Photo: Sherry Tracy/edtracy.com
We recently were able to sit down and talk with Newton High School’s Head Coach W.T. Johnston after his win at the state game in Arlington. This is what he had to say about his experience.
Newton County News: What were your thoughts going in to this championship game? Coach Johnston: I said God, if you see fit to let us win, let us win and He did. I thought I was there for more than just the championship. I wanted to win for the community for all they’ve done for me through my tough times. I could never repay them for all they did for me but maybe this is a start.
NCN: Is the championship win as amazing as you had imagined? Coach Johnston: It’s a good feeling. I’ve been here before but as an assistant coach. It’s different being the head coach. It’s your name. There’s a lot more pressure when you are the head coach, but it’s such a great feeling to get here and win.
NCN: When in the game did you realize you were going to win? Coach Johnston: I believe it was the first quarter. These guys made me believe it. They were so confident going in, they had me believing it would be a win for sure. We got in the locker room at half-time and worked out a couple of things and they came back and played the way they’ve been playing all season. I knew this team was unique. To win state you have to have that special edge and they had it and I could see it from the beginning. With speed and strong defense, we knew we were going to win it. The coaches and I even talked about it earlier in the week. We all agreed we would win. After watching tapes of 15 of Gunter’s games we could see they hadn’t played anyone that had what we had and we really believed we could beat them.
NCN: Do you have any exciting holiday plans? Coach Johnston: Rest … lots of rest. People don’t realize that coaches work pretty much seven days a week from August 1st through December – if you play like the Eagles. It is a tough mental and physical grind. Now that we have a break we are going to catch up on our rest. (Side note – we spoke on the day after Christmas and he was just coming out of WalMart! He said it was pretty much a mad house. He is one brave hombre to brave WalMart, especially the day after Christmas!)
One final question for the coach –
NCN: Tell us what you think about your quarterback, Josh Foster? We know the quarterback is critical in having a great season. Give us your thoughts. Coach Johnston: He was definitely a key to winning. He never gets rattled. He stays calm and that helps me. He is laid back. He doesn’t get flustered. When he was a freshman and was running the 1-mile relay I saw such talent. He amazed me and I told him I would never doubt him again and I haven’t. Josh’s demeanor is calm, cool and collected and that definitely helped us bring home the trophy. I believe with Josh, Tamauzia and Darwin – we’re just scratching the surface. These guys are great. The entire team was just special. They had something unique and that is what it took to win the gold. I’m so proud of all these guys.