Rocky Hidalgo

Red Terrors’ Devlin

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The last few years the Glynn Academy Terrors have had successful seasons, but often ending just short of their goals in the GHSA Playoffs.

Rocky Hidalgo and his staff are hoping to continue the regular season success and make a deep playoff push. They will put their best foot forward heading into the 2021 season with a new name under center.

A season ago the Terrors were able to win a share of the region championship and are only looking to build on that success with rising Junior, Tyler Devlin at the helm of the Glynn Academy offense.

Rocky Hidalgo and his coaching staff are looking forward to seeing how exactly Tyler’s game can help propel the Terrors into a state title contender.

Devlin began his high school career at the GISA-AAA School, Frederica Academy, starting as a freshman before deciding to transfer out and attend the much larger Glynn Academy.

Devlin said “he just felt like it was the right time” when asked why he decided to transfer and has done considerably well with all of the different hats he’s had to wear since arriving last fall.

Outside of his baseball season, which he is currently in the middle of, Devlin played JV for Glynn Academy a season ago while also being the backup for the Terrors Varsity team at Quarterback.

Devlin split time with the JV and Varsity team, which had to be difficult while learning a new system but he never shied away from doing what was asked.

Devlin played both safety and wide receiver for the Terrors, while also learning a brand new playbook, further demonstrating to his teammates and coaches that no task is too big for the talented young athlete.

In just a few months, Devlin has created an outstanding reputation within his coaching staff labeling him as a ‘competitor’, as well as gaining the trust of each one of his teammates. This has earned him the opportunity to lead the Terrors out onto the field on Friday nights.

Hidalgo said “he reminds me a lot of Randon Jernigan with how he carries himself and is able to make his teammates around him better”.

Once again demonstrating Devlin’s will to win, but in the right way. Hidalgo also mentioned that while Tyler is not the most outspoken player, he is highly respected due to the fact that when he speaks his teammates listen.

With such high praise from his head coach, Tyler is hoping to make waves throughout the State with his innate leadership skills and how he demands the best from his teammates every day in practice.

In previous years under coach Hidalgo the Terrors have been known for their offensive attack through the speed option, but look for Glynn Academy to have a few new tricks up their sleeves in the upcoming season.

With an elusive man behind center like Devlin, who likes to think of himself as a Johnny Manziel-Esque’ style quarterback, it allows the play calling to be much more creative.

Fortunately for Tyler. these plays will allow him to get outside the pocket often and showcase his skills with his speed and elusive nature.

Although Devlin is a young quarterback, he has a considerable amount of experience in big games. From starting as a freshman at Frederica Academy to seeing some action late last season in the playoffs, Devlin is looking to put his best foot forward heading into his junior season.

Devlin and his coaches have already begun working on his footwork as well as taking the time to sit down and dissect some film to help slow the game down for a talented young man like Tyler.

After the Terrors finished 8-4 a season ago and lost to Langston Hughes in the second round of the Playoffs, Tyler Devlin still has a bad taste in his mouth and has his sights set on something much bigger for next season.

Monday Morning QB’s

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

As the color commentator for Brunswick High football radio broadcasts for the last 13 years I see good trends and bad trends during football seasons.

A disturbing trend currently is attendance for home football games for our two public high schools in Glynn County.

Currently the two high schools in Glynn County average around 1,000 spectators for a home football game. That is pretty embarrassing for high schools that play in the second highest classification in the state.

Yet, in spite of poor attendance many seem to be an expert on the direction the local programs should take and offer these takes on social media outlets and really have no idea what they are talking about.

Example, I was surfing the internet after Brunswick’s loss to Richmond Hill last week and a nameless expert hiding behind a computer said the program was trash and has been trash since a previous head coach was in charge five years ago.

Here is a nugget of wisdom for this expert, who claims Brunswick wastes so much talent and wants to throw every single head coach under the bus, the school has an all-time football record of 271-274-6. Chew on those facts for a moment, expert.

Brunswick High School has been playing football for 52 years and the historical average is five wins and five losses per season, but yet this expert expects a state title every season. However, won’t give a dime of support, or time to the program.

I’m tempted to name names here but I will refrain. Brunswick High has not played past the second round in the state playoffs since 1999 and has only accomplished that feat twice in its history.

Glynn Academy is in the best run of their football history and you hear people in the community starting to complain about the program but yet 900 people show up to a game on Friday night to support a program that has won over 50 football games over the past five seasons.

