Rich McWhorter, Charlton County
1. What is the most memorable game you’ve been a part of as a player or coach? “Any of the state championship wins. Maybe the first one in ’99 at Lincoln County. We won 20-0 on their field. You remember the game, but also all the people that were involved in the game, the players and the coaches. And then we immediately get bumped to AA. We’re thinking what do you do now? Our whole existence had been Class A. Then came 2004, and we win it in AA. Those two would be the most memorable. Both were on the road. We win at Buford in ’04 and Lincoln County in ’99. I don’t know who else can say that.” [As a matter of fact, Charlton County is the only school to win playoff games of any round at both Buford and Lincoln County, and McWhorter’s teams have done it multiple times at that – winning twice at Lincoln County and three times at Buford.]
2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why? “I’ve gotten to know a lot of coaches, many, many very good ones, more than I’d say poor ones. Just in our area and part of state, I think of guys such as Welton Coffey at Camden County, Mark Walker at Brantley County, Buddy Nobles at Irwin County and one of my former assistants, Jason Strickland at Fitzgerald. The thing I admire so much about them is you can tell it’s about the kids and it comes from the heart. We all want to win and beat the other guy, and these guys are no different, but you can tell what they care about most is the kids, and I really appreciate that. No question if I had a son, I’d want him to play for them. I might even say before me. I’d be too hard on him. That’s why the good Lord gave me two daughters.”
3. What is your pet peeve as a coach or favorite saying/motto? “The first day I got this job, what I believed in was three simple words that meant so much to our program – ‘Expect to win.’ My first day on the job, I made the statement to the players that everything we do, whether it’s in the weight room or classroom or on the practice field, we’re going to be all about expecting to win. We put that on our walls at the school. It really was the only single thing we had for such a long time. And ‘no excuses’ followed that. That’s what we hung our hat on since 1990. And then there was one more. Our chaplain Brother Ray McMillan came up with this one: ‘If you’re going to do it, do it right.’ All three are more than sayings. We use those to answer questions: How are we going to practice today? ‘Expecting to win. No excuses. Do it right.'”
4. Which GHSA policy or high school football rule would you most like to see changed? “One thing I’ve noticed since 2000 is that there’s been so much change. From 1990 to 1999, you had four classifications, and you didn’t see much change. Now, you see huge changes every two years. I would just say keep an eye on people working to get a competitive advantage with all the changes. Anything that gives kids more participation opportunities and promotes the sport, I’m in favor of. I was really in favor of Class A going from 16 to 24 playoff teams. But don’t make changes for competitive advantage.”
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