Growing up I had the pleasure of being peers with some of the greatest high school athletes of a generation. Robert Lavette who went on to be the all time leading rusher (football) for Georgia Tech --record still standing. The Henderson brothers: one (Skip) who went on to be the all time leading scorer (Basketball) for Marshall University --record still standing-- and the other (Keith) a ground gainer (football) for UGA who went on to win a Superbowl with the San Francisco 49'ers. And of course there was my classmate Eddie Lee Wilkens who set records at Garner Webb College and played professionally for the 76'ers and the Knicks. These are just a few of the kids I went to school with, or who attended the other local school, our rival. And I didn't even mention the female athletic standouts, like big Lisa O'Connor who dominated women's basketball at UGA, nor did I mention track and field stars like Dexter, my neighbor, who at 17 was mentioned in Sports Illustrated as one of the best HS decathletes in the nation his Olympic pursuits ended when he suffered a leg injury while attending Southern Illinois University.
It's been a long time since those names drew praise and won many trophies and scholarships. Since then many other athletes, young men and women, have worn either the purple and gold (Hurricanse) or the Blue and Gold (Colonels --my Alma Mata). Some have won at state others of them have gone on to national recognition and pro careers, like Andre Fluellen (Detroit Lions) and Ronnie Brown (Miami Dolphins, he the Wild Cat originator). But, an even bigger talent has come along and may make the accomplishment of my generational peers seem small, he may be the greatest hometown athlete ever. Some say he may become the best ever at his position. Trevor Lawrence, former Hurricane, now Clemson Tiger freshman starting QB, MVP and National Champion. The local folks, this day, are basking in your glow young man. As I said two years ago to members of an online sports group I'm a member of, this young kid just maybe the next Joe Montana ...he is that good. And like all of the local athletes that came before him he has one thing in common with them, the first thing his college coach said about him when he got to campus is "he is very mature for his age". The same was said of all the other kids from our community too, "very mature for their age", when it was their time. There is something in the water here, it hydrates talent.
Congrats Trevor. The older generation is keeping an eye on you!