Today’s interviewee is Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, whose team plays at defending champion and No. 1-ranked Irwin County on Friday night in a rematch of the 2020 Class A Public championship game. Brooks County is ranked No. 2.
Maurice Freeman, Brooks County head coach
1. Irwin vs. Brooks. What’s big about it? “The last time we played, it was for the state championship, and this time we’re No. 1 and No. 2 again. It’s for bragging rights. It’s possibly for the region title. It’s a rivalry game, and it’s a measuring stick. It’s pretty big.”
2. What makes Irwin a tough opponent to play? “It’s the only wing-T team that we see in the regular season. We don’t see that offense because most of them are spread, so that poses a problem for you. And they’re pretty good at what they do. And most wing-T teams can’t throw, but they can. And they’re pretty good on defense also.”
3. How do compare this year’s Brooks County team to last year’s? Is this the same kind of Brooks team? “It’s the same kind of Brooks that we had last year. I think we’re a little better on special teams than last year. We’ve got to get more experience on defense, and as we continue to play, we’ll find ourselves and understand our roles. Offensively, we throw the ball more because all four of our receivers are seniors, and they’ve got more experience and leadership skills.”
4. Omari Arnold has rushed for 4,325 yards in his career, including 311 in three games this season. How does he compare to some of the elite Brooks County players of the past? “I’d put him as one of the elite. I’d put him in the category of Marcus Stroud, Malkom Parrish and Chris Cole. He’s extremely fast, extremely quick and extremely agile, and he can catch the ball. And he’s very strong. I think he’s the total package.” [Stroud played 10 seasons in the NFL. Parrish started three seasons in Georgia’s secondary. Cole led Brooks County to its 1994 state title and finished as the fifth-leading rusher in state history with 6,155 yards.]
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