What is the deal here people? Prior to the current head coach arriving, Glynn had not won a region title in football since 1972. Now they have won four region titles in a row. Are the GA faithful a spoiled now?

Do local football coaches come to your job and boo you for missing a revenue target? Do they show up at your sales meetings and provide insights to how you should do your job better? Do they show up and yell at your kid at the recreation level when they make a mistake? Do they go on Facebook and say the North Glynn Recreation league Yellow Jackets are trash and need to fire their volunteer coach? Of course, they don’t so why is everyone an expert at football?

Kirby Smart is 37-11 at UGA, yet experts on Facebook say he is a bad coach after a loss.

Did UGA deserve to loss to South Carolina last week? Hell yeah, they did because South Carolina wanted it more on that particular day.

Programs are built through blood, sweat and tears and over time, but it can be destroyed at one family dinner by the most destructive thing in the history of mankind, the tongue. Many a Church sermon has been preached regarding taming the tongue but the lesson never seems to be learned.

When mean-spirited people bad mouth a football program it affects the bottom line for Glynn County Athletics, which depends on football to fund all other sports.

When people don’t attend games, revenue is not generated. Coach Rocky Hidalgo at Glynn told me about three years ago that when people outside the program come to him with coaching suggestions, he gives them a magic marker and tells them to draw it up on the chalkboard. I wonder how long those conversations last.

There are two pretty good head football coaches in Glynn County, and dedicated players who work their behinds off who never walk on a field intending to lose on Friday night.

Give them your support, or like my granddaddy always said “roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches with me, or keep your damn mouth shut”.

The kids in Glynn County community need your support on Friday nights. Will you support them? Wins, losses, style of offense, who is the QB, all of that stuff really doesn’t matter to a true supporter.

Are you all in Glynn County? Your support is needed.

Glynn Set To Terrorize 2019

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

When I sat down with Glynn head coach Rocky Hidalgo a few weeks ago he said the following: “The 2019 edition of Red Terror football will be exciting. Who plays a tougher non-region schedule than us? We are going to be a good football team”.

That about sums it up for the Glynn Academy faithful. This team is solid across the board and the clear favorite in Region 2-AAAAAA this fall. The Wayne, Ware, and Camden games will have this team peaking by region play in October.

My Regular Season Prediction: 9-1

Game by Game Predictions:

8/23 @ Fort Dorchester SC: The Red Terrors travel to the Charleston area and play a seasoned South Carolina playoff team. Fort Dorchester beat GA on the field in 2018 but had to forfeit the win later.

Glynn sets the tone early in this one with the power run game and wins a tough one on the road 31-21.

8/30 vs Washington: GA blows out this team 49-7, and everyone in the program plays in the contest. Glynn goes to 2-0 on the season.

9/6 @ Groves: Glynn could beat Groves 80-0 if they wanted to do so. Coach Rock calls off the Terrors midway through the second quarter as GA hammers Groves 56-6. The Red Terrors go to 3-0 on the season.

9/20 vs Wayne County: The Jackets beat Glynn in Jaycee Stadium last year, but the 35-mile trip to Glynn County Stadium won’t be kind to the Jackets in 2019.

The Red Terrors physically whip Wayne and win a 28-14 ball game to go to 4-0 on the season. By this point Glynn should be ranked in the top 3-4 teams statewide in 6A.

9/27 vs Ware County: This will be a huge one between the bricks. Quote me later on this “no first-year coach is coming to Brunswick and beating Rocky Hidalgo and Glynn”. Glynn beats the Gators 24-17 to go to 5-0 on the season.

10/4 vs Camden: Camden is going to be really good in 2019. I think the 7A Cats with more depth than Glynn win a tough 24-21 contest on the road. Glynn drops to 5-1 on the season.

10/18 @ Richmond Hill: The Wildcats should be good on defense but can they contain Glynn enough and score enough points to win?

The answer is no, as Glynn goes to 6-1 with a 30-14 win over Richmond Hill.

10/25 vs Brunswick: Glynn owns the town and series at the moment. Brunswick will be improved but not enough.

The Red Terrors win the sixth straight game in the series 27-20 to go to 7-1 on the season.

11/1 @ Effingham: Effingham can’t match Glynn on the line of scrimmage and GA rolls into Springfield and clinches a fifth straight region title 35-10.

The Red Terrors go to 8-1 on the season.

11/8 vs. Bradwell: The Terrors roll over the Tigers 42-7, and enter the state playoffs as a number one seed from region two at 9-1 on the season.

