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Callaway Middle School field getting updated

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Over the years, it’s literally been an uphill battle for teams playing football games at Callaway Middle School.

Because the field is severely sloped, one team ends up going uphill, while the other team gets to go downhill.

“All the coaches, especially the local coaches, they don’t want to go up the hill in the fourth quarter,” said Kerry Woodard, the long-time head football coach at Callaway Middle.

That quirk of playing football games at Callaway Middle School is about to be rectified.

Two weeks ago, the funds were approved by the Troup County School Board to renovate the playing surface and make it level.

“Doing this, it’ll make it a lot safer,” Woodard said.

The work won’t be done in time for the upcoming season, so Callaway Middle will play its home games at Callaway Stadium, and possibly in Hogansville at Hendrix Field.

When games are played at Callaway Middle School’s field in 2021, the teams will play on a flat surface, which will be quite a change.

“When everybody plays, they want to be going downhill. You can tell the difference,” Woodard said. “If they punt it and you get it on the 10, it’s like climbing a mountain. Their players are going downhill, and yours are going uphill. Always in the fourth quarter everybody wants to go downhill.”

Despite playing on a hilly field, Callaway Middle’s program has thrived over the years under Woodard’s leadership.

The team has not only won a bunch of games, but the players arrive at Callaway High ready to make a contribution.

Woodard believes the challenging schedule Callaway Middle plays helps prepare the players for the next level.

“I think it helps when they get to high school,” Woodard said. “They’ve played tough competition in middle school.”

Callaway High head coach Pete Wiggins has no doubt that what Woodard has done at the middle school contributes to his team’s success.

“Coach Woodard is a huge part of what we do, he’s a huge part of our success at Callaway High School,” Wiggins said. “He and I have great communication on a daily basis, and he always lets me know who’s coming, their strengths, their weaknesses, and he does a great job at the middle school.”