Woodland coach Antonio Andrews

Class AAAAA football blog: Woodland turns to ex-Griffin coach Andrews

Antonio Andrews has been part of winning football programs for most of his life. Now he wants to bring that success to Woodland, a Stockbridge school that some view as the next sleeping giant in Henry County.

Andrews inherits a program that has had only four winning seasons, three of those when Steve Davenport coached the team from 2014-16. The best was a 10-3 mark in 2016, after which Davenport pulled up stakes and headed to South Gwinnett.

The last two seasons Woodland has put together back-to-back 3-7 seasons. 

Andrews, who officially took over the program on April 8, sees a lot of potential – one that could join fellow Henry County schools Stockbridge and Dutchtown as area stalwarts.

“We’ve got a bunch of kids who are eager to learn,” Andrews said. “I’m eager to start the process and I’m excited about the opportunity at Woodland High School.”

Andrews plans to bring his old playbook with him from Griffin. Woodland will run a spread offense and field an aggressive defense built around a 4-3 scheme.

“We’re going to spread the ball out, get in space and find the other team’s weakness,” he said. “We’ll be a run-stop first defense. We’re going to make you throw the ball and we’re going to swam.”

Andrews will have a blank canvas with which to work. There were 25 seniors who graduated from last year’s squad. With so much youth and inexperience, along with the new system, there are plenty of opportunities to develop this spring. 

One of the biggest jobs will be to identify a quarterback. Andrews said there are three young prospects there. He’s also got to find some skill position players and fortify the linemen.

“This spring is for evaluation,” he said. “We’re going to evaluate players and get stronger.”

That’s the other part. Andrews is a big believer in a weight program. 

“Getting bigger, faster and stronger, that’s my whole philosophy,” he said. “It will take some time, but that’s my focus.”

Andrews and Griffin had a parting of the ways in February. Andrews said the split was because of lack of support. His teams were 28-8 and reached the playoffs each year. The 2016 team was 11-2 lost to Stockbridge in the state quarterfinals. Last year’s team lost to Dutchtown in the second round of the playoffs.

“I figured out without the support from the administration, it’s hard to get by,” Andrews said. “Our team GPA was higher than ever, we had 27 kids playing college football. All of that doesn’t matter if you don’t’ have the support.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author