4 Questions with South Paulding head coach Eric Robinson

Today’s interviewee is South Paulding coach Eric “Sumo” Robinson, whose team defeated Rome 34-32 last week. Robinson became the head coach after the second game when Jason Nash stepped down for personal reasons. The Spartans are 2-0 under Robinson and 3-1 overall, 1-0 in Region 5-6A.

Eric Robinson, South Paulding head coach

1. Tell us about the Rome game. What was the difference-maker? “The difference was us constantly battling and overcoming adversity. We were getting flags thrown on us. Now what are you going to do? Cry and complain or play the next play? We’ve had to go through adversity all season. We were picked to finish sixth or seventh in our region. Our kids played with a chip on their shoulder. They were playing against a well-known program. They played like it was David and Goliath.” [Kasen Weisman was 17-of-22 passing for 303 yards and three touchdowns, and Jamarion Wilcox rushed for 113 yards.]

2. What has it been like to be head coach unexpectedly? “I’d already been assistant head coach, so as far as coaching football, I’d been doing that. It’s the off-the-field things like handling the financials or meeting with the booster club or scheduling the buses, things that people don’t see. On the field was an easy transition because I’m already so hands on with the players on an everyday basis.”

3. What’s your background? Where did you go to school, where have you coached? “I’m a grad of Creekside in Fairburn, class of 2004. When I was a senior, I was the offensive captain. Eric Berry was a freshman, and Eric carried my pads to practice [laughs]. He was the fifth pick in the NFL Draft [six years later]. I first started coaching when I was 23 at Creekside under Kevin Whitley. I spent four years at Mundy’s Mill, came home to Creekside for a year, spent four years at Langston Hughes, then four at Douglas County before coming to South Paulding last year. My biggest influences were Charles Bush Sr., my offensive line coach in college at Livingstone - he was like a grandfather to me – and then two in high school, Larry Conklin and Kevin Whitley.”

4. What’s the potential of your team? “The biggest thing that makes us a great team is we’re a brotherhood. Everybody fights for each other. We have the mentality that it’s us against everybody. Not everybody has to believe. The only ones who have to believe are those in the locker room right now. We’ve got a bigger goal of wanting to become the first team to win a region title in South Paulding history.”

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