After a winless 2020 season, former Bradwell Institute football Head Coach Kyle Adkins would resign from his duties and take an opportunity at Sprayberry High School in Marietta.
Left searching for answers to turn their football program around, the Bradwell Institute looked to Deshon Brock to come in and be the head coach for the Tigers.
For Brock, it was a perfect opportunity to come back home for a chance to reverse the bad fortunes of Tiger football; not having a winning record since 2017.
“Hinesville is home,” he said. “My family and my children’s grandparents are here. The opportunity to come home was too good to pass up. When the opportunity came up, I had to jump on it because Bradwell is a program that we can turn around and win at.”
So, he would leave Mitchell County in Camilla after four seasons at the helm while posting a 33-11 record in GHSA 1-A Public play to head to Hinesville for his fifth year as a head coach.
Brock would also be drawn into the job by the talent of Hinesville athletes that he was exposed to during his time while work at Long County in Ludowici.
“Bradwell is the crown jewel of Hinesville,” the newly hired coach said. “It has always been a great athletic program all around. I would always see athletes here in Hinesville. I would see them around in the stores and around the neighborhoods when I worked in Long County. You could just tell that there is a lot of talent in his area.”
Key players named that are expected to be the leaders of Tigers football were: Mikah Kent, Senior Defensive End and Outside Linebacker, Jah Besant, Senior Wide Receiver and Cornerback, Kahlil Latimer, Junior Outside Linebacker, Eli Leiataua, Senior Middle Linebacker and Running Back, Michael Prince, Senior Running Back.
He has seen much improvement from his new players from when he first stepped in the door back in the spring despite changing up the schematics to fit his theory of winning football.
“The growth has been great from the spring game to now. We have come a long way,” Brock said as he praised his team. “The kids have really bought into the system. What we are trying to do is a lot different than what they did last year. They did not throw the ball a lot last year, so we are getting the quarterbacks used to throwing and getting past the arm soreness and getting the receivers to run precise routes. So far, so good. We have a long way to go but the kids are working hard, and we appreciate their efforts.”
On the offensive end, the Tigers run a uptempo spread offensive where they try to run plays rapidly throughout when they have possession of the ball.
“We are trying to snap the ball every 15 seconds,” the first-year play caller said. “It took a lot for our linemen to realize that they needed to be in better shape and get right. We will not really huddle up after the first play. It is a lot different on almost every scale of how we will approach the game. It took us the entire spring and the first couple weeks of the summer. We were not where we wanted to be at our first camp in June at Camden County. Then if you fast forward to the last camp we went to at Lanier County, it was night and day of the progress that was made.”
It is not all about x’s and o’s for Brock.
He wants to teach life skills with the game of football for his players to carry with them when it is time to hang up the cleats.
“We are using football as a vehicle to teach life lessons and build men,” Brock said. “We want to make sure when these young men take their helmet off and are out in the community, they are being role models and leaders in our society.
A successful season to Brock would be weekly improvement while doing right by kids and getting Bradwell football to a place they have not been since 2018, the playoffs.
“I do not want to judge it off wins and losses, of course I want to win every game,” he said about the upcoming season. “We do want to make the playoffs. But week-to-week the question will be are we making improvements, holding on to our kids, and growing our program that is Bradwell football.”
Brock’s first game with his new team will be on Friday, August 20 when the 6A Tigers host the 4A Westside High School from Macon at Hokey Jackson Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 7:30.