Andy Scott, Kennesaw Mountain
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “No question the biggest difference-maker is players. If you have good players, you have a chance. If you don’t, it does not matter how good you are as a coach. Second, I would have to say support from all parties involved in your success – administration, teachers, TD Club, community. When I was a Perry, we beat a well-coached LaGrange team in the second round of the playoffs in 2007. I will never forget talking to Steve Pardue after the game and all his fans and parents were coming up telling him, ‘Coach, great job, don’t worry about it, we will get them next year,’ and ‘Appreciate you coach!’ Just how those fans really appreciated the work and time that those coaches spent coaching their boys. Thirdly, I would say money. If you have it then you can focus completely on the task of coaching and developing players, but if you are constantly struggling to make ends meet, then you have no chance. You look at all the winning programs currently in the state, and they do not want for anything money-wise. Colquitt County, Lowndes, Buford, Cartersville, I could go on and on.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “I have been very spoiled as a coach to coach a ton of high-character and inspirational players in my career. But in all honesty the one that stands out the most was my own son. Being a coach and having to move so much, it was difficult for anyone to see him go to five different schools in five years as we moved to Kennesaw Mountain. Just to know the work and film study he did away from everyone and how hard he played on Friday nights. There is nothing greater than coaching your own son. Lee Chomskis from Vidalia told me one time at an FCA camp how important that bond could be and how I should coach my son as hard as I could on the field and then be his Dad away from the field. As hard as it was, I will be his Dad for the rest of his life, and that was something that Lee told me I will never forget.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “Having won in places like the House of Pain in Washington County and Peach County, those are pretty special places. You take any school in Region 1 and it’s pretty intense – Colquitt County, Valdosta, Lowndes, Tifton, Coffee, Ware County. The night we lost to North Hall was a rocking place as well [North Hall beat Perry in the 2007 quarterfinals]. Bob Christmas had a run there that was really special.”
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “The one that plays over and over for me is the night we lost to North Hall on a missed field goal in 2007. Our kicker at Perry, Bill Freeman, had made a field goal earlier in the game from 42 easily. It was one of those last-minute-of-the-game situations that you work so much for. We had a tremendous QB in Casey Hayward and so many skill kids offensively, we really wanted to throw the ball one more time, but felt like time would run out. So we kicked the field goal, and bless his heart, Bill missed. We lost 12-10, and I have not watched that game since. So many missed opportunities on both sides of the ball. We should have won, but you cannot turn the ball over and give up big plays and expect to win. To have it come down to a missed field goal is always bad. Everybody always blames it on the kicker and nobody sees the other mistakes that led up to such a crucial point at the end of the game.”
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.