Brunswick High Pirates Spring Preview 2023
By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
Ka’ Shawn Thomas should be the Region 2-AAAAAA defensive player of the year. No other player in this area has had a bigger impact on that side of the ball than Thomas has had.
The 300-pound senior finished his Pirate career with that heartbreaking 29-28 OT loss to Houston County. Thomas has been the ringleader of a senior class that won 35 football games and 3 region championships.
When you mention the name Ka’ Shawn Thomas to his head coach Garrett Grady you get the following “Ka’ Shawn has been an outstanding football player for us for four years. He is our leader on defense. When things get tough the other kids look to him for leadership and he makes things happen on the football field. He can dominate the line of scrimmage and make teams struggle in the run game. He is also a great pass rusher, and he caves in the pocket in the passing game. You don’t see many kids like him that come through high school programs. He will be missed around here and will be a productive college player at Wake Forest both on the field and in the classroom. He has set the standard around here for defensive linemen moving forward”.
Thomas could end up on some All-State teams after the current high school season concludes and will most definitely be an all-region player in 2022.
Thomas committed to Wake Forest back in March. He was the top player on the Wake Forest board and was the first player committed in their 2023 recruiting class.
Wake will be getting a young man with a great motor, quick first step, and at 300 pounds a man who can command double teams from an opposing offensive line. Wake Forest is a program that is on the rise and is very competitive in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Ka’ Shawn comes from a great family, and he would probably tell you his favorite person and role model is his mother, Tashana.
Tashana is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and she has an amazing personality and when momma talks Ka’ Shawn listens. She has raised a solid young man that is going to be a success in life long after his football career is over. His mother and family have instilled a great foundation in Ka’ Shawn.
Ka’ Shawn leaves a great legacy at Brunswick High School. He will be mentioned as one of the all-time greatest players to ever come through the school. I personally believe that he is one of the top ten players that BHS has ever produced.
It has been a privilege to broadcast Ka’ Shawn for his entire BHS career on Pirate Radio. He has been a great ambassador for the program and a ‘yes sir’, ‘no sir’ kind of young man that always greets you with a firm handshake and the upmost of respect.
I know Ka’ Shawn is going to have a fine college career at Wake Forest, and possibly in 4-5 years you could hear his name called by an NFL in a future NFL draft. I know this the young man will be missed on Altama Avenue.
I will leave you with one final comment that I firmly believe. Ka’ Shawn Thomas is the best defensive lineman to ever play at Brunswick High School. I have seen many kids come through the program since I went to my first Pirate football game in 1974 and I can’t think of one better at his position than Ka’ Shawn.
By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
Year one of the Garrett Grady tenure at Brunswick ended in heartbreaking fashion with a gut wrenching 29-28 loss to Houston County in the first round of GHSA 6A state playoffs.
The Pirates finished the 2022 season with a 10-1 record. The Pirates were crowned Region 2-AAAAAA champions with a 30-27 win over Effingham County.
Let’s look at the 2022 season:
August 19, 2022: The Pirates hosted Andrew Jackson from Jacksonville at Glynn County Stadium. The Tigers finished 7-4 in 2021 earning a playoff berth.
Jayden returned a punt for a touchdown and the Brunswick Black Flag defense held the Tigers to 200 yards of total offense on the night in a 23-13 opening night win. The win was Grady’s first win as a head coach. Andrew Jackson finished the 2022 season with an 8-3 record and playoff berth in Florida.
August 26, 2022: The Pirates hosted Camden County at Glynn County Stadium. Most pundits picked BHS to lose this game, but a strong defensive effort and second half power run game propelled BHS to a 16-10 win.
Lionel Twitty made the play of his BHS career by deflecting a Wildcat pass inside the Pirate 10-yard line to preserve the win. Camden was the #2 seed in Region 1-7A.
September 9, 2022: BHS played in the inaugural Georgia/Florida High School Football Classic at Glynn County Stadium. The Pirate defense completely shut down Bolles in a 20-3 win. This was another game the experts predicted BHS to lose.
September 16, 2022: BHS beat Islands High School 49-0 in a very lopsided contest. Outcome was never in doubt.
September 23, 2022: BHS hammered Glynn Academy 55-21 to win its third consecutive City Championship.
The Pirate offense was clicking throughout the contest and Glynn’s only scores came on trick plays and a fluke pass deflection.
The 55 points scored by BHS were the most ever for the Pirates in the long and storied history of the City Championship Series. BHS leads the all-time series 40-37-2.
September 28, 2022: BHS traveled to Grovetown in Augusta for a Wednesday contest that was moved up due to Hurricane Ian.
Touchdown Terry Mitchell scored 4 TDs on his birthday and the Pirates won a 56-39 shootout to stay undefeated on the season.
October 7, 2022: BHS hosted Lakeside Evans at Glynn County Stadium. The Pirates took control of the game early and cruised to a 44-10 win.
The Pirate defense dominated the contest.
October 21, 2022: BHS traveled to Guyton and hammered South Effingham 42-3.
