4 Questions with Decatur head coach William Felton

Courtesy City of Decatur

Courtesy City of Decatur

Today’s interviewee is Decatur coach William Felton, whose team defeated Greater Atlanta Christian, a seven-point favorite per the Maxwell Ratings, 48-14 last week. Decatur won a playoff game in 2020 for the first time since 2003. This week, Decatur (3-0) is ranked No. 10 in Class 5A, the Bulldogs’ first AJC ranking since 2004.

William Felton, Decatur head coach

1. Though GAC is 0-3, it’s still considered a good team. What allowed you to win comfortably? “It just came back to preparation. We were meticulous about the things that Greater Atlanta Christian does well and made sure we had a plan for those things. They do a good job of scheming and rolling out their quarterback. He’s a great athlete with a great arm. On defense, No. 72 [Addison Nicholls, committed to Tennessee] is a nightmare. He’s better than advertised.”

2. Is this year’s team better than last year’s, when you won a historic playoff game? “Of course. I attribute that to us having an offseason. We didn’t have one last season [because of COVID restrictions that were stricter in Decatur City Schools than most districts]. We didn’t have spring ball. We had limited contact in the summer. We were off one week, on one week, off one week, a lot of inconsistency. We’re well-prepared from a health standpoint, with kids being in shape, and with schemes and in tune with things we want to accomplish.”

3. What kind of team is Decatur? What would you see if you watched them on a Friday night? First off, what you’re going to see is a team that wins collectively, not just one person. We get plays from all the players on the field. Of course, we have some that are in the upper echelon of the group. Junior [RB/DE] Marquis Hood is a big prospect, and he and [LB/DE] Cam Wingo and [RB/OLB] Chapman Smith are three big bruisers, and [RB/ILB] Nahshon Smith is not only good in football but a two-time state qualifier in wrestling. Other game-changers are wide receivers Kenric Lanier, Curran Brant and Mekhi Lloyd and tight ends Kedric Lackey and Max Nunnally. It’s just athletic kids who’ve bought into what we’re doing, selfless guys with one goal, and that’s to win.”

4. What’s the main thing that you believe you and your staff have done in your two seasons at Decatur to help elevate the program to the next level? “It just comes down to our relationships with the kids. It’s bigger than football. Me and my coaches go above and beyond, whether it’s coming to school on Saturday to open the facility to work out or just as a place to fellowship and not be out in the streets, or going to buy cleats for kids or catering meals and sitting down and having family time with them. The coaches just relate to our guys. You’ve got to have the trust of your kids. We care more about them as a person than as an athlete. The kids thrive on that.”

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