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Four Questions with Sequoyah head coach James Teter

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 Sequoyah coach James Teter, whose team defeated then-No. 5 Dalton 42-14 on Friday and moved up to No. 5 in the Class AAAAAA rankings.

James Teter, Sequoyah head coach 

1. What was the significance of the Dalton win for your team? "It was a big win for the team as well as the program, and it was great to see the players and the community excited. I think for our players it showed that all of the hard work over the summer is starting to pay off. But we have to keep our perspective. It was a big region win, and if we want to have a chance to continue to play with the big boys in our region and the state, we'd better remain focused on what is next. We are focusing on one game at a time." 

2. What happened in the Dalton game that gave you the advantage? "Dalton is a well-coached, disciplined team that usually does not beat themselves. I thought our defense did a great job of forcing them into turnovers [three fumbles] and did a good job of holding their offense in check. Offensively, I thought we did a great job of controlling the clock by having long drives that helped to keep their offense on the sideline. Our offensive line did a good job of opening up holes that allowed us to rush for 396 yards. We had multiple 80-yard drives that led to scores." 

3. You've had competitive teams every season, but this team seems to have made a breakthrough. Did you expect that this season, and what's the team's identity? "Our identity is being more physical on both sides of the ball. Offensively, we are a run-oriented, wing-T team that prides itself on being physical up front. Defensively, we are a team that works to be fundamentally sound and flies around to the football creating turnovers. We feel like we have a chance to be a very good team as long as we continue to work hard and get better both offensively and defensively each week. Right now, our players understand that they are in a very tough region [with five different teams ranked at one point or another already this season] and that they must continue to work hard in order to have a chance. They understand that each week will get harder and that they must stay focused on the game in front of them. They just have great leadership and chemistry. This group of kids has been together through middle school and has done a good job of developing together along the way. I think going through the season that we did last year and getting close has helped them to focus more. I feel that the players and coaches have put in a lot of time and effort this year, and it's starting to show on game night." 

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4. There are some up-and-coming teams in your classification, such as yourself and Creekview, along with some traditional powers, such as Tucker and Northside, that have fallen in the rankings after multiple losses. How do you see AAAAAA playing out? "Although it is great to see new teams in the rankings and to be one of those teams, I think it is still too early to know who is really the top 10 teams in 6A. Teams like Tucker and Northside always find ways to work themselves back into the top teams. Right now, we are just glad to be in the mix and that other people see us as a team to keep an eye on. Although it's great to be ranked and seen as one of the top 10 teams in the state of Georgia, the beautiful thing in this state is that as long as you make one of the four spots in your region, you have a chance to win it all." 

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