Today's interviewee is Riverwood coach Robert Edwards, whose team clinched Region 6-AAAAA last week. The region title was the first for a school that opened in 1971. Edwards, a former Washington County, Georgia and NFL player, took the Riverwood job in 2018. He had been head coach at Greene County and Arlington Christian.
Robert Edwards, Riverwood head coach
1. What's the significance of winning that region title for your team and school, and what has been the reaction in the school and community? "Winning the region is a huge accomplishment, not only for the school and players but also for myself. This is my first region championship as head coach and the first in school history for RICHS. It is very encouraging to see that everyone in the school and community is proud of the team and excited for the future of the program."
2. What did you see in the Riverwood program when you took the job? "The opportunity to coach at Riverwood became a blessing to me when I was faced with Greene County High School wanting to go in a different direction. I wanted to find a job that was closer to the city that afforded me the opportunity to be able to mold it into a football program that fit my philosophy. Riverwood was looking for a coach to rejuvenate their program, and I wanted a fresh start with a hungry group of kids. Everything just fit."
3. Tell us about your team. What do you do well? You graduated the region player of the year (Reese White) and the region offensive player of the year (Aaron Graham). How did you overcome that and get stronger? "We have a football program of student-athletes that believe and trust the coaching staff. The coaches do a great job of developing their particular position groups, which in turn makes us a better team on Friday nights. We play as a team and understand that it is a three-phase game - offense, defense, special teams. Losing Reese White, the region player of the year, and Aaron Graham, the offensive player of the year, was a tremendous loss. We actually lost all 11 starters on offense from last year's team. Since the team is young on offense, we lean heavily on our defense, and they have answered the call. The defense leads the state - all classifications - with 67 sacks and are sixth in the country [per MaxPreps]. Jonathan Brown (17 sacks) and Kaleb Patton (17) are tied for first in the state of Georgia and tied for 26th in the country. The defense has been the rock for our team this year while the offense continues to grow and progress."
4. What was the most important thing that you and your staff have done to take the program from being a competitive/middling team to now with a region title on the brink of 10-0? "The most important thing for me is making sure to select and retain great staff and coaches who have a passion for coaching these young men. Our foundation is built on relationships and trust. We enforce that competition, and communication is the key to the team's success as well as success in life. Our mottos are 'Fight for Tomorrow' and 'No Secrets!'"
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