Originally created 08/27/99

Wolfpack will count on Hicks



Michael Hicks hopes to make Mickey Derrick's transition an easy one.

Hicks will play the role of Mr. Everything for Greenbrier this fall as Derrick takes over at head coach. Terry Holder, who took the Wolfpack to three consecutive playoff appearances, retired as athletics director, football and baseball coach in May.

"Coach Holder has done a super job with the whole athletic program out here," Derrick said. "It's going to be real hard to fill his shoes. But it's something we can't dwell on."

Hicks, a standout senior who started at quarterback the past two seasons, will play running back, cornerback, wide receiver and also return kicks this year.

"I'm just willing to do anything to help the team," Hicks said. "(Kordell Stewart and Champ Bailey) are great athletes. One day, I'd like to be recognized as a Champ Bailey."

Greenbrier, which went 8-3 last season, will have five returning starters on offense this year along with two returners on defense. Junior Will Caywood will take over at quarterback, with seniors Kurt Boyd at left guard and tackle Craig Davis on the line. Senior Anthony Sweat returns at tight end.

"Right now, we're starting to jell as a group," Boyd said. "It's going to take us having to jell as a group and be able to depend on each other to be successful."

On defense, the Wolfpack is trying to make up for lack of size with speed. Greenbrier will have 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior Brandon Phillips at tackle with seniors Jonathan Johnson, a 6-3, 210-pound defensive end, and Chad Thornhill, a 6-foot, 190-pound tackle.

"Last year, we had a lot more size and strength," Phillips said. "This year, we have speed. It'll basically be equal."

The Wolfpack opens the season Sept. 3 at home against rival Lakeside. After that, the Pack jumps straight into region play with games at Statesboro and Dublin the next two weeks.

"I feel like the guys we have are working real hard," Derrick said. "They have a goal. And that goal is to make it to the playoffs."