One of the perks of my job as a sports writer is to catch so many moments on the athletic fields in the moment. It helps put things into proper context and perspective. I've seen the thrill of victory through the eyes of those on the team, and agony of defeat unfiltered. Then, there's the moments that simply go under the category of 'did that really just happen'?
First let's get this cleared up: games are not won and lost by one player. Football's just not that kind of sport. For any measure of success, 11 separate pieces must form one cohesive force.
Gainesville-North Hall doesn't have many things typically associated with great rivalries.
I am going to make a couple of coaching observations I have been thinking about for a while.
Truly, the one and only game that captures my attention on the high school football calendar is upon us this week: Gainesville vs. North Hall. With the high school season and college season overlapping, most of my attention during the fall is centered exclusively around the University of Georgia's game for the weekend, and if possible, seeing kids locally on the high school field that the Bulldogs are targeting.
After a three-year stretch in which it nearly choked the competitive life out of high school football in Northeast Georgia, the era of the blowout has ended.
At the end of week 2, we still have three undefeated teams in Hall County: Flowery Branch, which has been impressive in pitching two shutouts; West Hall which is coming off a winless season; and North Hall, which beat a very good Jefferson team last Friday and faces perennial power St. Pius X on Friday at the Brickyard.
One of the good things about high school football, is that coaches can plug in athletes - regardless of size - into unconventional positions.
It's going to get easier. Repeat after me.