It’s not often the Towns County Indians win their first game of a season. In fact, head coach John Cornett agrees it’s not often enough the boys from Hiawassee get to enjoy the feeling of a win, period.
Now they know the feeling, following an historic 33-14 win on the road at Hayesville, a rival they had only beaten once previously in their history. Dating back to 1969, the earliest recorded history of the Towns County football team, the Indians have won a meager 59 games counting this current win in Week 0. It’s been since 2008 that they started the season off with a victory.
“The people in Towns County are pumped about [the win], and so are the players,” says Cornett. “Just walking around town on Saturday and seeing the excitement of some of the [people] and their excitement carried over from Friday, it’s a great feeling.”
It’s no wonder, in light of those circumstances, that the players, coaches and community are extremely excited in Hiawassee. The win over Hayesville was the first since 2009, and was only the third time in the rivalry that Towns put up more than 12 points. The school will now look to keep the trend of putting these games in the win column. This is no easy task for a team that has a best of four straight wins in its history (2008).
You get the point. Football has been a struggle in Towns County with the school’s size, playing in a region for years with some of the top private schools in the state of Georgia and not having much consistency with coaching. Consider that since ’69, Towns County has had 15 different head coaches, while Commerce has had 16 on record (some records are missing) in their history, which dates back to 1909.
In fact, the Indians have employed four coaches in the past five years, making it hard for the kids to grasp a system and buy in, just to see a new philosophy come in the next year.
“If you look at a program that traditionally doesn’t win, the first thing you ask is ‘how many coaches have they had in the last couple years?'” says Cornett. “Consistency has to be one of the biggest things.”
Cornett believes this win gives Towns County the confidence to enter more games feeling like they have a chance to win, which is a new mindset in Towns County.
“A lot of what has to be taught up here is that winning attitude,” adds Cornett. “We scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff and one of my players was putting his hands on his head like he couldn’t believe it. It’s a shock to a lot of them. We have to as coaches teach them that winning attitude.”
Towns County enjoys a bye week before taking on George Walton Academy on September 2 (Week 2).