Leaving a legacy that includes three region titles, six playoff victories, and a Class 6A semifinal appearance over the last three seasons, the Red Terror seniors gave their all for the Glynn Academy.
On Wednesday’s national signing day, the student body and faculty showed their appreciation as Jimmy Decker, Tyshaun Wallace, Quantavious Bostic, Shane Wells, and Marlon Taylor signed letters of intent to play college football.
A large, engaged crowd roared for each signee as they took the stage, thanked their families and coaches, and announced the school they’d be attending.
The support was a microcosm of what the graduating senior class has meant for Glynn Academy.
“I think, as a whole, our student body is very supportive of everything we do here, and I think that’s indicative of what you saw here,” Terrors head coach Rocky Hidalgo.
Decker got the ceremony started when he announced he was signing an LOI with Berry College in Mount Berry.
An offensive tackle at Glynn, Decker has a good repport with the coaches at Berry, but he was sold by the atmosphere of the private school.
“I really liked the campus and the class size,” Decker said. “It’s not like a giant school. That helped me a lot.
“When I went up to a visit there, they really made me realize I wanted to go there.”
Bostic also decided to stay in state after a senior season that saw him compile 963 yards of offense and nine touchdowns, signing with Reinhardt University in Waleska.
“It’s been good,” Bostic said of his time at Glynn Academy. “I have some good memories here, good fans. It’s really a good environment to play in.”
Bostic took the stage with a large contingent of family members, giving a quick introduction of each before announcing his school.
The opportunity to play college football in front of his family was a major factor in his decision, and he fell in love with the intimate setting of Reinhardt.
“When I went up there, it was so fun,” Bostic said. “Good environment, good academics. Coaches loved me, and I loved the coaches back. I just felt like it was my home. Nice campus, not too big, not too small.”
Although each player expressed gratitude for their experience at Glynn Academy, the opportunity to stand out on their own feet away from home was an enticing prospect when it came to making their decision.
Wallace credited Hidalgo for teaching him how to be a man and handle his business, but the 550-mile move to the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky will give him a chance to really grow up.
“It’s going to be good for me to get away from the city, to be able to see new things, step into the real world,” Wallace said.
The linebacker missed his freshman and sophomore years recovering from ACL surgery before making 45 stops as a senior. He’s lived in Brunswick his whole life, but he’s confident in his decision to trek away from home.
“Me and the coach have a good relationship, we’ve been talking,” Wallace said. “I haven’t been on a visit yet, but I’ve been looking forward to going on a visit, and see how it is up there, and stuff like that.
“But God just really gave me a good feeling about that. It should be a good school for me.”
Taylor lived in Kansas and North Carolina before moving to Brunswick and becoming a Terror. Now he’ll take the next step of his life at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
“When I took my visit, I loved the people, the city, the setting, it was great,” Taylor said. “It was by the mountains; I’ve never been to the mountains before, and it’s kind of not far, but far away from home to where I can just chill and be myself, don’t have to worry about my parents and stuff.”
The News’ All-Area team’s Defensive Player of the Year after a senior campaign that saw him record 45 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, and three forced fumbles, Taylor took the stage to a large cheer from the audience, which roared again as he received a kisses from his mother and a big hug from his father on the stage.
Taylor cherished his time at Glynn Academy, but he’s excited for the opportunity to college, where he plans to explore his interest in graphic design among other options.
“They’ve been great years,” Taylor said. “I’m so happy I can further my education and actually do something with my life.
“I’m one of the firsts to actually get into college, and I know I’m going to graduate, so graduate college too. So I can’t wait for that.
“I can make them proud.”
One of the lasting memories of Glynn Academy’s signing day was provided by offensive lineman “Sugar” Shane Wells, as he was introduced by Hidalgo.
Moments later, after Wells announced he’d attend Lenior-Rhyne University, the Terrors head coach handed his first team all-region selection a championship belt emblazoned with the the Bears’ logo.
“I just saw that Lenoir-Rhyne has a championship belt that they use for all their photos,” Wells explained. “I said, ‘Since I’m going there, I might as well join the party and get one myself.’”
Wells took a visit to the campus in Hickory, N.C., this past weekend and felt everything, from the scenery to the people, was perfect for him.
Signing day is always a bittersweet occasion for the athletes, their families, friends, and coaches as one chapter comes to a close for another to begin. After 11 seasons as a head coach, six at Glynn, its a feeling Hidalgo knows all too well.
“It’s part of the process,” Hidalgo said. “I hate to see these go, but I’m really excited for them, the opportunity they have. I know they’ll go on to represent us well.
“They’ve got a great legacy at Glynn Academy, and hopefully they’ll build on that with what they do after they graduate.”
The memories created by the Terrors’ senior class will live on, and new, greater ones to be forged are on the horizon.
“I feel like I’ve had a great career at Glynn Academy, I feel I’ll always be a Terror at heart, but I’m excited to move on to the next chapter,” Wells said.