Time to look at some of the teams that will be joining Class A in the fall. First up is B.E.S.T. Academy, which is dropping down from Class AA. B.E.S.T., which stands for Business, Engineering, Science and Technology, is perhaps one of the most intriguing programs in the classification.
Unlike most public schools in Class A, B.E.S.T. is an inner-city school, located near downtown Atlanta. Joshua Moore is the head football coach and athletic director at the school, which began with a sixth-grade class in 2007. He spoke to the Class A Blog about the Eagle program.
How would you describe your school to folks in Class A who are not familiar with your program?
“We are an all-male, single gender sixth through 12th grade public school in the Atlanta Public School system.” (Note: B.E.S.T. shares a building with an all-female, single gender public school, Coretta Scott King Young Womens’ Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA), which was featured on Good Morning America last spring for its academic prowess. The Lady Eagles’ basketball, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball teams will compete in Region 6 as well.)
How would you describe your former region in Class AA?
“Our previous region was very competitive. There was a lot of familiarity with every team. No matter your region standing you had to show up to play every Friday. Most of the schools in the region were from Atlanta Public Schools and the ones that weren’t, were teams that we had been in previous regions with. It was as if you were playing a rivalry game each week.”
How much do you know about the teams in your new region, 6A public?
“Though we have competed in seven-on-seven competitions and been in previous regions with other schools from the area, I’m not very familiar with the teams in the new region. I expect it to be very stiff competition though. Northwest Georgia has always been known for playing some great football and having the support of the entire community on Friday nights for a great football environment. I am definitely excited about joining them.”
Were you able to speak to your team at all, before schools closed, about the new region you'll be competing in?
“Yes, I spoke with the players in brief about the new region. I didn’t speak with them in too much detail because I like for their focus to be on B.E.S.T. Academy (Academics, Athletics, and Family). I did speak with my coaches more in-depth in order to prepare for the upcoming season.”
Do you think there will be any advantages to your program dropping down a classification?
“I do think there will be some advantages. Not so much in comparison to the teams in the new region but more so compared to our previous regions. Most of the benefit, I believe, will be for the smaller programs at our school that have not developed as fast as football has. I think the main advantage for football will be our experience playing outside of the metro area. The other advantage is that we will be playing against some programs that are more comparable to us when it comes to numbers. Win, lose, or draw we have always been outnumbered when we’ve touched the field. This in no way means that they will be lesser opponents, but it does mean the playing field will be more level. Our motto has always been “Hard Work & Pride,” so no matter the location, time, or opponent we are going to give you four quarters of football. This is one of the main reasons we have been able to make four playoff appearances in only eight years of varsity football in two different classifications against some very tough region and non-region opponents. That’s a testament to our players, parents, administrators, and coaches.”
What do you think some of the challenges will be?
“The main challenge is always making sure you control the controllable and making sure we focus more on us than them. Some would assume travel but we are road tested.”
What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming season and competing in Class A?
“I’m looking forward to some great football on Friday nights against some quality coaches and talented kids playing for their school, family, and community. There is nothing like football on Friday nights in Georgia. I’m excited about what the future holds for the 2020 B.E.S.T. Academy football program.”
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