Benji Harrison is learning the ropes of what it takes to be a head coach. Harrison, the first-year football coach at Jackson County High, understands that being the man in charge is just as much organizational leadership as it is designing a winning gameday strategy.
Jefferson High coach T. McFerrin isn't making any promises past this season. Entering his 40th season as a high school coach, and fourth since coming out of retirement in 2009 with the Dragons, he's operating on a year-by-year basis at this point in his career that spans six decades.
New Johnson High football coach Jason Roquemore loves what he does.
In 2011, East Hall football coach Bryan Gray had his most successful season at the school.
For six years, Stan Luttrell has led the Chestatee football team. In his first year as coach of the team, he took the War Eagles to the state playoffs, and, while he hasn't returned since, he's optimistic about the direction in which the program is headed.
In 2011, Jess Simpson coached one of the more talented Buford football teams in recent memory to a 14-0 start and an appearance in its fifth straight state championship game.
Johnson High has ended its brief search for a new football coach.
Gainesville High coach Bruce Miller may be entering his 40th season this fall, but he doesn't plan to call it quits any time soon. That should be a relief to fans as the Red Elephants make the jump up two levels to Class AAAAA in 2012.
Commerce football coach Marvin Justice may be entering just his second season at the helm, but he already has a wealth of knowledge and experience that has led him to this point.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Flowery Branch football coach Chris Griffin is not taking the easy route.
Banks County football coach Philip Jones enjoyed plenty of success in 2011, his first season at the helm of a high school football program.
Riverside Military Academy amed Gary Downs as its new head football coach Monday. Downs began his high school coaching career at Riverside in 2003 when he served as running back coach.
From the Atlantic Coastal Conference to the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference and everywhere in between, 26 local football players signed letters of intent with colleges big and small Wednesday on National Signing Day. It was the first day that football recruits could officially commit to a college.
Imani Cross sat on the couch in North Hall football coach Bob Christmas' office. He leaned back against the seat and clasped his hands in his lap.
Though he can't make it official for another two years, Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson made his intentions known Wednesday when he verbally pledged to accept a scholarship offer from Clemson University.
ACWORTH - Gainesville was in it to the very end.
JEFFERSON - The Jefferson Dragons' run at a second state championship in three seasons ended Friday night at Jefferson Memorial Stadium.
BUFORD - Determination helped Joshua Thomas and Buford take control Friday night and punch the Wolves' ticket into the state semifinals for an eighth consecutive season.
COMMERCE - It wasn't a win for the highlight reel, but Commerce coach Michael Brown will take it.
BUFORD - For Evyn Cooper, it was all about being the next man up.
HAMILTON – Mikey Gonzalez has carved out his own legacy for Gainesville. His year as the Red Elephants' signal-caller will be remembered for winning huge games with clutch performances.
JEFFERSON - The No. 1-seed Jefferson Dragons put together another dominant performance in the Class AAA state playoffs Friday night at Memorial Stadium, ousting the No. 3-seeded Dodge County Indians, 27-7.
COMMERCE - Once Will Thomas found running room, there was no stopping him.
Tapped out of energy from a three-hour slugfest and numb from freezing temperatures most of the night, Gainesville's players were still able to celebrate following Friday's playoff opener against Creekview.
Elbert County bested Lumpkin County 28-18 in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs on Friday night in Dahlonega.
BUFORD - Sixteen different players carried the ball as top-ranked Buford racked up 423 rushing yards on 36 carries to defeat Southeast Whitfield 63-0 in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs on Friday at Tom Riden Stadium.
HARTWELL - Bryan Gray looked over his team of quiet, disappointed East Hall Vikings and gave them a simple message following their 42-14 loss at Hart County.
The running of Kwon Williams and Tyquan Statham was a perfect analogy for the West Hall football team's mentality on Friday night. Quite simply, the Spartans refused to go down without a fight.
JEFFERSON - With freezing temperatures, it took a little time for the Jefferson Dragons' offense to warm up offensively during its Class AAA state playoff opener against the Franklin County Lions.
Model beat Union County 50-36 in the Class AA state playoff opener Friday in Blairsville.