The coaching profession can be a difficult career, and it is fairly common for coaches to move around for various reasons, such as finding a place they’re comfortable or finding a better job.
Chad Campbell was lucky enough to find that place early in his coaching career.
The Peach County head football coach has been at the school for 25 years, and he has never seen a Trojan team not make the playoffs since he’s been at the school.
Campbell, in his 11th year as the head coach, has his team poised for a possible state championship game, but he must get past Greater Atlanta Christian on the road this Friday night in the semi-finals of the GHSA 3A state playoffs.
“There is no doubt that Peach County is a very special place when it comes to high school football, and I feel like there just aren’t that many places that support their high school football like this area does,” said Campbell, who has a 119-22 record as Peach County’s head coach. “These kids grow up wanting to be a Peach County Trojan, and the entire community is always behind us. It really is just a great place to be.”
Peach County has had to overcome the loss of offensive stars Chris Gibson and Georgia signee Kearis Jackson, but the team has not missed a beat so far, averaging 41 points per game in the playoffs. Senior Trevon Woolfolk has exploded for 12 touchdowns over the last four games and had 235 yards rushing in the last game, while junior wide receiver Millard Thomas had five catches for 72 yards in Jackson’s absence.
“It has never been a one-man show at Peach County or even a two-man show because we have some skill players, but I don’t know if we have ever lost two kids of that quality on the offensive side of the ball in the same year,” Campbell said. “We have had some guys step up into bigger roles, and our quarterback, Antonio Gilbert, has been excellent all year long. We feel as long as he keeps playing like he has played all year, we will be OK.”
Greater Atlanta Christian knocked Peach County out of the playoffs a year ago, defeating the Trojans 13-7.
“That was a home game, and we just didn’t play very well, especially on the offensive side of the football,” Campbell said. “We never really got into any kind of rhythm, and we had penalties and dropped balls and when we had to throw, we did a very poor job of protecting.
“Our guys remember that game and all of them are competitors, so I believe they will come out and play a much better football game. We start seven seniors on defense, and they all played in that game last year and held them to 13 points, but we have to have that same effort Friday night.”
Greater Atlanta Christian is led by Clemson commit Kyler McMichael, who has 1,382 yards rushing on the year but also plays defensive back. Greater Atlanta Christian has outscored three playoff opponents by a combined score of 138-35.