Four Questions with Stephenson coach Ron Gartrell
FEBRUARY 5, 2014 STONE MOUNTAIN Stephenson football head coach Ron Gartrell. KENT D JOHNSON/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM
GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We’ll report from a different head coach each day.
Ron Gartrell, Stephenson
1. What is the most memorable game you’ve been a part of as a player or coach?“The game that set Stephenson on the map was the first time we ever played Southwest DeKalb. It was the first year we were eligible for the playoffs, so it had to be 1998. We played at Hallford Stadium and ended up going into overtime. We tried a field goal [late in regulation] from about 37, 38 yards and had one of the best field-goal kickers we ever had, but the kick was blocked. I remember going out to midfield for the conversation with the refs and [SWD coach] Buck Godfrey. Buck told me to look around the stadium. The place was packed. You couldn’t see concrete anywhere on both sides. He looked at me and said this is what it’s all about. It’s said we lost [29-19], but it really set the tone with our program in terms of what type of games we were going to have.”
2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why?“My son played for me and did a great job. Those were the most enjoyable years I had coaching. If he had to play for someone, it would have to be Buck Godfrey. Buck was real close to his players. I admired the way he got them to perform and the closeness of their team.”
3. What is your favorite saying/motto?“Be better today than you were yesterday. If you can put together a few of those days and weeks, you can end up having a great career, not just in high school, but college too.”
4. Which GHSA policy or high school football rule would you most like to see changed?“Running the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs. They’ve done some things to keep the game safe, like reducing the starting point for kickoff coverage. If you choose to bring the ball out of the end zone, you should be able to do that. That last kick late in the game might give you a chance to win it.”
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