Notebook: Social Circle 'moving in the right direction'

The state's longest football losing streak ended last week, and Social Circle coach Chad Estes is understandably thrilled about his team's 31-23 victory over Strong Rock Christian.

"If you love high school football, Social Circle, Georgia, was the place to be last Friday night," Estes said. "The atmosphere was electric from pregame warm-ups until the final horn sounded. Yes there was a big celebration after the game."

The losing streak officially was 36 games, but if not for a forfeit victory in 2011, the skid would've be 41. The last time the Redskins had won on the field was a 42-28 victory against River Ridge on Oct. 29, 2010.

Estes came to Social Circle last season, when a new football stadium and athletic complex were built. He had been on Monroe Area's staff when that program went from 0-10 in 2009 to 11-2 in 2010.

Excitement had been building in preseason at Social Circle after the team won scrimmages against Hebron Christian and George Walton Academy.

"The football program is moving in the right direction," Estes said. "We still have a lot of work to do, but I want to make winning the norm in Social Circle."

Marietta to unveil renovated Northcutt

Marietta will unveil its renovated stadium tonight when the Blue Devils take on Newnan in their home-opener.

Marietta has spent $11.3 million dollars to upgrade 75-year-old Northcutt Stadium, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. Work began at the conclusion of the 2014 season and is expected to continue right up until game time.

Among the changes are a new video board, sound system and three-level press box. The visitors' side of the stadium has been rebuilt, including the addition of bathrooms, concession stands and a locker room. The home side also has new locker rooms, bathrooms and concession stands, and seating capacity has been slightly increased.

One thing that will not change is the playing surface. It will remain natural grass, although the field has been re-sodded.

"[Artificial turf] would take away from the historic feel of the stadium," Marietta school board member Randy Weiner told the Daily Journal.

Jefferson sophomore over 500 yards rushing

GHSF Daily experienced some buyers regret this week in its POY Watch. Jefferson sophomore Colby Wood, left off the list, might be off to the best start of an individual player in the state. Wood has rushed for 503 yards and scored all eight of his team's touchdowns in Jefferson's 2-0 start. He's also intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble while playing cornerback and stays on the field about 95 percent of the time. Wood rushed for more than 900 yards last season as a freshman backup. "He is a smooth runner with good vision," Jefferson coach Ben Hall said. Also interesting about Wood is that he's an avid bass fisherman and competes on Jefferson's fishing team. Earlier this year, his two-man team finished 61st out of 170 teams at the High School Fishing World Finals in Florence, Ala.

Longest all-time winning streaks

Our Thursday Daily List reported the evolution of the state record for consecutive victories starting with West Point, the first school to win 20 straight games in the GHSA era (starting in 1948) through current record-holder Buford. A few readers confused that list for this one, which is the longest streaks in history. Note that Buford's current streak would be 45 if not for a forfeited game in 2012.

47 - Buford (2001-04)

46 - Parkview (2000-03)

44 - Lincoln County (1989-91)

42 - Buford (2012-current)

41 - Sandy Creek (2009-11)

38 - Lincoln County (1976-78)

37 - Valdosta (1960-63)

37 - West Rome (1981-84)

36 - Thomson (1966-69)

35 - Northside, Warner Robins (2006-08)

That was last year

Our Tuesday Daily List reported teams that had opened the season with consecutive victories over defending region champions. Lassiter did it this season. For those interested in odd statistics, here are the schools with the most victories in history over defending region champions in the regular season. We're not sure what it means except that Valdosta must have some sort of football tradition.

Valdosta 52-22-0 (70.3%)

Washington-Wilkes 47-52-2 (47.5%)

Thomson 43-35-2 (55.0%)

Marist 41-36-0 (53.2%)

Cairo 40-30-3 (56.8%)

Carrollton 39-36-5 (51.9%)

Lowndes 38-40-0 (48.7%)

Thomasville 36-52-1 (41.0%)

Statesboro 36-39-3 (48.1%)

LaGrange 36-36-3 (50.0%)

Swainsboro 36-44-2 (45.1%)

More trivia: Three teams have beaten four defending region champions in one season - 2014 North Cobb, 2007 Greater Atlanta Christian and 1997 Lowndes.

Better with experience

Our Wednesday Daily List reported the coaches that had reached 100 Georgia victories the quickest. Ware County's Franklin Stephens was on top with 109.

A reader in Calhoun was surprised not to see Hal Lamb included. It took Lamb 140 games to get to 100, which was well outside the standard.  Many forget that he cut his teeth as a head coach at Upson-Lee, where he was 5-15 in two seasons (1997-98).

But, that broaches an interesting question. Who are some coaches who got to 100 pretty quickly, but hit warp speed afterward? Here are three:

Hal Lamb, Calhoun - 100-40, but 89-6 since.

Jeff Herron, Camden County - 100-30, 162-20 since.

Jess Simpson, Buford - 100-18, but 40-0 since.

Former Georgia coaches of note are Wright Bazemore (100-22-3, then 164-28-4) and Nick Hyder (100-25-3, then 202-23-2). Both had the pleasure of working at Valdosta.

Have there been any coaches who were very slow to 100, then really good after that?

Not many. If you're mediocre getting to 100, you're probably not going to have the time nor the employment opportunity to get the second 100. But, it can happen.

Take Bruce Miller of Gainesville. He needed 185 games to win 100 (100-85), but is 108-25 since.

In fact, Miller's first 11 seasons as a head coach netted just one winning season (6-4 at Cass in 1992). Then it clicked. He took North Forsyth to the semifinals in 2001, then Gainesville in 2002, and the rest is history. Gainesville won its first state title under Miller in 2012.

Another example might be Howard coach Barney Hester. He was 100-84-4 when he got his 100th win. His first seven teams had losing records. But he's 229-65-5 since with 11 state titles won with Tattnall Square in the Georgia Independent School Association.

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