Rodney Garvin will join Chris Hodges as the new faces on the THS coaching staff this year.
I am thrilled to death for both of them, but especially for Coach Garvin. You see, I share some history with Rodney. My wife has an even longer history with him.
My first coaching job was in Jenkins County from 1980 through 1984. Rodney was on the football and baseball teams during my time there. Pam's family and Rodney's family have been lifelong friends. Rodney's granddaddy built the house that Pam grew up in. Rodney's father remodeled it after a small fire in the early 80s. He even encouraged me to "get acquainted" with Pam. She won't admit it, but Pam remembers when Rodney was born.
From my standpoint, Rodney's high school football career was not what it should have been. He couldn't have gotten out of it what he put in. He busted his tail on every play, practice and game. The losses were far more frequent than the victories. The coaching that Rodney's teams got left a lot to be desired. Our staff was long on enthusiasm, but miles short on organization and discipline skills. We were all rookies.
Rodney graduated from UGA intent on returning home to the family business, but couldn't get the taste of football out of his mouth. He returned to school to earn a teaching certificate and joined the staff of his alma mater. The problem, Jenkins County never was, and never will be, a football hotbed. I love the people of that county like my own, but having a top-of-the-line high school football program is not on their priority list. That's not a criticism, just a fact that they will be the first to admit.
I used to get an occasional call from Rodney when he'd get a chance to move elsewhere. He was torn between following a dream or taking himself and his family from home. He eventually answered the call to join the staff at Evans High School.
Those of us that follow things closely know that Evans looks upon high school athletics as a recreation program. Participation, not winning, is their priority. Their baseball program has been able to overcome this mentality but not the football team.
Now Rodney Garvin has landed in what he would call utopia. Thomson demands and expects to win football games. Rodney joins an experienced staff with championships and many victories under its belt. They know how to meet the expectations of the public, which are great. Rodney would have it no other way.
There's an old saying that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Rodney Garvin has prepared himself for years for an opportunity to coach in a program like Thomson's. I'm tickled pink that he got lucky. Thomson High will soon learn that they got lucky too.
FUMBLE: I got my dates crossed up on the THS scrimmages in last week's column. Lincoln Co. is August 6 and Screven Co. is August 13. If my editor had not been dreaming of birdies and sand at Jekyll he would have caught that. Sorry Jason, I had to blame it on somebody. My regular proofreader was asleep.
GOODBYE: I spent most of one afternoon last week with Elwood Hamilton. He was really down about leaving town, compounded by his prized possession being held captive in a shop for 30 days. He's the one responsible for my mug at the top of this column, but he didn't have much to work with. Good luck, Elwood.
ANNIVERSARY: From the perspective of a McDuffie County resident and avid newspaper reader, I enjoyed meeting Mr. Morris and Mr. Miller at The Mirror's party on June 30. Their emphasis on customer service is quite apparent.