Lee Belknap, McIntosh
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “We believe you must have three ingredients in place to have a successful football program: 1. Supportive administration. 2. Quality coaches. 3. An established feeder program. Good players can help, too!”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “When I was an assistant at Starr’s Mill, I had a free safety named Andrew Morrison. Andrew was a great student, a hard worker and a fine football player. More importantly he was the oldest son and a model big brother to his two younger brothers. During his high school years, his mother was very ill with cancer. Andrew’s dad was a fine man and had his plate full as bread-winner, husband, father and caregiver to his bride. It was inspiring to see Andrew bring his siblings with him to weight training, practice, etc., and help his family out. He was mature beyond his years and a champion of the heart. Andrew is now married, a father, and works as an air traffic controller out west. I only hope I inspired him half as much as he inspired me!”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “I attended a semifinal Mary Persons vs. Washington County game in the late ’90s. I believe coach Dan Pitts had the opportunity to become No. 1 on the all-time win list with a victory that night. The entire stadium was full by 5 p.m. The stadium was so full fans had climbed 50-foot pine trees in the end zone to watch the game. It was electric! Two great teams and one great night for high school football!” [Pitts’ Mary Persons teams played Washington County in the quarterfinals or later three times from 1993 to 1997. Washington County won two of three.]
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “We lost to Fayette County High School in 2009 on a last-second ‘Hail Mary.’ It bothers me to this day. It was as bad as a death in the family.”
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