Four Questions with Thomasville coach Leroy Ryals

GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We'll report from a different head coach each day.

Leroy Ryals, Thomasville

1. Who is/was the most influential person in your coaching career? "The most influential person in my life as far as my career is concerned was my high school football coach, Jim Price [at Booker High, Sarasota, Fla.]. As a high school senior, he told me that I was going to be a football coach and didn't give me an option. He told me so much about just simply being a man."

2. Who is the best Georgia player you ever faced? "Without a doubt the best player I have faced in the state of Georgia was Deshaun Watson, quarterback at Gainesville. He was/is a very special player and seemed like a great kid."

3. What is the best team you ever faced as a coach? "The best team I have ever faced in Georgia was Southwest DeKalb in the second round of Class AAAAA playoffs in 2009 when I was at Clarke Central. They had eight players on their defense that eventually signed D-I scholarships. They were not too bad on offense, either. I really enjoyed coaching against the legendary coach Buck Godfrey. He is a class act." [Southwest DeKalb was ranked No. 2 at the time. Clarke won 19-17 and was the state runner-up to Sandy Creek.]

4. If you were Gary Phillips, the new head of the GHSA, what would be the first rule that you would try to change? "By no means do I envy Gary Phillips. He has a very tough job. I have been involved with high school sports in three different states (Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia), and the GHSA does the best job of trying to do what's best for the whole. The only thing I wish the GHSA could help us out with is the mandatory percentages given to them from playoff games, especially minor sports. It's very tough financially on all of us. If we could get a little more help, I am sure all athletic directors would appreciate it."

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