Today's interviewee is Denmark coach Terry Crowder, whose team is 5-0 and ranked for the first time in school history. Denmark plays at two-time defending state champion Blessed Trinity on Friday in a Region 7-AAAA game. Crowder, former coach at Chattahoochee and Creekview, started the football program when Denmark became Forsyth County's newest high school in 2018.
Terry Crowder, Denmark head coach
1. You've played some significant games at Denmark already, such as the first game in school history last year and another in game 10 that could've put Denmark in the playoffs. How does this one feel? Are you feeling a buzz around town and campus? "The game this week definitely has a different feel to it primarily because we have been talking about this game so long to our football team. To really be considered a top program, you have to play, beat or compete against some of the best programs in the state. To date our two biggest games - last year Forsyth Central and Flowery Branch - we are 1-1. Neither of those games feel or could do as much for our program as a win over Blessed Trinity."
2. What are the things that you and your staff have done to have success so quickly? What is the most underrated thing about building a program from scratch? "Defensively we are way better than last year. Our secondary is much improved, and the fact that we don't play anyone both ways has really helped us. Offensively, we are about 50-50 with our run-pass. Our skill guys on offense are as good as anyone in the state. How good we are as a football team? Blessed Trinity will tell us that Friday."
3. You've had a couple or more key players transfer to Denmark this year. How would you respond to those who make an issue of that? "If you coach in metro Atlanta, you better be prepared for new schools to open up around you. At Chattahoochee, we went through three openings in Alpharetta, Northview and Johns Creek. I am never going to blame a family for choosing to do what they think is best for their families. With all the college one-day camps going on these days, kids become friends and want to play together. Parents want a system they feel will help their sons. At Denmark, we are bright, shiny and new, and so we have some kids move in. Has happened to me in reverse. It is what it is. I will never apologize for having a program where kids and parents want to be."
4. Denmark has an AJC Super 11 player, Ze'Vian Capers, who made all-state last season. Could you compare his impact to that of Tim Byerly, the state player of the year when you won a state title at Chattahoochee? Are those the two best players you've coached in terms of their effect on a high school game? "I have been fortunate throughout the years to have coached some exceptional players. Timmy Byerly, Kane Whitehurst, Clint Boling to name a few. Ze'vian Capers and [quarterback] Aaron McLaughlin are in those categories. They both can do some things that you just can't coach. They are going to be big-time college players and are really fun to coach." [Capers and McLaughlin, a junior, are committed to Auburn.]
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