Four Questions with Thomas County Central coach Bill Shaver
Bill Shaver, Thomas County Central
1. What is the most memorable game you’ve been a part of as a player or coach?“I would have to say the very first state championship I got with Coach [Ed] Pilcher in 1994. [Thomas Central beat Dublin 32-7 for the championship.] That was my first year at Thomas County Central. They’d already won two state championships [1992-93], and they were going to have a new quarterback [Paul Guyton], and they hired me to come in and coach their quarterbacks.” [Shaver has been at Thomas Central ever since. He succeeded Pilcher in 2008.]
2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why?“My son had the opportunity to play for Coach Pilcher, and that was a good thing. That would be one. Coach Pilcher was a good, hard-nosed coach. I can remember many times when things were not going well in practice, he’d just say, ‘Run the play over, run the play over.’ He coached them hard, but those kids would run through a wall for him.
“Or my dad [Fred Shaver], who was an old high school coach. He won state championships with Southeast Bulloch in 1972 and 1973 and then got out of coaching when I was an eighth-grader and went into administration. I can still remember the players would come over to the house on Sunday and my mom would cook popcorn and they’d watch film from Friday night. He still lives there in Brooklet, and the stadium is named after him, and he has a special place where he parks. He was a well-loved coach.”
3. What is your pet peeve as a coach or favorite saying/motto?“We have a team theme every year that comes from a scripture verse. I got that from Ken Sparks, who is now at Carson-Newman [just retired]. Every year we try to have a different one. This year it was ‘Snap and Clear’ [inspired from Philippians 3:13-14]. Sometimes kids make a mistake and want to dwell on it. We want them to play that snap, clear it, and press forward to what is ahead.”
4. Which GHSA policy or high school football rule would you most like to see changed?“I’d like to see some transfer rule that would keep these kids from swapping schools, like at Grayson, where they’ve got two of the best kids in Georgia [transferring in], or Lee County that had six kids transfer from Albany schools. I hate seeing kids change allegiances to high schools. I would like to see something where they are not able to do that as much.”
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