Cartersville head coach Joey King (foreground right) celebrates with other coaching staff during Cartersville's 10-0 win over Buford in the GHSA Class AAAA State Championship at the Georgia Dome on Saturday December 12, 2015. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Four Questions with Cartersville head coach Joey King

GHSF Daily's Four Questions feature historically poses the same questions to a different Georgia head coach each issue. This season, head coaches are being asked Four Questions tailored to current events. Today's interviewee is Cartersville head coach Joey King, whose team defeated Marist 17-14 last week in the Class AAAA semifinals. Cartersville will play Blessed Trinity in the championship game next week. Cartersville is 55-1 over the past four seasons - its only loss to Blessed Trinity in the second round last year. 

Joey King, Cartersville head coach 

1. It was said that you held back tears after the comeback win over Marist. Why was it such an emotional victory? What did it mean to the team? "The reporter asked me what I learned about my players from that particular game. It is not that the win was emotional, but rather the fact that I did not learn anything that I did not already know about this team. I have been extremely proud of how these young men have fought and how they have really come together as a team throughout the year." 

2. What did you feel was realistic for this team with so many starters gone, one of which was a legendary player, Trevor Lawrence? "We heard many times in preseason, 'How are you going to be without Trevor?' or 'We understand this is a rebuilding year for you guys,' and frankly, we heard it enough that it became bothersome. We graduated 18 starters, a great kicker and one of the best players to ever come out of high school and replaced four varsity coaches, but the standard here is still the same. The coaches and players both embrace that mindset every day, and they refuse to set limits on what they can accomplish." 

3. Although you won every game, there were a couple of tight ones. When do you start believing this was a really good team? Was there a turning point? "As a coach, I do not know that you ever feel that you have a 'really good' team. You always want to get better and are never satisfied with the way that you perform because there is always something that you can improve on. I don't know that there has been a defining moment in the season that can be viewed as a turning point, but our kids have really grown close over the course of the season, and it has been special to see." [The media was not as even-keeled. GHSF Daily dropped the Purple Hurricanes a spot to No. 4 after a 21-20 win over unranked Cedartown, then to No. 5 after a 7-0 win over unranked Sandy Creek, but back to No. 2 after 43-10 victory over third-ranked Troup in the regular-season finale.] 

4. What's challenging about Blessed Trinity? What do they do that makes them difficult to beat? "They are extremely talented, well-coached, and they play hard. Tim [McFarlin] and his staff do a great job and get their players to execute really well. Coaching is not about what you know, but what you can get your players to know. Having talented players that are well-coached is a dangerous combination." 

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