Lee Chomskis remembers the packed stadiums, from Butler’s to Richmond Academy’s.
But the Westside graduate also remembers winning – he can’t ever forget that.
Tonight, the Vidalia football coach will go against his alma mater in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs when the Patriots visit the Indians for a 7:30 game.
“Life has come full circle, so to speak,” Chomskis said. “Westside has a special place in my heart. It left a lot of memories. It’s probably a big reason I got into my profession.”
A 1980 graduate of Westside, Chomskis played football and baseball for the Patriots, who went 29-4-1 from 1977-1979 in football.
Chomskis has coached against the Patriots before, but tonight will be the first time as a head coach in football.
Chomskis’ team is 10-0 this season and ranked No. 3 in Class AA.
At the same time, 5-5 Westside has slumped by losing four in a row. But this still marks the program’s first state playoff appearance since 2005.
Chomskis’ game against his alma mater is just one in a weekend full of matchups as the Georgia High School Association playoffs begin. Besides Class A, which begins its playoffs next week, every classification in the GHSA starts its playoff action.
Nine area GHSA-member schools play this week, with Burke County (Class AAAA), Thomson (Class AAA) and Screven County (Class AA) all No. 1 seeds because of region titles.
Lakeside, which is in the playoffs for the third time in four years, hits the road in Class AAAAA, as does Jefferson County in Class AAA.
Laney and Washington-Wilkes in Class AA and Washington County in Class AAA are all home.
The Wildcats hope to get another home playoff victory following a 41-13 win against Morgan County in 2011.
Laney has won five games in a row by an average of 33.8 points.
“I think it’ll be a good contest,” Laney coach Lemuel Lackey said. “I hope we get into a rhythm.”