4 Questions with Kennesaw Mountain coach Caleb Carmean

Today’s interviewee is Kennesaw Mountain coach Caleb Carmean, whose team defeated Allatoona 22-21 last week, ending the defending Region 6-6A champions’ 10-game winning streak in region games. Kennesaw Mountain is 3-0 for the first time in history. Carmean, a Kennesaw Mountain alumnus, became the football coach in 2018.

Caleb Carmean, Kennesaw Mountain coach

1. Kennesaw Mountain-Allatoona was one of the best games last week. How did the game come down at the end? What was the turning point? “It was a great game. We knew all week we were going to be in a four-quarter fight. I think our kids did a great job of staying focused and controlling what they could control. Our defense had a great game plan, and in the second half they really increased the physicality. We did a good job of playing complementary football, especially in the second half, and offensively we were able to put together some long drives and a big slant route to go up 22-21 with about four minutes left. After that, our defense had a great stop to seal the game.” [Cayman Prangley’s 56-yard TD pass to Savion Riley was the game-winner.]

2. Where would this victory rank among those for you as coach and maybe even in school history, and why? “I definitely think this one ranks high on the list for the school and me as a coach. Heading into this game, there had never been a Kennesaw Mountain team start 3-0, and they had never beaten Allatoona, so to be able to check both those boxes all while opening region play I think was huge for our kids, our school and our community.”

3. The region standings look odd with Pope, Lassiter, Kennesaw Mountain and Sprayberry tied for first. What’s it like to see that? What’s happening in Cobb County? “I think that’s a testament to the great football programs in Cobb County. It is very early in the season, but in our region [all Cobb County teams] on any given night anyone can win the game, which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re prepared and focused each week.” [The four Cobb schools mentioned have won three region titles total since 2010. Kell and Allatoona, each 0-1 in region play, have won four apiece in that time.]

4. Last season, you made the playoffs for the first time. This season, you’re 3-0 for the first time, hoping to finish higher in the standings and win a playoff game for the first time. What do you feel is the most important thing in getting a team to the next level? “I think so much of what we are doing is about our players buying in. We are very junior-senior heavy, and most of those guys were 0-10 two years ago. In that, they learned how to battle adversity and how to compete and have become very relationship-driven. We have a lot of great players, and majority of them are now entering their third year as varsity starters, so that experience is invaluable.”

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