Greenbrier High School athletic director and head softball coach Garrett Black reached a major milestone this week. The Pack won Game 1 of their double-header with Warner Robins 13-0 in four innings for the 500th victory of Black’s career. Greenbrier would go on to take Game 2 by 19-0 in three innings for the series sweep.
Black started at Greenbrier when the school opened its doors in 1996 and has led the ’Pack to region championships in 15 of his 16 seasons. In 2004 he guided Greenbrier to the 2004 AAAA state title. To have 500 wins at such a young age (Black is 45) is remarkable.
On the same day Black was picking up his 500th win, one of his colleagues was coaching another team to a big victory.
Casey Heckathorn, Greenbrier’s varsity boys basketball coach, has worked closely with Black for years. During the fall, Heckathorn roams the sidelines as the head football coach at Stallings Island Middle School.
The same afternoon Black earned his milestone, Heckathorn’s Stallings Island squad knocked off Lakeside Middle School 32-8. With the win, the Redhawks closed out a perfect 6-0 season and earned the title as the top middle school football team in the county. It is also the best season in the school’s history.
We have a new name in the running for the county player of the year. Prior to the start of the season, I figured a Grovetown player would be the favorite. However, I must admit I was banking on Warriors running back Jamal Cummings as that player. Instead, fleet-footed QB Juwan Biggers has emerged as a candidate.
A few weeks ago, in a lopsided loss to North Augusta, Biggers was inserted at quarterback in place of starter Hunter Peace and seemed to give the offense a spark. If he was a spark that night, he was a comet last week vs. Houston County. Biggers ran the ball 15 times for 253 yards and three touchdowns. He also had an 89-yard kickoff return for another touchdown. He accounted for all four Grovetown scores in a thrilling 27-23 Warrior win.
The performance was reminiscent of a game years ago at Lakeside High. That night the Panthers also inserted a speedy athlete at quarterback. Like Biggers, he ran for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns. That quarterback was Brian Bratton.
That evening Bratton ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries in a big Panther win over Butler. Bratton went on to become an All-American at Furman and a two-time Grey Cup winner in the Canadian Football League.
I am not saying Biggers is going to be a pro one day, but the two situations are eerily similar.