Mark Farriba, Stratford Academy
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “I think it starts with the head coach and the culture he establishes for the program. He has to have full support from the top of the administration and booster groups (parents). After that, it is a matter of getting and keeping the right kind of guys, coaches and players that believe in the cultural values of the program. There is no question that talent is important, but I don’t believe that talent alone is enough.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “I have coached basically my whole career in Class A schools. It would be impossible to single out one guy that fits this description because these types of guys are who make up our team most every year. I have a senior player right now who is 5-10, 157 pounds. He starts at outside linebacker and offensive guard. He is an OKG (our kinda guy). They play hard, they study hard, and they love their coaches, their teammates, and they are ‘Front of the Jersey’ guys.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “The best atmosphere I’ve experienced for a high school game away from our home field was the 2004 GISA AAA state championship game between Stratford and First Presbyterian Day at FPD.” [Stratford defeated First Presbyterian 35-34 in overtime. The schools are less than a mile apart as the eagle flies in Macon.]
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “I know that most all of us would like to go back and change a game or a play that didn’t go the way we had hoped. But I believe we are the sum of all our experiences, and each part plays a significant role in who we are today. I read this quote one time and it really stuck with me: ‘Regrets over yesterday and fears of tomorrow are twin thieves that rob us of today.'”
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.