “I love the quote by Billy Graham: ‘When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.’ In today’s society, I think it is important for both adults and children to be reminded that doing right takes bold leadership. We oftentimes get swayed by popular opinion, but when one person is willing to stand out for what is right, it is ironic how quickly people will follow their lead. Oftentimes it can sometimes be as simple as one player taking a stand that can influence an entire team both on the field and off.”
4. Which GHSA policy or high school football rule would you most like to see changed? “This is the toughest of all questions. I don’t envy the job the GHSA has because of the complexity of our state in high school athletics. I have no idea if this is doable, but I would like for the state to somehow assign officials associations based on regions (or classification) and not just home teams. This would mean your region games would have one association that did all the games. This is similar to college, where each conference has assigned officials. I think this would help in the consistency of the way the games are called as the officials would work within the region and become more familiar with the teams. I have personally heard three different rulings on chop-blocking this year from various associations as it changes week to week whether we are playing at home with our assigned association or on the road with other associations. Again, I have no idea if this is doable logistically, but I think it would help everyone involved.”
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