Canton, Ga - Adam Carter expects only the best out of his Creekview Grizzly football team, but the first-year head coach admits his best wasn't always good enough.
"Sometimes you have to look at yourself in the mirror and admit you made mistakes too'" said Carter, speaking about his first head coaching experience at Bradwell Institute in 2013. "I was only 28 and I wasn't ready. I made a ton of mistakes. I needed to learn how to lead others and that was probably the most valuable thing that came out of that experience. That- and meeting the woman I would eventually marry."
After the Bradwell Institute "experience" Carter vowed to become the best assistant he could be and took a job at Valdosta, helping the Wildcats return to glory, winning a state championship in 2016. He credits Valdosta head coach Alan Rodemaker with teaching him "a ton" about the game of football, and while in South Georgia, the Paulding County native continued to work on the leadership qualities he failed to hone during his first head coaching opportunity. That eventually led him to Creekview, and the job Carter says he always dreamed was within his reach.
"I'm bringing South Georgia football to Creekview," Carter told us. "It's physical and tough- something you can hang your hat on. I'm the loud, crazy one who's always yelling something."
Since March, Carter has worked to develop a group of hard-working players who aren't afraid to leave everything on the field. His coaching motto has simply been- "compete." Carter inherited a large senior class from former head coach Terry Crowder, who left to start the football program at the new Denmark High School in Forsyth County. That core group of upperclassmen includes running back Cade Radum, the Army verbal commit who went over 3,000 yards for his career last week in a win against Woodstock. Offensive tackle Nick Pendley helps open the holes for Radum, often doling out devastating pancake blocks with a wry smile on his face. "That joker is what you want on the football field." said his coach. Pendley has offers from multiple schools including in-state opportunities at Mercer and Georgia State.
Defensively, the Grizzlies are led by Citadel verbal commit Andy Davis. The hard-hitting safety makes plays behind a defensive line that Carter says deserves a lot of the credit. Six players rotate in and out of the game keeping the unit fresh; an approach that's led to early success stopping the run in 2018.
So far the Grizzlies played their only home game on another team's field. Creekview has waited patiently for the completion of a new turf field, in the meantime borrowing Cherokee High School's stadium for their season-opening win over Cambridge. This Friday the Grizzly faithful will watch Carter's team play for the first time on home turf against Allatoona.
Returning to the metro area has been both a challenge and a blast for Carter, who says he still calls his former boss at Camden County, Jeff Herron, when he needs advice. The legendary Herron won state titles at three different schools in Georgia, and has helped mentor Carter as he attempts to make a successful re-entry into the head coaching ranks-this time with a healthy understanding of the leadership skills required to do the job.
The Creekview Grizzlies will receive their Team of the Week trophy in a special Thursday morning pep rally hosted by Good Day Atlanta's Buck Lanford.