Terry Jones, South Cobb
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “The difference in winning and losing comes down to three important elements: Having players that have the common goal of the team first, the ability to hire great coaches, and school support. Having talented kids is a great asset, but if they cannot play together as a TEAM, then talent means nothing. Talent can only take a program so far. Secondly, the ability to hire committed and capable coaches is important. Having good assistants is an invaluable asset that allows a head coach to hand over the football while handling other duties and not have to micromanage every aspect of the team. Thirdly, having the support and backing of the administration, parents and the community. These are the people that will help out with the program needs and support the staff in success.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “Caylin Newton, my quarterback at Grady and now the starting quarterback at Howard University, is one of the more memorable players that showed great character and inspiration. When Grady went through transition a few years back, he and his class, as sophomores, put it on their shoulders to bring the swagger back to Grady, and Caylin was a clear leader. I have never seen a kid with so much noise around him keep a smile on his face and a positive attitude through all of the ups and down we faced during our three years there. When I got to Grady, he inspired me to be a better coach because he didn’t want his team to fail regardless of what he had to do to help us win. He would do anything, run, throw passes and put his body into some key blocks. He led our sideline and crowd in chants to boost team morale. He is a one-of-a-kind player, and I was blessed to be a part of his career.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “Northside-Warner Robins and McConnell-Talbert Stadium was probably the best so far. I have visited this place two or three times while coaching at Tucker High School, and every single time the crowd was electric. The visiting side had a pretty good showing as well.”
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “2016, Grady vs. Woodland-Stockbridge. That team had all the elements of a state champion. We played a good game, but we, as a team and as a coaching staff, didn’t execute very well down the stretch. The players on that team deserved more than what they finished with, and we couldn’t deliver.”
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