High school football is just around the corner and the fever is spreading.Region 6 AA coaches and players talked about it in annual "media days."
Brainerd assistant coach Tyrus Ward kicked off the discussion and talked about consistency for the Panthers this year. Ward said, "And I think that's one of the biggest things is trying to consistently be on top and get it inside the kids heads that 'Hey, we can't depend on what happened last year, this is a new year.'"
Central High senior Jamel Metcalf offered his outlook on the always tough Region 6AA. "You know, with all the athletes in our district, you can't take nothing away from them, so we'll just have to see how it goes. But in my perspective, I prefer us to be number one."
Red Bank High has a new coach, Chad Grabowski. He had a prior commitment and couldn't make the event. Offensive Coordinator Matt Bowman took over duties at the microphone. "Our motto for this year in 2014 at Red Bank High School is "Restore the Roar." Basically, we are trying to get back to better days, alright. Better days ahead of us."
East Ridge High brings back 16 starters and expects to reap benefits from that. Senior quarterback JoJo Tillery is one of those returning starters, "We've matured. Getting stronger, getting faster, more conditioned. Just staying together, you know building not only on the field, just off the field."
Hixson High also has a new coach, sort of. Dan Duff has returned to guide the Wildcats again. He comes back after coaching at Rockmart High School in Georgia. He's excited to be back at Hixson where he coached from 1996-2001. "And I've said this before, these young guys that's in here today, they're just going to be football players for so long. They're going to be men the rest of their lives. So, our goal is to make them great men," Duff said.
Howard High also has a new coach, Mark Teague. He's looking to restore pride in the Hustlin' Tigers program. Teague said, "The school has a lot of tradition and that's something that you can never underestimate when you're trying to rebuild a program. And the reception I've gotten from the community, from the staff, the faculty and everyone has been overwhelming."
Tyner didn't have a representative present, but the media voted the Rams as the favorite to win the district.
The coaches chose East Ridge and Hixson in a tie, with Tyner following.
by John Madewell