4 Questions with Coweta Score founder Chris Goltermann

Newnan's Drake Stadium
Newnan's Drake Stadium

Today’s interviewee is Chris Goltermann, the founder and editor of Coweta Score, an online media outlet covering Coweta County sports. Goltermann will be covering tonight’s Newnan-East Coweta game that will decide the Region 2-7A championship.

Chris Goltermann, founder of Coweta Score

1. What’s the buzz surrounding the East Coweta-Newnan game? Has there been a game quite like this since you’ve covered sports there? “There’s always a special feeling that comes with this week or any East Coweta-Newnan matchup, regardless of sport. But I don’t think there’s been as much hype as this one in any of the 28 previous football meetings. Limited tickets sold out within minutes. Obviously, the success of both schools this year, while off to their best starts under current head coaches, is a major factor of the hype. I know the teams were both state-ranked in 1993, but EC was just in its second year in Class 4A and was tagged as being ‘little ole’ East Coweta.’ For most of the last decade, they’ve been fighting for second place, but I’d credit some of the success this year to both head coaches now being in place for four years and the senior classes that began their varsity careers under them. Since 2011, it’s been a 5-4 split between winners, and it has tightened tremendously since 2017 when both coaches arrived. We’ve seen blocked kicks returned for scores from both teams the past three games. EC coach John Small has been around numerous rivalries during his time at South Gwinnett but still told me, ‘It’s not a transient area. These people are either born and bred EC or Newnan, and you don’t cross the tracks in purple or navy.’”

2. What’s the scouting report on East Coweta? “East Coweta has been wearing the letters ‘ILMT’ on the front of their helmets for at least the last three years, which stands for ‘I Love My Teammates,’ and it’s unofficially become the program motto while taking on a blue-collar identity. Last year’s starting quarterback, Gabe Gray, has moved to a starting safety position when Pennsylvania move-in Danny Shoch arrived, which is an example of the unselfish attitude from players. The team exudes physical play on both sides without really having one player more important than another. On offense, they try to dictate tempo with a veteran offensive line that averages 295 pounds. Jayden Bolton is a 5-6, 191-pound bulldog at running back who’s doubled last year’s output with 1,100 yards. Defensively, there’s senior leadership at every position. End Dylan Spelios (Navy) and linebacker Chase Lewis have again been tackling machines. Cornerback Willie Rice was among a group that kept Collins Hill star receiver Travis Hunter out of the end zone in one of two OT wins this year.”

3, What’s the scouting report on Newnan? “The words that describe Newnan the best are versatile and dynamic. Coach Chip Walker compared the chemistry of this Cougars team to the 2010 team at Sandy Creek that won a state title. This group of seniors entered the program with him when he arrived, and it’s a talented class with nine on offense and at least four more on defense that start. Quarterback Michael Maginnis, who’s committed to Samford, has a super high football IQ. Newnan’s offensive line is healthier and improved from a year ago. The skill-position depth includes two senior running backs [Bryson Moss and Aubrey Carter] that have combined for 22 touchdowns and two senior receivers [Josh Harris and Reid Brass] with 12 scores that lead an even deeper group of targets. It’s a bit younger group defensively on the whole, but one that is more active with pressure than a year ago.”

4. What is Coweta Score? How did it come about, and what are your goals? “Coweta Score came out of necessity for me after spending close to two decades in the newspaper industry while living in Newnan and working at five papers around the state. You give up weekends and most nights to the job. With a wife and two kids that were getting close to middle/high school age, I felt it was time to walk away and take control of my schedule. When I left the local paper as sports editor in the fall of 2015, I thought an online website strictly dedicated to local athletes at all levels, past and present, would be a natural progression of covering Coweta sports for the previous eight years. From day one, readership has been steady with a ton of local support. I’ve tried to adapt and add to what I can offer as a full-time staff of just myself. Even during the spring, the website put out a Hindsight 2020 series of feature stories on 74 senior student-athletes, the majority of which lost their final season of sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The nicest compliment I receive is when I hear, ‘Your staff does a great job.’”

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