David Bishop, North Hall
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “I believe there is no No. 1. It takes a mixture of everything – talent, coaching, chemistry, administration and community to win on Friday nights in Georgia. There are plenty of teams that have one or two of these and have a little success, but it is the teams that have all of it that are consistent.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “One of the things I have learned in my 25 years of coaching is never count a kid out when he is a freshman. Some kids just go through metamorphic changes. One such player was Josh Parrish, a player who just graduated from North Hall last year. He was without a doubt the slowest and weakest kid on the team as a freshman and could not find his way on the JV field in any capacity. As a senior, he was the fastest kid on the team, good strength and athleticism. He earned our Pride of The Trojans Award, which is given to the kid who exemplifies everything you want in your players – grades, work ethic, community service, etc. Josh is now a freshman at UGA, a manager for the football team and a kid who will one day make a big impact in the community he will live and grow his family in.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “Having coached in Region 1 for several years, the best atmosphere had to be in Valdosta. Playing the Wildcats at home was something that is different. The players coming out pounding the metal roof, the fans and the tradition were things I remember the most from playing away from home.” [Bishop was an assistant at Bainbridge under Bob Christmas from 1997 to 2000 before the two came to North Hall in 2001.]
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “I would have to say my second season as head coach vs. Stephens County. They opened the game with an 80-yard scoring drive and finished the game with 108 total yards. We had just under 400 yards. We missed two close-range field goals and one extra point and were inside their 10-yard line on four different occasions. We lost the game 14-13. The season before, we were 2-8, the worst in the past 13 years. It was a difficult game in many ways; obviously the loss, but after the previous season, there were doubts if I could run the program after a 13-year run of success under my former head coach and close friend Bob Christmas. Our kids used that loss as a rallying point, and we finished the season third in the region, behind Buford and, yes, Stephens County.”
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