The latest news from the world of Georgia high school football BY JASON BUTT
The winner of 242 games and four state titles, coach Jeff Herron will ead Single A private school Prince Avenue in 2013
Herron Returns to Familiar (Winning) Territory
JEFF HERRON RAISED A LOT OF E YEBROWS WHEN NE WS BROKE THAT HE’D LEAVE CAM- den County, the juggernaut he built, for tiny Prince Avenue in Bogart. The small Class-A private school announced Herron’s hiring on Feb. 20, which ended Herron’s 13-year run with Camden County. With the Wildcats, the already legendary coach posted three
state titles at the highest classification.
Herron holds a record of 242-45, which included head coaching stops along the way at Cedar Shoals
and Oconee County. At Oconee County, Herron brought the school its only state title, a Class AAA
championship in 1999.
When it's all said and done, Herron will be remembered as one of the top coaches to compete at the
Georgia high school level. Therefore, it seemed strange Herron would make this move. As recently as
2009, Herron won a title with Camden County and brought the school all three of its championships.
As it turned out, more was on Herron’s mind than a game played on Friday nights.
"My primary thing was location,” Herron told the Athens Banner-Herald in February. “I have a lot of
friends there. Our oldest daughter lives there and she is expecting our first grand-baby any day now.”
Being close to his daughter and grandchild were clear priorities for Herron. The argument can also
be made that Herron had nothing left to prove at the Class AAAAAA level. He won multiple championships and made Camden County a perennial title contender. It makes sense that he would want to
focus more on his personal life by bringing his family closer together.
Reaping the reward of Herron’s decision is Prince Avenue athletics director Richard Ricketts. After
losing coach Mark Farriba to Macon’s Stratford Academy, Ricketts needed a coach to build on Farriba’s success. Herron happened to fall in Price Avenue’s lap.
“We are very excited to be able to get Jeff Herron to come in and take our football program to
the next level,” Ricketts said in a statement posted on the school’s website. “Coach Herron is very
respected throughout the state of Georgia, not just because of his incredible record as a football
coach, but also because of his reputation for leading a program with class and character. I am
excited for our school and community to get the opportunity to work with Coach Herron and to get to
know his wonderful family.”
Herron hasn’t won less than 10 games since 2000, when he was in his first year at Camden County.
Since then, Herron has accrued a lot of wins and a few championships. Prince Avenue reached the
semifinals of the Class A tournament in 2011 and lost in the finals of the Class A private tournament
last season. Prince Avenue appears to be on the cusp of its first state championship and Herron just
might be the guy that can lead the Wolverines over the hump.
"I wanted to go to someplace that was used to being successful because that makes it easier,”
Herron told the Banner-Herald.
Notable Coaching Shakeups
NE W NAMES HAVE TAKEN OVER PROGRAMS
all around the state. At Decatur, offensive coordinator Scott Jackson was promoted to head coach and
will replace his former boss Brad Waggoner, who
accepted the same job at Lumpkin County. Leroy
Ryals left Clarke Central after years of success for
Thomasville. Clarke Central replaced Ryals with
defensive coordinator Ahren Self.
With Buck Godfrey retiring at Southwest
DeKalb, the school hired Michael Tanks to
replace him. Tanks played under Godfrey before
becoming a standout at Florida State.
Olten Downs, who was last with Riverdale, was
hired to take over the Creekside football team.
Downs replaces Aaron Whittingham, who spent
one season coaching the Seminoles.
Labor Day Game a No-Go
COLQUIT T COUN T Y COACH RUSH PROPST
was hoping to face his former team, Hoover (Ala.),
in a nationally televised game on Monday, Sept. 2.
However, the Labor Day game will not happen due
to a rule that prohibits teams from playing two
games in one week.
The idea would have placed Colquitt County
on a national platform with ESPN broadcasting
the game. However, the GHSA wouldn’t grant an
exception in this instance.
“I respect their decision,” Propst told The
Valdosta Daily Times. “It is a by-law. We were ask-
ing for an exception to the rule because of ESPN’s
request. Dr. [Ralph] Swearngin, we asked him for
permission and he denied us.”
The two teams will still play a televised game
on the previous Friday. However, it’s unknown if
ESPN will broadcast the game.