The Baptist Hill Bobcats played for their first ever football state title last season.
Much of the team’s success has been thanks to the guy driving the bus. Literally.
Baptist Hill head coach Marion Brown says his team’s tough loss in the state title game last December has served as motivation.
“It’s been a driving force since December 1st until today,” Brown says. “Our kids came back with hard work and determination and commitment. I feel like we’re going to do well this year.”
It is ironic Brown should use the term “driving force,” because without his driving there wouldn’t even be Baptist Hill football.
That’s because each day, Brown personally drives to the homes of many of his players to pick them up for practice, then drives them home in the evenings.
“You want them to perform for you on Friday night, you perform for them Monday through Thursday,” Brown says.
From Edisto to Parkers Ferry to Adams Run to Red Top to Ravenel, there are no brakes on the lengths Brown will go, or the roads he will travel.
“You’ve got to give back,” Brown says. “Look where we are. We have hard working parents. They have to work in the summer. How can we get them here to school? We pick them up.”
Brown says he spends nearly two and a half hours picking up students for practice, and another two and a half hours dropping them off afterward.
That’s on top of two and a half hour practices. Forget two-a-days. For Brown, it’s three-a-days.
“We couldn’t ask for better,” Baptist Hill player Jayvona Burnell says. “There are not a lot of good coaches like (Brown and his staff). To be from a small school, to get us up there, I appreciate them.”
The results of the dedication from Brown and his coaching staff are evident on the field, but the man with the plan (and the CDL) is giving them so much more.
“Most of the time, we talk about life in general,” Brown says of the conversations during those long bus rides each day. “Football handles itself during practice. Life, when I get chance, that’s what we talk about.”