Terry Crowder, Creekview
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “I would have to say talent, coaching and administration are all equally important in winning. Hard to not have one of those ingredients. Talent is essential, but I have seen very good players not play well. I learned early I could not do it by myself, so I surrounded myself with good coaches. If the administration does not want to do the things to help you, like scheduling for players and coaches, then that makes it hard as well.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “I had a young man at Tucker High School who was about 5-6 and 115 pounds, never once entered into a game. One day at practice in a tackling drill, he lined up on Patrick Pass, one the best players I have ever coached. [Pass went on to play at Georgia and in the NFL.] Patrick looked at me and smiled. This young man grabbed a leg (that was as big as he was) and pulled him down. I told him that one day he could say he tackled Patrick Pass. Several years later, Pass returned the opening kick of the Super Bowl and was tackled, and of course I was thrilled, but my phone rang. On the other end, I heard a young man say, ‘I have tackled that guy.'”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “The 2003 state championship game at Valdosta was unreal. It was the last game played in that stadium and the first championship for Camden County. Opened the gates at 6 p.m., and people literally were running to get to their seats. On the visitor side that is.”
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “In 1997, I was at Burke County when we played Thomas County Central for the state championship at their place. Literally after breaking down 14 game films, I had not seen them punt. They were playing for their fifth championship of the ’90s. They were an awesome football team. I have to admit I did not think we could slow them down. Our kids thought differently. We lost 21-19. I wish I had gone down there with the same mindset as the kids. Fortunately, I learned from that, and it has helped in the other two championship games I have been involved in.” [Crowder was the defensive coordinator for Camden County in 2003 and head coach for Chattahoochee in 2010 during state-championship seasons.]
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