BHS scored 6 touchdowns in their first 19 offensive plays. Mitchell caught a 54-yard TD pass from JR Elkins on the first offensive play of the game.
The Mustangs kicked a 42-yard field goal with under two minutes remaining on a running clock to avoid the shutout.
October 27, 2022: BHS traveled to Evans and lost LB Devin Smith for the remainder of the season with a broken ankle just two minutes into the contest.
The Pirates turned it over 6 times on the night in an ugly 28-7 win to stay unbeaten.
November 4. 2022: The Pirates held on late to beat Effingham 30-27 for the region championship in possibly the worst officiated game I have ever witnessed in person.
The story of the contest was yellow flags that wiped out two Pirate scores in the contest.
November 11, 2022: First round playoff game with Houston County.
The Bears rolled up 600 yards of total offense and led 21-7 in the fourth quarter.
The Pirates put on a furious rally and tied the game with 48 seconds left, and HOCO missed a 32 yards FG to win it with one second left on the clock to win it in regulation.
BHS scored to lead 28-21 in OT and Houston scored to cut it to 28-27 and went for two points and converted to end the BHS season with a 29-28 win.
This senior class won 35 games and three city and region championships. That ranks this group as one of the best in BHS history.
Garrett Grady should be region coach of the year.
Ka‘Shawn Thomas should be your defensive player of the year in the region.
Terry Mitchell should be your offensive player of the year in the region.
Things are looking pretty good right now on Altama Avenue.
Brunswick High Pirates Coach’s Show w Garrett Grady August 30
Brunswick High Pirates Coach’s Show w Garrett Grady August 24
By: Teddy Bishop
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
In 2021, the Brunswick High Pirates rolled to an 11-1 record that included a city championship, a region championship, and a second-round playoff appearance.
In 2022, the Pirates have a new head coach, a different region, and aspirations of a much deeper run in the playoffs.
Garrett Grady has taken over as the Head Pirate after five years as offensive coordinator at BHS. Almost all of the coaching staff from last season has returned, which should be a big plus for the Pirates. “The coaches have done a great job developing relationships with our guys,” Coach Grady said in a recent interview with Bishop Media. “Our hashtag is still ‘All About the Family.’ “
When asked about his offensive scheme, Grady said it will reflect the personnel. “We want to play to our strengths,” he added. “We have a great offensive line,” with Quan Gibson, Jamal Meriweather, Eli Smith, and Jonathan Welson returning. “We also have some experienced receivers in Terry Mitchell and Jayden Drayton,” among others.
“We have a new quarterback in J.R. Elkins. I think he will be able to put the ball in space on the outside. We’ll run a lot of zone and gap schemes.”
Replacing Chuckobe Hill and Ree Simmons at running back will not be easy, but Grady is pleased with the performances of several running backs, including William Heck.
As for defense, “We have seven or eight defensive starters returning from last year,” said Grady, including Ka’Shawn Thomas, last year’s region defensive player of the year, and a Wake Forest commit. “Our defense will revolve around Ka’Shawn. He can disrupt a lot of offenses. “
“Everything we do defensively is based out of a 3-4,” Grady added, “but we’ll run multiple fronts out of it. We also have good experience returning at linebacker and in the secondary.”
Special teams should also be a strength for Brunswick High. McClain Fineran, who led the region in scoring last season, will return as kicker for the Pirates. “We’re going to be very athletic on special teams,” Grady asserted.
Brunswick High is still in Region 2-6A, but with some changes. GHSA realignment dropped Bradwell, Richmond Hill, and Statesboro from 2-6A; and added three Augusta schools—Evans, Grovetown, and Lakeside Evans.
The Pirates kick off the season August 19 at Glynn County Stadium on the newly installed artificial turf against Andrew Jackson High School, followed by Camden County (August 26), also at home.
Following a bye week, Brunswick High will host Bolles (September 9) as part of the Border War Classic, and then Islands (September 16) to conclude non-region play.
Region play begins on September 23 for the Pirates against Glynn Academy in the City Championship Game, with the winner earning the inside track for a region title.
Brunswick High will then travel to Augusta to take on Grovetown (September 30), followed by Lakeside Evans (October 7) back at Glynn County Stadium.
The Pirates will have another bye week on October 14 before traveling to Guyton and taking on South Effingham (October 21.)
BHS will make its second trip to Augusta (October 28) to do battle with Evans. Grady’s Pirates will conclude regular-season play at home against Effingham (November 4).
“It’s a tough schedule,” Grady related, “but that’s how we want it. We’re going to be battle tested.”
Five rounds of state playoff games begin on November 11, with the state championship game scheduled for the second week in December.
“I want to commend my coaching staff and players,” Grady said in conclusion. “Everyone’s been working hard, and we’re excited about the upcoming season.”
It says here that Garrett Grady’s Brunswick High Pirates win another city championship, another region championship, and make a deep, deep, deep, deep run in the state playoffs.
Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch February 5