Zach Grage, Thomasville
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “One of my mentors told me when I took my first head coaching job that I better have athletes, money and administrative support to be successful. Experiencing it on my own, the biggest difference-maker is having dudes! It’s easy to make sure a great player just gets on the bus. Next would be administrative support to allow you to surround yourself with great people on your staff. In a close third, the school and community have to have the ability to support the program you choose to run as a head coach.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “I have had the opportunity to coach some phenomenal young men in my short career and could easily name many who I will remember for their character and inspiration. The one who first came to mind was Tyler Brown, who I was fortunate enough to work with in 2009 and 2010 at Colquitt County. Tyler and I were close because I served as his quarterback coach in the fall and pitching coach in the spring. I’m sure I’ll get a phone call about this, but he was the least physically gifted quarterback/pitcher I have worked with, especially at a major program like Colquitt. He made up for this with a tireless work ethic and desire to be the best. Tyler also understood how to maximize his ability. He still holds many school passing records and was a first-team all-region pitcher. He recently graduated from UGA and makes a ton of money working in the financial world in North Carolina.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “Let me go ahead and say that the best atmosphere in the state is at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium here in Thomasville during the Thomasville vs. Thomas County Central rivalry. That being stated, the best atmosphere I ever experienced was in 2010 at The Concrete Palace playing Lowndes. You literally could not hear the person next to you from the crowd noise, and after one of our coaches asked the referees to tell the band to quit playing, they got even louder. We learned a silent count really quick that night in a losing effort.”
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “This one is easy. I wish I could go back and play every high school game I participated in. Like we try to tell the players, there is nothing like high school ball, and most of us would give about anything to go back, especially if we knew then what we know now.”
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