Teachers Of Men
By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
I have lived in Glynn County my entire life.
I have a passion for football; that maybe my parents, wife, and close friends understand.
I was blessed as a youth to play high school football for a man that I idolize; recent Glynn County Sports Hall of Fame inductee John Willis.
Other than my father who turned 80 years old this week I consider John Willis the greatest influence in my life. The life lessons I learned playing for him prepared me for life. In my mind the things I learned from John Willis are bigger than football he helped develop me into a man.
As I look at the state of high school football in our community today, we are blessed to have three outstanding football coaches charged with developing men in our community.
Brandon Derrick/Frederica Academy: You talk about a coach who can take a little and turn it into a lot, then look no further than Derrick who has consistently developed winning teams at Frederica Academy.
With a State Championship in GISA and numerous region titles, Derrick takes teams that have low numbers and competes with schools with twice the number of players.
A trademark of Derrick football teams is tenacity. The Knights play with a mettle, spirit, and resolution that many of their opponents do not possess and late in ball games that shines through at clutch time.
The values that Derrick teaches will carry with these kids for the rest of their lives. Name me a more tenacious football team than the Frederica Knights? You have Brandon Derrick to thank for that.
Rocky Hidalgo/Glynn Academy: Coach Rock has been at Glynn Academy since 2014 and the fortunes of the program turned immediately.
By the end of the 2015 season Hidalgo had Glynn playing for a State Championship. A trademark of Hidalgo teams is that they are fundamentally sound, which speaks to discipline.
Discipline is a character trait this is seriously lacking among our youth today. Hidalgo teams are prepared down to every little detail.
All Glynn Academy teams I have witnessed are sound in all three phases of offense, defense, and special teams. If a game is tight then it is hard to bet against a Rocky Hidalgo team down the stretch.
Discipline is a trademark of Glynn Academy football and that is because of Rocky Hidalgo.
Garrett Grady/Brunswick High: You talk about a young dynamic coach who knows how to motivate his kids, look no further than Grady.
Grady is a grinder who has a work ethic that is second to none.
Since Grady was named the BHS coach in 2022, he has had the magic touch with the program. Community service, player exposure, everything Grady does he does at 100%.
The key character value I see at BHS currently under Grady is commitment. Grady is committed to these kids at BHS and the kids see that and are totally committed to him.
I’m a Pirate until I die, and Grady is the perfect man to head the BHS football program for years to come. There is a commitment to be great a BHS currently because of Garrett Grady.
Tenacity, discipline, and commitment. Strong core values. Values that are taught to young men on the football fields of Glynn County.
If you don’t think we are blessed on the head coaching front for high school football in Glynn County, then you are not paying attention.
Come out and enjoy a high school football game in Glynn County soon where you will see a collection of head football coaches that I would not want to trade for anyone.
Core values are being taught and all you must do is pay attention. For $10 you can see the hope of our future locally on Friday Nights. That is not a huge investment.