4 Questions with BLITZ sports producer Brian Carter

Today’s interviewee is Brian Carter, the producer of BLITZ, a sports channel devoted to high school sports in Northeast Georgia. Carter started BLITZ right out of Piedmont College, where he earned a degree in mass communications in 2009. He is a graduate of Chestatee High in Hall County, where he played baseball.

Brian Carter, producer of BLITZ sports channel

1. What makes you so interested in high school sports? “I spent my childhood playing sports, and while playing baseball in high school I recognized that plenty of teams and schools you don’t hear about too often were doing some big things. They were flying under the radar. I pursued that in college and started an on-campus TV show, was the sports editor for the school paper and interned with The Gainesville Times, Access WDUN and WNEG-TV Channel 32. Soon I was being trusted to cover some big games in the paper, on the radio and on TV. I started BLITZ in 2009 right out of college, and what keeps me going is providing the schools and athletes the coverage they deserve. These kids work so hard and deserve the recognition that might just help them get that college opportunity or get that boost of confidence they need in a world that has so much negativity.”

2. What schools do you cover? And what defines your boundary? “BLITZ covers the Northeast Georgia region that includes the following schools: Banks, Commerce, Dawson, Habersham Central, Jefferson, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Tallulah Falls, Towns, Union and White. The boundary is almost every year or two expanding based on demand. It started out with just Habersham, Dawson, Lumpkin and White 12 years ago.”

3. You cover all sports, not just football. What have you learned about where passions lie when it comes to high school sports? Is it football-dominated, or have you found other sports with larger followings than you expected? “Passion lies in when teams and players have more to play for than just themselves. That’s not restricted to just football. Football is king in Georgia, and basketball is on its heels. So in that regard, yes, those sports take precedence to the general public. However, each school has that sport or two that they may be more passionate about than even football or basketball. I feel that each sport at each school is its own entity that is defined by its culture and drive for excellence. In our neck of the woods, cross country and softball are pretty successful. So too are soccer and volleyball, which have both grown rapidly in Northeast Georgia.”

4. Which of the football teams that you cover is the most intriguing, and why? “While I truly want to see all the local teams we cover do very well and have great success, I am as intrigued as ever with Rabun County. Since Lee Shaw took over the program in 2012, you saw a program that had a long history but not the results that the community had longed for. It has been built into a true powerhouse, and even now with Jaybo Shaw at the helm is always intriguing. Great players take on the persona of great coaches, and to that end you have an incredible staff (Coach J, Rob Stockton, Tim Bragg, Andy Mahaffey, etc.) that do these things well: get every ounce of talent possible out of each player, get every player to play for more than just themselves, preach faith, family and character above winning, and never quit fighting. The bar isn’t to win region or get to state. It’s to play for a state championship. Add in Gunner Stockton’s prowess and the junior-heavy cast around him, and what’s not to like about this team? The culture itself draws attention. I’ll add that this season, Jefferson and White County have our expectations very high. Realistically, you could see Rabun and Jefferson playing for all the marbles this season in their respective classifications.”

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