The Game-Day Coordinator
WHEN ALEX WARD GRADUATED FROM NORCROSS IN
2006, he just couldn’t leave the football team behind.
As a sophomore at Norcross, Ward was invited to help out
with the football team. Upon graduation, he continued to
come back on Fridays to help with all the preparations that
go into the pre-game operation running smoothly.
“They still had a need for me to help out,” Ward said.
“One of the things with Norcross has been continuity with
the coaching staff. That made it easy to stay all those years.
Norcross head coach Keith Maloof has been at Norcross
since Ward was in high school. The family atmosphere of the
program furthered his commitment to being the game-day
coordinator for Norcross football.
Ward’s responsibilities on a typical Friday at home are this:
He’ll arrive to the school early in the morning and meet with
the video crew to check in on what it has prepared for the
game. At around 11 a.m., he starts to run through every single
video script that will need to be read before and after kickoff.
At 1: 30 p.m., Ward makes his way to the football field and
checks on it, the field house and the press box to make sure
everything is clean and in working order. In the press box,
Ward puts out the placards on each seat reserved for the P. A.
announcer, spotters and working press attending the game.
Once 3 p.m. rolls around, Ward moves to ensuring parking
signs are in the correct locations. If any equipment hasn’t
been set up yet, he’ll take on the task of making sure it gets
done. Ward will also drive to restaurants that are Norcross
sponsors and pick up food for the coaching staffs and media
in the press box.
At 6 p.m., Ward starts working with the video broadcast
students and assists with the pre-game timing now that it’s
only 90 minutes until kickoff. He also assists in what music
is played and with any special events that are to happen
before the game begins.
Once 7: 30 p.m. arrives and the game is underway, Ward
can finally slow down. But even then, he’s still working
to make sure nothing goes awry and that the media and
coaches are taken care of in the press box.
“I continued to do it because it’s a way for me to give back
to my community,” said Ward, who is entering his third of year
of law school at Georgia State. “One of the reasons I’ve slowly
taken over more especially for home games is that I’m really
passionate that we have everything running smoothly.”
The Athletic Director
MATT MOODY IS THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AT HAR-
rison High School in Cobb County. He understands that
football in the state of Georgia helps provide funding for the
other high school sports programs.
“Football is the sport that is going to fund your athletic
department,” said Moody, who will enter his fifth year as
Harrison’s AD and assistant principal. “Especially in a
district like Cobb, we’re reliant on gate receipts.”
As a result, Moody does what he can to make sure Har-
rison head coach Matt Dickmann has everything he needs.
In terms of helping further Harrison’s student-athletes,
Moody said that majority of the school’s best players are of
the Division II and III variety with strong academics. Therefore, he and Dickmann have come up with ways to ensure
the players have viable paths to continue playing football
while receiving financial-aid to attend college.
“I’m here to help,” Moody said. “When those coaches
leave the classroom and get down there on the turf, the
grass, I want my head coach getting our young men better as football players and as young
men. Anything I can do in the building to take that off his plate, I’m going to do.”
IT’S HARD TO PINPOINT JUST WHAT JIM MCKNIGHT
does at East Coweta. Whatever is needed, however,
McKnight will be one of the first to do what it takes to
accomplish the task. McKnight takes on a variety of roles
at the high school football program close to his heart.
“Deep down I bleed purple and gold,” McKnight said.
McKnight will haul equipment on game days. He assists
the East Coweta training staff with taping players when
injured. He helps set up the pre-game meal eating area
for the players. He’s certified through the GHSA as a
community coach. If the John Deere Gator needs fixing,
he’ll be the one to take it to the shop.
Whatever is needed once school on Friday has
concluded, McKnight is there to help.
The Web Developer
ROBERT SHERBURN, A PROFESSIONAL
web developer, volunteered to help with run-
ning the Sequoyah football team’s website.
Sherburn, whose son, Noah, is a sopho-
more lineman at Sequoyah, started logging
a lot of hours in getting the site up to speed.
The site’s design is now a lot sleeker and
provides a lot of information and highlight
videos for potential collegiate recruiters.
Sherburn also integrated a lot of social
media tools to the website.
“We mimicked it after some of the
top college and high school programs,”
Sherburn also helped bring in a new
technological tool that helps the players and
coaches on the field. Last season, Sequoyah
had a replay system installed on the sideline
which allows the team to look at video of the
previous series’ plays as well as photographs
of stills – much like programs at the college
and professional level would be privy to.
“I have this theory that if you look good
and work hard, you’ll play good,” Sherburn
said. “If you look good externally, you get
the community involved that drives external
followers, then you’ve got people looking at
our program on a Southeast level.”
The P.A. Announcer
TIM BOWMAN IS THE PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNOUNCER FOR CENTRAL GWINNETT
football games. Bowman graduated from Central Gwinnett in 1984. He’s long been a
supporter of the football program and has only lived away from the area when he was
with the U.S. Navy. Bowman got his first taste of announcing experience while stationed
in Charleston when he got a gig at a top- 40 radio station. He jumped at the opportunity to
call games at Central Gwinnett after being the P.A. announcer for youth football games.
“I’ve always had a huge place in my heart for the Black Knight program,” Bowman said.
“I’ve always wanted to be a part of the program. Not just as an announcer but as a men-
tor to these kids. I’ve had a chance to coach a lot of the kids at the youth level, to know
them and their parents. It’s a huge satisfactory thing to me to watch these kids succeed.”