The first-year Rambler head man would celebrate career victory No. 1 on Aug. 31, 1990, in LaFayette’s season opener — a 28-7 triumph over Trion. And on Friday night, nearly exactly 22 years later, Teague soaked up another milestone with career win No. 200, a 42-12 rout of Chapel Hill as the leader of the Carrollton High School football program.
In his 23rd season as a head coach, including the past 11 at Carrollton, Teague has enjoyed career highs that include a Class AAA state title at Swainsboro in 2000, a trip to the Class AAA state championship at Carrollton in 2010, earning his 100th win as a Trojan last season and then career victory No. 200 on Friday night at Grisham Stadium.
Needless to say, Teague said it was an honor to enjoy the accomplishment in such a special environment, one enriched in football tradition and history.
“Yeah, it’s just a great place. A great place to work. Just great support and great young men to work with. Obviously, this is where I see myself with my career and I just love being here and being a part of it. So it’s exciting to do it here,” Teague said.
Teague joins Trojan coaching icon Charlie Grisham, who won 261 career games — all at Carrollton — during his historic, 29-year run as the Trojan head coach from 1958-86, as the only Carrollton coaches to hit the 200-win mark.
It’s a feat CHS Athletic Director David Brooks said simply speaks for itself.
“We’re proud of him and proud that we were able to share that moment with him. I don’t know what the numbers are, but there’s not many people that have won 200 football games. And we have two of them here at Carrollton, so that’s pretty neat,” Brooks said.
Teague now has 107 career wins at Carrollton to go along with the 26 he had in four years at LaFayette and 67 in eight seasons at Swainsboro. With a record of 200-64-1 as a head coach, good for a .757 winning percentage, Teague has only had two losing seasons during his career — and one of those was the result of forfeiting five wins at Swainsboro in 1998 after self-reporting an ineligible player.
And as the ‘W’s keep piling up, Teague will continue to build his own career — and Carrollton — legacy before eventually hanging it up sometime down the road.
“It’s special for us here at Carrollton for him to be at Carrollton when it happened. I think it’s just a testament that if you do things right and you get good people around you and do it the right way ... and I think he’s proven that he’s done it the right way over a period of time,” Brooks said.
Lions Looming Large
While ultimately his Lions found a way to hold off Bremen and come away with the 34-28 win, Central High School football coach Grant Chesnut found another victory on the Bremen Athletic Field on Friday night.
The Lions never trailed in the game, but several times the Blue Devils came back to tie the game or come within a score. And each time, Chesnut’s Lions responded with another touchdown — or, in another instance, running out the clock at the end.
“That was huge. Quite honestly, whether we had won or lost this game, I told our kids at halftime that I was proud of them because we became a better team [Friday]. We executed on offense. We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot. So regardless of the outcome of the game, it was going to be a win for our program,” Chesnut said.
“For them to fight like they did and actually win the ball game is icing on the cake. We’re still building a program. This is only year two. But this was a great step against a program we have tremendous respect for.”
Up next, Central will go for a little more history. The win against Bremen gave the Lions their first 3-0 start since 1988, and if the Lions defeat Ringgold at home next week, they will be 4-0 for the first time since their undefeated, Class AA state championship season in 1987.
Fighting through the Hiccups
Bremen put itself in a hole early Friday by fumbling on the second play of the game. That led to a Central touchdown and the Blue Devils would never be able to get on top.
And while there were some non-Bremen moments in the game, the Blue Devil fight never went away. They continually got back in the game to give themselves a chance in the six-point setback to the Lions.
“I’m not proud at all of our execution. I’ll take the blame for our execution. We can execute better than that. Fundamentally, we played very poor on the defensive side,” Bremen coach Ricky Tolleson said. “We started out making errors, fell behind and got it back to a six-point game. We had a chance, they held us on fourth down ... I was proud of our kids for the way they fought. They’ve got nothing not to be proud of — except for the way they executed.”
There will be no room for error next week with the Region 5-AA schedule getting underway when the Blue Devils host Chattahoochee County.
Big-Play Ways of Bowdon
Bowdon’s reputation in recent years of being a big-play offense has seemed to recycle its way down to a new crop of Red Devils, as long runs proved to be the theme of Friday night’s 32-14 road win at Haralson County.
Junior halfback Chris Keith had touchdown sprints of 74 and 69 yards to get the scoring started and fellow junior halfback Jarod McKey added an 82-yard score before the half. Keith tacked on a 35-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Pearce Kirk closed out the strong rushing effort with a 22-yard touchdown run. Keith racked up 188 yards and the three scores on just eight attempts to lead the offensive charge.
Bowdon coach Dwight Hochstetler said the only negative effect the quick scores — especially in the opening half — had on his team was the fact that it didn’t allow much time for the defense to rest.
“Every time we got the ball, it seemed like we scored real quick on long runs. Haralson County had a lot more plays than we did. They might have doubled us up on plays. Our defense was out on the field quite a bit,” Hochstetler said.
Region Rhythm for Braves
After kicking off the 2012 season with a win at rival Callaway, Heard County coach Tim Barron and his Braves had an open week to prepare for Friday night’s 47-12 home win over Chattooga. Now after knocking off the Indians, Heard County has to endure another open date before beginning Region 5-AA play on Sept. 21 when they host Bremen.
And while Barron won’t complain about having two weeks to prepare for a program like Bremen, he is looking forward to his ball club eventually getting into a routine of playing every Friday night.
“When you’re playing pretty good, you hate to have those off weeks because it takes you out of your rhythm. But we’ll need two weeks to prepare for Bremen ... They do such a great job over there and their kids play so hard and real physical. It’s a different animal. I said that right before we played Callaway. Where Callaway will spread you out and have athletes everywhere, Bremen is not afraid to be patient and just pound it out and pound it out and wait for you to make a mistake. Then when you do, you pay for it,” Barron said.
“It’s a big challenge. You hate to play somebody in the region this early that is as good as Bremen is. You’d rather have a few more games under your belt before you line up and play a team as talented as Bremen.”
From Kittens to Cats
Second-year Villa Rica coach Mike Falleur has some young-ins at key starting roles on the varsity level this fall, and though the Wildcats dropped their season opener to South Paulding in a 21-6 contest on Friday night, Falleur thought his team made strides from its showing in the Aug. 16 scrimmage at Central.
“Oh, a ton of improvement. I thought our defense played so much better. Offensively, we did some good things. We just couldn’t sustain them, and we’ve got to do that,” Falleur said.
Haralson County coach Alan Lane could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Times-Georgian Sports Reporter Jordan Hofeditz contributed to this story.