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Football: Christmas leads Trojans to Dome

Coach of the Year

POSTED: January 3, 2008 5:02 a.m.
North Hall football coach Bob Christmas got the Trojans over the hump this season.

The Trojans (13-1) made their first appearance in the Class AAA state semifinals — a welcomed change of pace after the school’s first two appearances in the state quarterfinals in 2004 and 2006 yielded less favorable results.

But something other than the Region 7-AAA championship and a trip to the semifinals linger most in his mind about this year’s team.

He is awed by the fact that the Trojans were able to string together 13 consecutive wins. It’s only the second time in his 33-year coaching career to have that many consecutive wins in a single season.

"I knew we would be able to have a good team this season," Christmas said. "But it became a reality when I looked back at the fact that we won 13 games in a row.

"I’ve been doing this for 33 years, and I know how hard that is for a team to do."

For his efforts, Christmas has been named The Times 2007 Football Coach of the Year.

The Trojans seventh-year coach credits his team’s accomplishments to a senior class that shattered most records in school history. North Hall’s seniors finished with 42 wins, three Region 7-AAA titles and three trips to the state quarterfinals.

North Hall also set a new school record finishing with 603 points in 2007 and, on two separate occasions, broke the record for points in a single game.

"We had good athletes in this senior class, but it was special because of their total unselfishness and willingness to be leaders." Christmas said. "They would come to practice every day and give 100 percent.

"I hope we can have another senior class as good as this one was."

The reward for making it to the semifinals was the opportunity to play in front of thousands of supporters at the Georgia Dome. North Hall’s fans had the lower level almost completely filled on its side of the stadium, according to Christmas.

The Trojans didn’t get the win they wanted to make it to the state championship game, but Christmas still remembers walking off the field after the game and getting a standing ovation from the North Hall fans.

"When they gave us a standing ovation when we left the stadium it made such a statement about how loyal our fans are," Christmas said. "The community and our school really rallies around this team.

"It was just a fantastic season."

Christmas’ mark at North Hall is undeniable. In the past six years under Christmas, the Trojans have a 59-13 record and have made the playoffs in five of those six seasons.

But North Hall’s coach insists it isn’t a one-man show. He credits the entire coaching staff, school administration, players, parents and alumni for the Trojans’ sustained level of success.

"It’s a team effort," Christmas said.

The success of North Hall’s football program is certainly a motivator for next year’s team, which returns only a handfull of starters from this season. But the cupboard isn’t bare. The Trojans have played each of the last two seasons without losing a junior varsity game.

Only time will tell if that success will carry over.



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