Details of Forsyth County schools’ 2018 football schedules have started to trickle out, and the non-region slate West Forsyth is truly unprecedented.
A county public high school has never played a football game against an opponent from outside Georgia, but this fall, the Wolverines will play two: One at home against Alabama’s Hewitt-Trussville, and one in Chattanooga against The McCallie School. In 2019, the home and away teams will switch for those matchups.
“If you've got four or five non-region games that you've got to fill, do something fun that the kids will like,” Wolverines head coach Shawn Cahill said.
Both of those opponents have been highly competitive in recent years. Hewitt-Trussville has finished 11-1 the past two seasons and this fall will have four-star recruit and Alabama commit Pierce Quick on the offensive line. McCallie was 8-4 in 2017 and 7-5 in 2016, reaching the state playoffs both years.
Cahill took the initiative to get both games scheduled: He heard that Hewitt-Trussville was looking for a game through another area coach, so he reached out to the Huskies. He followed a similar process to get the Blue Tornadoes, who have played area teams like Blessed Trinity in recent years, to fill the open date late in the non-region schedule.
Add the away date at Camden County, and the Wolverines will have traveled plenty of miles by the time the Region 5-7A schedule comes around.
“I’m okay with it,” Cahill said. “I told our booster club, ‘As long as I’m not taking yellow school buses, I’ll go wherever.’”
In fact, Cahill was looking at even more distant destinations for games, having considered schools in Michigan and Minnesota as home-and-home opponents. He sees games against far-off opponents as a way to inject more intrigue and motivation into the Wolverines’ preparation.
“We put our schedule up in the weight room for our kids, (and) they’ll look at it and they’ll get excited about that, because they don’t know a thing about Hewett-Trussville other than they’ve got some really good football players,” Cahill said.
Of course, not all states are within reach. Cahill considered looking into games against a school from his native North Dakota, but given the task of going all the way to somewhere like Fargo and possibly even further, the cost didn’t look reasonable.
“If they’d come down here, I’d happily play them,” Cahill said. “But I’m not going up there.”