Stanley Pritchett, Arabia Mountain
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “No. 1 – You must have talented players that are willing to buy into the program both academically and on the field. No. 2 – Coaching. As a head coach, you must hire quality guys that are teachers first and that are invested in seeing the young men in the program succeed not only on the field but in life as men, fathers and husbands one day. No. 3 – Administrative support. All coaches must have administrators that want the best for the student-athletes and want the program to be successful.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “The most memorable player that I coached was Jakobi Meyers. Jakobi is now a starting wide receiver at N.C. State. He was a kid that when I first got to Arabia Mountain, he hadn’t played much football. He was a baseball guy, but our starting QB was hurt midseason and Jakobi came in and led us on a five-game win streak to end the season and to lead Arabia Mountain to its first winning record in school history. Jakobi was a very hard worker in the classroom and on the field, maybe the most talented player I’ve coached because he could play many different positions, multiple sports, and he still maintained a 3.5 GPA.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “The best atmosphere for a high school game I’ve witnessed was the 2015 Mays vs. Northside-Warner Robins championship game at the Georgia Dome. I’m an Atlanta Public Schools product, and to see the crowd that turned out for that game was amazing. We thought Mays was going to bring the championship back to the city for the first time since the 1970s, but it wasn’t meant to be, but it was an outstanding game and atmosphere.”
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “As a coach, last year’s second-round game versus Griffin. We lost in OT. It came down to the last play on the 4-yard line and the defender barely tipped the ball and we didn’t catch it. I thought that team had a shot to make some noise, but that game still bites at me because I feel we should’ve won the game. As a player, my last game playing for the Atlanta Falcons in 2004. I broke my thumb when it hit the face mask of Julius Peppers in the last regular-season game. I didn’t get a chance to play in the playoffs as that ended up being the last game that I would play in my career.” [The Falcons advanced to the NFC championship game that season and lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.]
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