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Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Four Questions with St. Pius coach Paul Standard

GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We'll report from a different head coach each day.

Paul Standard, St. Pius

1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? "The first difference-maker is you have to have players. Now, I am not saying you have to have a team full of college football players (that sure helps!). You have to have young men who are committed to each other and to the team goals. Next, you have to have an administration and school community that values the lessons learned through our great game and provides the resources to hire great teachers/coaches and facilities that give the young men the opportunity to be successful."

2. Which player that you've coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? "We have been blessed to coach so many outstanding young men, so I cannot really point out to just one, but there is a group that will always have a special place in our hearts. That would be our first senior class here at St. Pius X, the class of 2002. They were a group that had not experienced much success and were so willing to do whatever it took to what we called at the time 'Restoring the Pius Tradition.' The tradition that coach George B. Maloof had created during his tenure here at St. Pius X. They were such a close group of young men that took a team that had gone 1-9 the year before and led us to a 5-5 season. I will always remember that they put us on the road to what we now say, 'Continuing the Tradition' here at St. Pius X."

3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you've experienced away from home? "Again, we have been fortunate to play in many outstanding venues over the past 17 years, but the two that stick out in my mind are Thomas County Central and Dalton. Both are great traditional football powers in our state with great community support. In 2006, we had the opportunity to play in both stadiums during the playoffs."

4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? "Well, there are a couple of games that I would like to go back as a coach to fix some mistakes that I may have made as the coach, but I would really like to go back and replay the 1979 'Fish Bowl' my senior year at St. Pius X. We really outplayed Marist that night (Marist would go on to be the state runner-up to Redan), but we fumbled near our goal line in the second quarter, and Marist would kick a field goal and defeat St. Pius X 3-0 in a driving rainstorm."

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