Members of the community gathered at the Liberty Performing Arts Center Friday to celebrate the accomplishments of Liberty County High School senior Raekwon McMillan, who has committed to play football for Ohio State University.
Current and former coaches, fellow players, cheerleaders, students, faculty, board of education members and local political leaders came to congratulate McMillan. McMillan is being allowed to graduate early so he can report to Ohio State next month.
“I didn’t know him personally, but I’ve watch him play ball,” said H.C. Baker, secretary of the Hinesville Officials Association. “I know his family. In fact, I played baseball with his great-granddaddy. That’s telling you how old I am though.”
Baker said he attended Raekwon Day to wish a “fine young man” success in the future. It is good for the community to continue to show their support, he said.
Panther coach Kirk Warner exuded pride for his star player. He lamented that he’d get to coach him only once more, at Saturday’s high school all-star game.
“By far, he’s the most recruited player I’ve had the pleasure of coaching,” Warner said. “I’ve followed him through his seasons with the recreation league to middle school and high school. He had all the things he needed at an early age to be a great football player — not only the right physique but the motivation.”
Warner said he has encouraged the player to now develop a relationship with his Ohio State coaches and continue to work hard.
Warner later told the people filling the auditorium that McMillan had the motivation to achieve his goals.
The coach said Thursday’s event was as much a way of celebrating McMillan as an opportunity to see him off.
“If Raekwon continues with the work ethic he displayed here at Liberty County High School, he’ll go far,” he said, then listed some of McMillan’s accomplishments, including 356 total tackles and a 3.74 grade point average.
McMillan repeated how much he loved and appreciated the support.
“I’m grateful to everybody — my God, my family, my coaches, everybody for supporting me,” said McMillan, who said he will major in finance because he’s always like math. “Every since the first time I visited Ohio State, it felt like home. Coach (Urban) Meyer always made it feel like home away from home... My parents are so happy with my decision.”
The event was organized by Lavonia Lecounte, director of Project Reach (God’s Anointed New Generation). After opening remarks by master of ceremonies Anthony Johnson, Lecounte took time to tell McMillan the community continues to “have his back.”