4 Questions with Washington-Wilkes head coach Sid Fritts

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Today’s interviewee is Washington-Wilkes coach Sid Fritts, whose team defeated Lincoln County 14-13 and stands 6-0 on the season, ranked No. 8 in Class A Public. His team plays No. 4 Commerce at home Friday. Fritts, in his first season as head coach at Washington-Wilkes, has won region titles as a coach at Vidalia, Elbert County and Rome.

Sid Fritts, Washington-Wilkes head coach

1. How did the Lincoln County game play out, and what gave your team the edge? “It was a classic. Defensively, we bent but didn’t break. Offensively, we didn’t play well. We haven’t played in three weeks due to our open date and the Greene County cancellation. But you have to credit their defense for getting in the way. The edge to the game was special teams. We made both PATs, recovered two onside kicks, had a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, blocked a field goal and were helped by a missed field goal and point-after. No doubt the difference in the game was special teams.”

2. What have you and your staff done that has made the team more competitive this year? “I’m not sure it’s anything we did as much as it’s the situation we are all in, trying to navigate a season during a global pandemic. We do not take our Friday nights for granted after missing our first two games. Our players started as everyone did, the last week of July, with the acclimation period. Due to cancellations, we didn’t begin playing until Sept. 18 Longest pre-season camp in the history of football. I know they were hungry when we opened up and have remained hungry to this point.”

3. What persuaded you to come out of retirement and become a head coach again? Did you expect that you’d return to head coaching after leaving Elbert County after the 2018 season? "I helped out last year as the offensive line coach and had a blast. My wife has worked at Washington-Wilkes for nine years, and I was able to work with her for the first time in 10 years. When the job came open in June, I was asked to step in and run the program going forward. I’m grateful to the administration for this opportunity. I’m extremely fortunate to be where I am. We have a very talented football team at a place with great tradition.

“My plan after my retirement was to go back to Tennessee and coach four-five years. However, my plans changed when I was offered the position at Washington-Wilkes. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work for an amazing school system.”

4. When you take over a new program, what is your first priority? As a coach who has coached at several schools, what would you tell coaches that they probably don’t already know about getting a program turned in the right direction? “The first thing I have always done is to build relationships with all stakeholders associated with the program – administration, faculty/staff, boosters, coaches – but most important is the relationship made with the players. As to what I’d tell coaches, put together a staff of like-minded individuals who share your vision. Evaluate your program and establish your goals and objectives. Be consistent in your expectations of everyone in the program to work toward becoming a champion.”

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