Vote: Week 8 Falcons Coach of the Week

Credit: Courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons

Credit: Courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons coach of the week program, presented by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will recognize ten (10) head high school varsity tackle and girls flag football coaches across the states of Georgia and Alabama for their hard work and dedication to making a difference in student-athletes lives on and off the field.

The three nominees for this week’s award have been instrumental in developing flag football in Georgia. The winning coach will receive a $1,000 grant for its football program, a commemorative Atlanta Falcons item and recognition from the Atlanta Falcons and AJC at a game this season.

To nominate a deserving head coach for the remaining two weeks of the program, visit

Jake Burgdorf, McEachern High School

From the nominator: Coach Burgdorf is one of the true ambassadors for girls flag football in Georgia. He created a group for all of the coaches in Georgia to be a part of on GroupMe, and coaches can talk rules, strategy, scheduling in this group. The interest in flag football at McEachern has grown thanks to coach Burgdorf.

Positive impact on community: He put together one of the first flag football tournaments for high school girls to participate in Georgia over the summer of 2022. Teams from around Georgia and Florida participated in this event. The community of Powder Springs is buzzing for more flag football because of the culture that he has put in place.


Emily Hoza, Roswell High School

From the nominator: Coach Hoza was instrumental in starting the girls flag football program at Roswell High School. In 2020, she sought out the Atlanta Falcons for financial assistance in order to begin the program. In her first year of coaching the sport, Coach Hoza led her Hornets to the playoffs but was ultimately defeated by Grayson in the quarterfinals.

Positive impact on community: Coach Hoza sought to start and build the program during the pandemic. In 2020 she looked for financial aid and discussed bringing the opportunity to Roswell. She worked hand in hand with the Falcons on ways to champion the sport despite the barriers of the pandemic. Coach Hoza has worked tirelessly to make this program available for her athletes.


Candice English, Savannah Country Day School

From the nominator: Candice has served for several years as an assistant varsity girls’ soccer coach, middle school basketball and soccer coach, and she was instrumental in spearheading last year’s inaugural season of our girls’ flag football program. Her tremendous love for the game led her to diligently work for a year to get the program off the ground at Savannah Country Day School. She is skilled and knowledgeable in all aspects of the game, and she works hard to set a strong foundation for a program that we hope will continue to grow each year. She is a fantastic leader of our all-female coaching staff, and makes the game exciting and fun for the players involved.

Positive impact on community: Candice is great at making the game fulfilling and fun for the girls, as well as including their families in the excitement. Last year, she instituted the annual Family Turkey Bowl, in which the flag athletes’ families were invited to play a game of flag football, then eat a Thanksgiving meal together. With a faculty tailgate crew, a student support section, and strong family involvement, the community aspect of our team is strong. Last year, we had a Teacher Recognition night. This year, we will have both a Teacher Recognition night as well as a Veterans Recognition night.


Previous winners

Week 1 -- Kadale Jenkins, Jordan Vocational High School

Week 2 -- Lee Chomskis, Lincoln County High School

Week 3 -- Bruce Lane, Bethlehem Christian Academy

Week 4 -- Larry Harold, Central Gwinnett

Week 5 -- Jason Roquemore, Towns County High School

Week 6 -- Mark Kessler, Glacier High School

Week 7 -- Kendra Pleasants, Lithia Springs High School