3. You’re meeting Thomas County Central in the semifinals. For those who need a history lesson, can you explain how big that rivalry was in the 1990s? What was your most memorable Marist-TCC moment or game? Many people have fond memories of those games. “That doesn’t include me [laughs]. It was a classic battle from the start. Every game was relatively low scoring and close. Both teams were well-prepared for the other and played hard, physical ball games. Back in those days, they ran a split-back veer with backs coming downhill right at you, moving the chains play after play. Trying to stop Guyton [quarterback Leonard Guyton, now Pelham’s head coach] and Burns [running back Joe Burns, who went on to star at Georgia Tech] was not an easy chore. We had some classic ones. They got the better of us about five times before we finally won in the semifinals at the old Georgia Dome with our 2003 team that had McVay at quarterback [Sean McVay, now the Los Angeles’ Rams’ head coach] That was the most memorable game for me because we won. It got us over the hump as far as playing Thomas County Central. We had one particular play late in the third quarter where the quarterback scrambles to the left and a defensive lineman is chasing him from behind and strips him. The ball is on the ground, and Chris Ashkouti picks it up and goes 45 yards for a scoop-and-score. That’s the one that broke their back.” [Marist won 35-21 and went on to claim the Class 3A championship. Chadwick’s teams are 1-7 all-time against Thomas County Central. None of Chadwick’s other opponents have been nearly so difficult as his record is 431-79.]
4. What and who shaped your coaching philosophy? Who have been some of the biggest influences over the years or even recent years? “I was very fortunate to start at a young age under Dean Hargis here at Marist. He was coach and athletic director for 19 years. They were running the option about two years before I got here [in 1976], and it took me a while to adjust to it from my background [as a passing quarterback at East Tennessee and an NFL draft pick in 1974]. We also had a great staff. All of those coaches taught me a great deal about working with kids and coaching them day to day. That includes Jerry Queen, the longtime baseball coach; Bud Murray, our running backs coach; Ed Letts, our secondary coach. They were just great guys to be around to learn from. The other part is what I’ve learned from our current staff – Dan Perez, Paul Etheridge, Jeff Euart, Gary Miller, Jim Showfety, Danny Stephens, John Embry, who are all good quality coaches. I’m not a stand-over-their-heads kind of guy. I let them have it, and we work as a team. I think that is the strength of our staff.’’
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.