WAYCROSS — High-school football coaches from around southeast Georgia were at the Historic Rail Head Depot on Saturday to meet with media and fans before teams began practicing.
At the event, which was put on by In The Game High School Sports Magazine, media and fans got to see players from all over and talk to the coaches and ask questions about x’s and o’s and the game in general.
Of course, when people get together and talk football in southeast Georgia, Erk Russell can spring into the conversation at any point.
“It’s kind of (like) Erk Russell said: ‘We may not be that big, but we are going to be scrappy and when you play us, we are going to stay in there and fight until the end. I think that we have seen that as a team during the off-season, and we are starting to see a light at the end of at the end of tunnel,” former Georgia Southern quarterback and current Bradwell Institute head coach Greg Hill said.
Hill scored his own touchdown Saturday as the winner of the drawing among the coaches for a $1,200 grill donated by Lang BBQ Smokers in Nahunta.
But even though the season hasn’t started, the postseason already was on the mind of Bacon County head coach Ken Cofer.
“I’ll tell you, I get tired of seeing these shirts that say ‘Bacon County state playoffs.’ Going to the state playoffs is not enough. We want to not just to get the playoffs, but play for a championship,” Cofer said. “One thing that (I) also want to mention that is just as important as having good players is that our new principal, Ross New, was a football coach for years and is very supportive of the program,”
New spent time as head coach at Bradwell Institute.
One of the youngest players at the event was Brunswick sophomore quarterback Randin Jernagin, who was the Pirates’ starter last season.
“One of the best things that I can say about Randin is that as a freshman, he played all 10 games and that the speed of the game is actually slowing down for him as a sophomore,” said first-year Pirates head coach Larry Harold, who came to Brunswick last fall after the Pirates fired then-head coach Victor Floyd.
Saturday was a time for coaches to give generic clues about the offenses and defenses they would show, and each coach had a chance to see some of the players.
Bradwell Institute, Liberty County High School, Long County, Vidalia, Toombs County High School, Glynn Academy, Brunswick, McIntosh County Academy, Frederica Academy, Bacon County, Ware County, Wayne County, Jeff Davis County, Appling County, Brantley County, Pierce County and Charlton County were all represented at the media event Saturday.
“This was the first year that we have done this event. We had really great turnout today with all of the coaches, players, fans and media,” said Shawn Smoak, publisher of In the Game High School Sports Southeast Edition.