Opposing Coach View on Glynn: “Rocky has built a solid program from the inside out down there. They are always going to be solid on defense, and how far they go depends on how far the QB position takes them.”

They have a good chance to make a run this year and when I say run, I mean final 4 or championship game. They play a great schedule that gets them peaking come region and playoff time.

Camden should be getting close to being the Camden we all know again so watch that game to get a gauge on where Glynn is.

Outside of Benedictine this has been the best program in Southeast Georgia for past 4-5 seasons. They have tough kids who have bought into what they are teaching down there. This is a good high school football program. They have been close a couple of times there.

That 2015 team was better than the team they lost to in the dome, and that 2017 team was peaking and the wheels fell off late at Lee County. This 2019 team has the potential to be better that both.”

Look for Glynn to make a deep playoff run in 2019.

Terror Town 2019

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

I think the word consistent in sports is not as valued as it should be.

On the state high school football scene, the Glynn Academy Red Terrors have been consistently good for the past five years.

Good to the point where the Terrors are enjoying their best football run in the program’s proud 106-year history. The reason for this consistency is Head Coach Rocky Hidalgo.

I had an opportunity to sit down with Coach Hidalgo and talk Spring Football with him.

College recruiters were in and out of his office during that window, which means the Red Terrors will be very good again in 2019.

The Terrors had 130 kids out for spring, and Hidalgo likes what he sees so far. “The kids are competing hard, working hard, doing everything we ask of them, and we’re going to be a really good football team this fall”.

Glynn has won four straight region championships in football. High School Football is the program that stirs the drink for all sports in the Glynn County School System. Glynn will be the favorite to capture its 5th straight title this fall.

At QB Hidalgo speaks highly of TJ Lewis. At 6’4, Lewis is improving his mechanics and is looking good throwing the deep ball. Hidalgo also raved about Jayden Drayton, who looked good as a freshman in 2018.

The Red Terrors are very good at running back with the trio of Caden Hutchinson, Nolan Grant, and Alan Partin. Hidalgo says Grant is blessed with great foot speed, and called Hutchinson a tough kid with a mean streak that you want running between the tackles who also has good speed. Then you have Partin who is big and strong who can get the tough yard or lead block in the run game.

Glynn Academy is going to run the football. Period. End of story. If you are going to beat Glynn Academy then you will have to match their physicality.

At WR Hidalgo raved about the speed of the group and how they can separate from defenders. He thinks his skill people are as good as anyone in the region.

The Terrors return most of the offensive line from 2018. Look for Drez Wilcox to have a big season. Trevor Timmons, Jack Fendig, Nick Demarzo, and Nick Muchinson are the best returning offensive line in the region and one of the better units in all of Georgia.

Chase Gabriel has a big leg and carries on the long tradition of great Glynn FG kickers. He is a weapon.

At defensive line Jordan Swain, James Dyal, and Torrez Davis will lead a physical group with some of the offensive lineman mentioned above providing depth. Hidalgo calls this a good deep position group.

Glynn has some young talent at linebacker like Tywon Melvin, Ryan Seay, and Miles Smith ready to step up and contribute to a position group that has been very good over the past five seasons.

In the secondary, Byron Bacon is the leader on the back end. Bacon has good size and great speed and will play division one football. Hidalgo called Bacon a very good football player who has great leadership qualities.

JuJuan Floyd is a very fast corner who will also play some WR.

Hidalgo says the 2019 edition of Red Terror football will be exciting. Hidalgo also raves about his 2019 schedule and how it gets them peaking by the time region play comes around.

Glynn plays Valdosta in the preseason scrimmage, South Carolina power Fort Dorchester, Wayne, Ware, and Camden County by the first week of October. Hidalgo asked “who plays a tougher non region schedule than us?”

Glynn Academy doesn’t rebuild any longer they just reload. Red Terror Football is consistently good.

When a head coach of a successful program points out leadership, work ethic, and enthusiasm as team strengths then the rest of Region 2-AAAAAA better look out. Glynn will have the Red and White game on May 17th at Glynn County Stadium.

Gator Call

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Franklin Stephens left Ware County and headed to the Cobb County school system last week. By doing so he left Ware looking for a football coach pretty late in the game.

While everyone else in the state is getting ready for spring football practice, Ware County has to hire a new football coach.

When a job like Ware opens up the rumor mill starts churning. Rumors fly left and right about who has applied and who might apply.

Another rumor is Ware has had 60 people apply for the opening in the past week. The internet is buzzing with big name coach sightings in Waycross.

