Four Questions with Mount de Sales coach Keith Hatcher

Today's interviewee is Mount de Sales coach Keith Hatcher, whose team is 8-0 for the first time since 2010, when the Cavaliers played in the Georgia Independent School Association. Mount de Sales last week defeated First Presbyterian to give it a 3-0 sweep of the other Macon private schools. That's a first for Mount de Sales since 1997. Mount de Sales has won Region 7-A Division A and can win the region title in two weeks against an opponent to be determined.

Keith Hatcher, Mount de Sales head coach

1. What was the significance of the victory over First Presbyterian to your program? "It was a great win for our program and our school community. It was the first time in 22 years that a Mount de Sales football team has defeated all three of the other Macon schools, so this win vs. FPD capped off a special accomplishment. This is one of the goals our group of seniors set for themselves prior to the season. More importantly, the game put this team in position to compete for a region championship, and our guys understand that this is more significant than defeating any single opponent."

2. You're undefeated but not unanimously ranked in the top 10. Do you feel your team is overlooked? How good do you believe your team is? And tell us about your quarterback, Dexter Williams, who also is a little under the radar? "We do not worry about rankings. All we can do is prepare for those who are on our schedule, and our guys have done a great job of preparing each week, regardless of who the opponent has been. We have a confident football team, but I believe they have earned that. They have worked hard to get here and have developed a belief that they can compete with any team on our schedule. I have watched our team steadily improve and gain confidence, and I believe our best football is ahead of us.

"Dexter has been a large part of our success and has worked extremely hard over the past couple of years to put himself in position to play at the next level. Aside from his production on the field, he is a tremendous leader and a very unselfish football player. He is extremely excited about his future at the University of Indiana but has remained focused on enjoying this special season with his teammates."

3. Macon is unusual in that it has four private schools that are rivals. What are those rivalries like? "The Macon rivalries are always emotional games. So many of these kids and families grow up together and are around each other often. There is a lot pride on the line because our communities are so intertwined. Having four schools competing in the same region in such close proximity certainly adds to the intensity of these games."

4. It was reported last week that Deerfield-Windsor from GISA is joining the GHSA in 2020. Other GISA schools could follow, giving the Macon schools more potential region rivals. Meanwhile, the GHSA is about to move to having all-private regions in Class A. What do you see Class A looking like in the next few years as far as private schools go, and where would you like to see it? [Mount de Sales rejoined the GHSA in 2014 after 34 years.] "As a school, we have enjoyed being a part of the GHSA. We are proud of our student-athletes and our coaches for enduring the transition and fielding competitive teams. There are many questions currently being answered about where the smaller private schools are going from here. I am uncertain about how it will all shake out, but it is our desire to continue to be a part of a competitive league that offers stability and state support. Larger regions are more beneficial for scheduling purposes, so we would certainly favor that."

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