Four Questions with Ridgeland coach Wesley Tankersley

GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We’ll report from a different head coach each day.

Wesley Tankersley, Ridgeland

1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “The biggest difference-maker for me is administration of the school and the school system. If the coaching staff and the administration are working to implement the same plan, then a program can be successful. Now, success may be different depending on your level of talent, but I do believe that with the coaching staff and administration working together, every program can succeed.”

2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “I had a kid at Gilmer named Nathan Kelly that really worked his tail off. He wasn’t super talented on the football field but worked hard enough to be a very productive member of our team. His mother died of cancer while he was in high school, and he still was a very positive person and hard worker. He had to work for everything he got on and off the field. While playing football, he worked at Chick-fil-A and kept that job throughout college to help pay his way through and pay for the things he needed. Nathan graduated from the University of North Georgia in May and began physical therapy school at Georgia State University in June. Because of his hard work, Dan Cathy just awarded him with a $25,000 True Inspiration Scholarship to help him pay for his continued education in physical therapy. It is good to see a young man’s hard work, positive attitude and perseverance pay off.”

3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “Dalton is always a fun place to play.”

4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “2006 was my second year coaching at Central Gwinnett as DB coach, and we had a really good football team. We had beaten some very good teams like Lowndes, Warner Robins and Parkview. I still feel like we had a very good chance at playing for a state championship. We lost in the first round of the playoffs to Campbell after moving the ball up and down the field all night but we just kept turning the ball over. I think we fumbled it twice on the goal line going in to the end zone to score. That was a game you would like to have back because of all the talent we had on the field.”

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