Last Friday night my wife and I watched the White County Warriors and North Hall Trojans play a very competitive game. The contest was as good as advertised and the Brickyard was packed.
I spoke with East Hall football coach Bryan Gray on Sunday about what his secret is to rebuilding a program that was near the basement in the state. How do you introduce talking about playoffs into the vocabulary of players that didn't have much experience winning?
You know how you always seem to hear about movies with twist endings before you see them, so that you know to expect something, but you don't know what?
Each week I try and pick out the most interesting game played on Friday night by the Hall County teams.
It was amazing to see the passion that White County's football team played with in its subregion victory against Lumpkin County last Friday. I dug through my memory bank and couldn't recall an instance where a high school team in any sport played with such resiliency under tremendously adverse conditions.
At 2:30 Thursday afternoon, Sterling Bailey paced the floor of the East Hall gym. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior looked, at the same the time, happy, embarrassed, anxious and confident.
Halfway through the season I have no doubt Flowery Branch has the best football team in Hall County.
Region 8-AAA may be one of the most interesting regions in the state to follow down the stretch with so many teams playing at a playoff caliber. Unlike in some year's past in Region 7-AAA, there are more teams that are strong enough to contend for the playoffs than the four postseason spots allow.
It's not yet a full month into the high school football season, and there's still plenty we don't know.