GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We'll report from a different head coach each day.
Sid Fritts, Elbert County
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? "Talent is critical in being successful, but they don't have to be five-star talents. They must have football instincts (situational awareness); they must be fundamentally sound (they must be able to block/tackle); and they have to play hard. I have been to the Kentucky Derby four times and have never seen a mule win it. You can't dismiss the other factors of success - administration, community support and facilities."
2. Which player that you've coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? "I have been blessed being around some great young men after being in the business for 33 years, 28 as a head coach. I have had the pleasure of being associated with five players who have become doctors, four who have become lawyers, and two who have played at one of the service academies. However, without a doubt, the total package has to be Mecole Hardman. He was a five-star football player, but more importantly he was a five-star person. He took as much interest in our special needs children as anyone. We had a student who was in the hospital in Augusta, who at the time didn't look good (she has since made a full recovery). Mecole was at her bedside and I believe helped in her recovery. He was 3.5+ GPA student, and he competed hard in anything he attempted."
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you've experienced away from home? "Without a doubt Calhoun. We played them in the quarterfinals in 2014 and 2015."
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? "Roane County [Tenn.] in 1989. We lost a quarterfinal game 20-17. They had 80-plus players and we had around 30. They went on a four- or five-minute drive late in the game, and I should have called a timeout but felt if I did I was giving up on our kids. When you're young, you let your heart play into decisions that are not in the team's best interest. We were pretty good defensively, but nonetheless they scored with 42 seconds left. We were able to get the ball down inside the 25. Our kicker's range was about 37 yards, and we took one last shot in the end zone that was broken up. It would have been nice to start the drive with a minute or two left."
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