What is special about the Ware County job? I had a retired school administrator tell me that the Ware job is the best job in southeast Georgia. Let’s take a look at the reasons why:

1.Talent: Ware County is loaded with talented athletes. Football is king in the County and Ware for the last 20 years has been a consistent winner making it to the state title game twice, many deep playoff runs, and is always a region title contender.

A new coach comes into a stacked roster with a generational player at QB, who is a rising sophomore. The Gators have speed and size everywhere. Not many jobs have the talent pool of Ware.

2.Pay: The Ware job is one of the top paying jobs in this area. The assistants are paid above scale, and football is a priority. Football pays the bills and it is invested in heavily.

3.Support: The Gators have a dedicated fan base, a renovation taking place in a historic 10,000 seat stadium and an active booster club that raises a lot of funds that support the football program.

4.Location: Ware County is within one hour of the beach, major airport and metropolitan center in Jacksonville. The Gators are in a region alignment that sets them up to win big every season.

Now let’s have some fun with speculating who would be a good candidate for this job from our area. Keep in mind I am SPECULATING here folks.

Brandon Derrick/Frederica Academy: Fresh off of a state title, Derrick can’t do much more on St. Simons Island.

The challenge at Frederica is bringing in football players to keep the numbers up.

Derrick would have JaShawn Sheffield and Jaylin Simpson type talent, or better coming through the Ware program every year. He is a good coach, who needs to land a big job like Ware. Thomas County Central hired their head man from Valwood. The precedent is there. He needs his shot.

Sean Pender/Brunswick High: The Air Raid offense in Waycross is scary to think about. The Gators put up record numbers, that still stand today, from his stint as offensive coordinator in the late 1990’s.

Ware is a one-school county and you don’t have to worry about the talent in the county being divided between three schools.

Pender knows how Ware County operates better than anyone. Mrs. Pender loves the Golden Isles however.

Rocky Hidalgo/Glynn Academy: If you can’t beat them hire them, right? The Rock is 4-2 against Ware and physically beat up the Gators in those 4 wins.

The man can coach and hires assistants better than anyone. Ware could match the money or give him a pay raise.

He would have elite talent at his disposal annually. Could he be lured away from the coast? If so, in 15 years he could have a statue of him outside of Memorial Stadium.

Jason Strickland/Pierce County: It is only a 10-mile drive to Waycross from Blackshear. The job would be a step up in classification and money for Strickland. He would be a great hire.

Pierce plays in the worst AAA region in the state, so the third-round trip in the playoffs last season could be the high-water mark there.

Tucker Pruitt/Fitzgerald: Pruitt is a good coach who could step in and win big right away at Ware. There is better talent and more money in Waycross than Fitzgerald. This could be a dream job for someone like Pruitt.

The Ware County job outside of Camden County may be the best job in South Georgia. Ware has the applicants to prove it.

Terrorizing 2018

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

As the 2018 football season rapidly approaches, I had the opportunity to sit down with Glynn Academy head football coach Rocky Hidalgo to chat about the 2018 Red Terrors.

Hidalgo is entering his 5th season at GA with a 41-13 record, a couple of region championships and 4 deep runs in the state playoffs. It is safe to say Glynn Academy is a state football power now under Coach Rock’s watch.

The coach says this about the 2018 team “We are young in spots and could end up starting 7-8 sophomores and could struggle some early, but the key for us is to use that time to peak for region play and have that carry over into the state playoffs”.

On offense the Terrors will be led by Nolan Grant at RB, who his coach describes as “special” and is as good as any running back in these parts. Allen Partin, Caden Hutchinson, and Tyshawn Wallace may give Glynn the best running back position group in South Georgia and maybe the state.

Shane Wells is returning on the OL and Hidalgo thinks his offensive line will have a lot of upside this fall. “We may have as many as three new starters on the offensive line, but our strength and conditioning program gets our kids in position to play early in our system”.

At QB the battle comes down to Sam Wagner and TJ Lewis. Hidalgo is watching closely as the battle progresses over the summer. Lewis is tall and athletic at 6’3 and Wagner will start at WR if he doesn’t win the QB job.

At WR Hidalgo spoke about Deandre Frazier doing a fine job and thinks TJ Bradley and Jaden Miller will develop into fine players at the position.

On defense, Hidalgo raved about DL Marlon Taylor. At 6’2 265 the head coach called him the best defensive lineman in this area.

