Brookwood coach Mark Crews hasn’t gotten much sleep since his team won the Class AAAAA state football championship on late Saturday night.
“Maybe two hours of sleep,” Crews said on Sunday. “I usually don’t get much sleep after games anyways because I have so many things running through my mind about things we need to improve on before the next week’s opponent.”
“Last night was kind of strange, though. I couldn’t sleep well because I was thinking about what a great run our kids had and what our football program accomplished this season.”
Brookwood was crowned state championship in Georgia largest classification, while the other winners were Chattahoochee in Class AAAA, Sandy Creek in Class AAA, Buford in Class AA and Clinch County in Class A.
Another winner was the Georgia High School Association. Ralph Swearngin, the GHSA’s executive director, estimated a total of 50,000 fans attended five championship games over two days in the Georgia Dome — an increase of 20-percent or more from last year’s games.
“I thought it was a great, great experience,” Swearngin said on Sunday. “We were pleased with the quality of the games, along with size of the crowds. Everything went very well this year.”
Brookwood’s 52-38 win over Colquitt County was the highest-scoring state championship game in the history of Georgia football. It also snapped a three-game streak of championship wins by South Georgia schools.
“We had to score a lot because we were scared to death of those guys because they could score a lot,” Crews said. “They had about 900 first downs … We had a real hard time getting them off the field. But when we had the ball on offense, we did something with it about every time we had it.”
For Brookwood, it was the team’s first win in the state finals in three tries under Crews after losses in 2002 and 2005. Crews was carried off the field by his players at the end of Saturday’s game.
“You’re about as disappointed as you can get when you’re walking off the field after losing in the state championship,” Crews said. “I’ve been coaching football for 34 years and I really felt like we had a chance to win this game. There’s a lot of satisfaction in doing it, and a lot of happiness for the kids for achieving it as well.”
Sandy Creek became the third team in state history to win consecutive state championships in different classifications after hoisting the Class AAAA trophy last year. Meanwhile, Buford is the second team in state history to win four state championships in a row.
Chattahoochee coach Terry Crowder says also he hasn’t gotten much sleep since Friday’s 24-0 win over Starr’s Mill in the Class AAAA finals.
“Maybe a couple of hours … I went back to the Dome on Saturday because I have some good friends that coach at Brookwood and watched them,” Crowder said on Sunday night.
“I just can’t wind down. It’s like I don’t want to go to sleep yet. It will probably catch up with me [Sunday night].”
After Chattahoochee won its first state championship in school history, it had a surprise waiting at the gym in the wee hours on Friday night. More than 2,000 Chattahoochee supporters had gathered in the school gym when the team buses returned shortly after midnight.
Crowder got up in front of the crowd to introduce his seniors and the members of his football staff. “It was an incredible way to end the day, just incredible. Everybody didn’t want the night to end. We just celebrated together. I will never forget that night for the rest of my life.”