As we inch towards another high school football season, Lawrence Morgan is preparing for his fourth year running the NwGaFootball Twitter page.
Morgan, a native of Rome, says he spends a great deal of time in this sole endeavor.
“My wife actually gives me heck about how much time I spend working on it,” said Morgan. “It actually started as an outlet for playing golf. Once I started it took off very quickly and now I spend more time with it than I ever did playing golf.”
If you didn’t know him, you might not realize that Morgan runs one of the most respected prep sports projects in the entire state. Lawrence is a father of three: his oldest will be attending the Georgia Institute of Technology this Fall, and his youngest is six years old.
When the 1987 Armuchee High School graduate isn’t working in the pharmacy at Redmond Hospital in Rome or enjoying “dad-time” with his family, he is honing his craft online.
Morgan manages multiple Northwest Georgia sports accounts across several platforms. His main account, @NwGaFootball on Twitter, has more than 8500 followers as of June 2020. He covers baseball with @NwGaBaseball1, runs @basketball_ga for basketball in the area, and has even started up @NEAlaFootball1 for our neighbors to the west.
Lawrence regularly updates his website, nwgafootball.us, so fans can view information on teams, take note of the best matchups each week, and see the best players and performances of previous weeks.
He has also added in a point-spread contest each year, which he feels is a fun way to increase the fan experience regarding games.
“I think everyone thinks it’s cool to pick games against the pros, and I have a lot of fun running that each year,” he said.
It might seem crazy, but all this success has come from Morgan trying out a new hobby.
“I lived in Atlanta for 27 years. I moved back to Rome three years ago, the year of ‘Rome to the Dome.’ I went to six or seven Rome Wolves games that year and heard that Twitter was the place to go for information on players,” Morgan stated. “To be honest, I had no experience with Twitter: my kids told me about it. At the time, Rome High School didn’t have any Twitter pages where they shared kids’ highlights or anything. I looked the players up on Twitter and thought, ‘Someone really needs to highlight these kids.’
“I started the NwGaFootball Twitter page in January 2017. The first year, I covered Pepperell, Coosa, Armuchee, and Rome. Over the years, we’ve now grown to basically the entire state,” said Lawrence Morgan. “Technically, we only cover from the Chattanooga area down through Carroll County, which is 42 schools. Every now and then, though, I’ll have some kid from south Georgia or east Georgia tag me in his highlight video and I’ll retweet it for him.”
Morgan said that he started the NwGaFootball website around the same time as the Twitter page. He found a coupon for a webhost to create a website. Lawrence said that he “isn’t the best with technology,” so his daughter helped him make the NwGaFootball web-page. He was told that Facebook was big for the “older crowd,” so he started up a Facebook page around a month later. He finally got around to creating a YouTube account in 2019. “I started doing videos with Michael Atwater and a couple other guests, and it was just super fun having those different personalities and perspectives talking about the games.”
Although its number of followers has skyrocketed over the years, the purpose of NwGaFootball has never changed.
“It really started as a way to help players get noticed for scholarships and whatnot, and then quickly evolved into a way to get fans excited,” stated Morgan. “You have all these people saying, ‘I love my high school team,’ but you get to the games on Friday night and the stadiums are only halfway full. I love helping players get exposure to college coaches, but if we can also find a way to fill up the stadium and give the casual fans a reason to go- whether it’s because of good players or a good matchup- then that’s good with me.”
When asked which are some of the favorite games he’s covered, the Floyd County native immediately brought up the Battle for Polk.
“Cedartown versus Rockmart, every year, easily. No matter where it’s played you get the crowd, the excitement: it gets you going and it’s hard to beat,” he said. “The best atmosphere I’ve been to was last year’s North Murray-Haralson County game in Tallapoosa. The weather was perfect, the fans were super welcoming, the sky was pink and purple, it was just an awesome time all around.”
As far as favorite players go, Morgan said that he didn’t want to single any one person out. “There have been so many great players over the years and so many that I’ve grown to like. One guy in the beginning though was definitely Jamarcus Chatman from Rome. He’s now at Florida State, but I just remember thinking, ‘I love watching this guy play.’ He’s the best defensive lineman I’ve seen.
“I take it day-by-day with all this. It doesn’t matter how many followers I get, I would continue to do it all the same. I had 335 followers the first year, and am now up to 8500 followers. I put just as much time in then as I do now,” said Morgan. “Every now and then I’ll get to where I wonder if I’ll do it again the following year, and then a coach, player, or fan will text me and thank me for all that I’m doing and it draws me right back in. They keep it going.”
Make sure to give Lawrence Morgan a follow on all his social media accounts: @NwGaFootball, @basketball_ga, @NwGaBaseball1, and @NEAlaFootball1 on Twitter, NwGaFootball on Facebook, and NwGaFootball on YouTube. Later this Summer, fans can also go to nwgafootball.us for information on the upcoming 2020 season, including the best matchups of the 2020 season, blog posts on the new year, and can enter games such as the Pick’ems Challenge and the 2020 NwGaFootball Draft.