The junior is a two-year starter with a great attitude. James Dyal, Torrez Davis, Kedrick Adams, Jordan Swain, and Drez Wilcox make this talented group as deep as any position on the roster. The head coach says they will rotate 9 players on the defensive line.

AT LB look for Jamarcus Sims, Johnny Bradley, Tashaun Lane, and Miles Smith to get snaps at the position. Hidalgo thinks he has some good talent at the position. AT DB Byron Bacon and Travis Clinch will lead a talented unit this fall.

“One thing we are going to do here is play defense and this group has the potential barring injuries to be the best unit we have had here”.

Chase Gabriel will handle the punting and place-kicking duties this fall.

Hidalgo raves about his coaching staff. “I have the best coaching staff in the state and they work their tails off and the kids believe in what we are doing here and that makes all the difference in the world”.

The early part of the schedule is very tough. Fort Dorchester a South Carolina state power in the opener at Glynn County Stadium. Fort Dorchester went 13-1 in 2017.

Three straight road games with Camden, Ware, and Wayne in September.

The region slate has Glynn traveling to Richmond Hill and Bradwell while playing Effingham on the road. Glynn will be the designated road team in City Title game with Brunswick.

This writer sees 9-10 regular season wins for this Red Terror squad and a region championship. Hidalgo says the Terrors have 3 goals every season.

“Our goals here never change here and they are 1. City Championship 2. Region Championship 3. State Championship”.

Don’t be surprised if you see the 2018 Glynn Academy Red Terrors playing in Mercedes Benz Stadium this December. Glynn doesn’t rebuild anymore they reload.

Gold Standard For Red Terrors

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Glynn Academy has been educating students in Glynn County since 1788. Glynn Academy has been playing football since 1913, but history is being made currently with this current batch of Red Terror seniors.

This senior class led by Hunter Hall, Randon Jernigan, Andrew Delaney, Tyler Grant, and the rest of this fabulous class has compiled a 40-12 record on the football field. This makes this senior group the most successful senior class in the proud 105 year history of Red Terror football.

This program with four straight elite eight appearances in the second highest classification in the GHSA makes it the gold standard in coastal Georgia for public schools.

It all starts at the top with Head Coach Rocky Hidalgo, who is a master motivator and just doesn’t get caught up in the hype. He coaches up his kids to play fast and with confidence.

Hidalgo’s confidence in his kids reminds me a lot of Steve Spurrier in his Florida days. From day one walking in the door in 2014 at GA the plan has not changed and that is:

Win the City championship, which the Red Terrors have done every year he has been here.

Win the Region Championship, which the Red Terrors have done in 2015-2017.

Win the State Championship, which the program was State runner up in 2015. That goal is still in play for 2017.

Someone asked me recently what is the difference between the local high schools? All three are very talented on the football field and my answer was the following:

Brunswick and Frederica Academy hope to win when they play teams of equal or better talent and Glynn Academy knows and expects to win in the same situation. Guess who is still playing on Thanksgiving?

Glynn plays a very talented Lee County team this Friday on the road, but I can guarantee you this Glynn expects to beat the Trojans.

The Red Terrors have some quality players. Hunter Hall is the most productive linebacker I have ever seen in person roam the football field in Glynn County in my lifetime. The kid is just a great football player and I know he has an offer from West Georgia, and at 6’0 195 for the life of me I just can’t understand why he doesn’t have 40 offers to play college football. This kid is an awesome football player.

Outside of Darius Slay of the Detroit Lions I have never seen a faster or better overall athlete than Randon Jernigan in my lifetime in Glynn County. The kid is a special once in a generation athlete. The 87-yard TD run against Valdosta in the first round is a treat to watch.

I saw the great Valdosta teams of the 1980’s in person as a student at Valdosta State College and my old college friends who still reside in the Valdosta area tell me they have never seen anyone run away from their Cats like Jernigan did on that TD run.

They love their football in Valdosta. In case you live outside of Glynn County, Jernigan signed a baseball scholarship to play for the University of Georgia recently. He will suit up for the Dawgs then will play professional baseball when his time at UGA is complete.

This is a special group of seniors on this Glynn football team. They just keep winning and winning and deep runs in the State playoffs is now part of the culture at Glynn Academy.

I encourage Glynn County to go out and watch this record breaking group this Friday night at Glynn County stadium.

Before the season many pundits said this would be a rebuilding year at GA. I guess rebuilding now is defined as Final Four appearances. I usually wear blue and gold on Friday nights. I’ll be wearing Red and White this Friday.

Go Terrors! Bring home a State Football Championship.