Brad Gordon, Mount Zion (Carroll)
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “Coaches have to have good players. It takes the Jimmys and Joes to go with the X’s and O’s. But I’ve told our staff that it takes an army to get where we are. We couldn’t be here without administration, community support and good coaches. It takes it all.” [Mount Zion is in the semifinals for the first time in its football history, which dates to 1956. Gordon also was asked the secret to the school’s more recent success that started in 2012, when Gordon came as defensive coordinator with new head coach Keith Holloway, who retired after last season. When they arrived, Mount Zion had lost 20 consecutive games. Gordon’s response: “I would say timing. When we came in, we got a new high school and a new stadium and as I like to say a new attitude. We had great coaches here before, but we happened to be coming in at the right time.”]
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “There’s been several over the years, but I’d have to say a kid in South Carolina that I coached named Justin Scott. He came to us with nothing. He was from a small family and a small community. That kid worked his tail off to become our Mike linebacker and led our team in tackles as a junior and senior. We got him in Tusculum College [in Greenville, Tenn.] and he ended up leading the conference in tackles as a senior. Now he’s back coaching [as defensive coordinator] where we were in Timberland, S.C. That’s nice to see someone come back full circle to his community and be able to do for others what we did for him.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “I would still say two years ago when we showed up at Lincoln County. For anybody who knows high school football, that’s still a special place, and we were able to pull the upset.” [Mount Zion won 10-7 in the Class A first round.]
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “I’d say my last one that I ever played. You never forget your last one. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the playoffs, but we were lucky enough to win the last one. Just to be on that field for Friday night lights one more time – that’s the reason we coach because can’t still play. [Gordon played at Central of Carroll County. Central beat Gordon Central 26-20 in that 1991 game.]
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