Stay up to date with All the 912 Sports Action here on our weekly show "On Air with 912 Sports"
912 Sports honors 37 deserving student athletes in 21 Sports as the Player of the Year in their respective sport on the 2022 All Sports Awards Show.
By Kevin Price
Photography by Michael Brinson
Tyson Rooks summed it up best himself when
sitting down for a recent interview with 912
Sports to talk about his final year of high school.
“It has been a big senior year,” said the
standout student-athlete at Glynn Academy.
“Everything has been a W, a win. Everything
has fallen into place.”
Boy, it certainly has. A three-sport athlete for
the Red Terrors, Rooks has excelled in each
sport he has played this year at Glynn - those
being football, basketball and track and field.
His overall success in the athletic arena made
him the perfect choice for this MVP story in
the final issue of 912 Sports Magazine for the
2021-22 school year.
With a 6-foot-5, 185-pound body frame and
natural athletic abilities galore, Rooks quickly
became an attractive commodity with the
college recruiters after deciding to play
football for the Terrors going into his senior
year. And, he ultimately signed a Power-5
scholarship offer from Illinois which made him
one of their top targets as a defensive back.
Then came basketball season when Rooks
took his already good game to another level
and ended up winning our Player of the Year
honor for boys basketball among the larger
classification schools in our Southeast Georgia
And now as he nears graduation, Rooks is
finishing out his stellar year at the old school
on the south end of Brunswick with a chance
to possibly win an individual state
championship in the high jump as he
competes with the boys track and field team
in postseason competition to round out his
“No doubt. He’s just a natural athlete,” said
GA track coach Josh Veal. “He’s a great kid
who also works hard and he doesn’t like to lose.”
Rooks played several sports growing up
including basketball and also football for a
couple of years. He also played tennis as a
youngster, learning the game from his dad
Burnett Rooks, the longtime tennis coach at
Glynn who established the school’s boys and
girls programs as two of the best in this
section of the state.
Rooks continued to played tennis along with
basketball when he entered high school, but
he gave up tennis after his sophomore season
which was cut short by the start of the Covid-
19 pandemic in March 2020.
It was later that same year that Rooks was
playing football on the beach with friends and
first got the itch to play football again.
Still, though constantly being encouraged to
strap on the pads by Glynn coaches and other
players, Rooks didn’t accept the challenge
until late in his junior year when he decided
he would join the Terrors on the gridiron for
his upcoming senior year.
It turned out to be a life-altering choice for
him. Rooks picked up on the GA playbook
rather quickly along with grasping the basic
techniques required of a wide receiver and
defensive back and blossomed almost instantly.
Veal, who serves as the defensive coordinator
for the Red Terrors, figured Rooks could be a
major player for the team in almost no time.
“I knew he could cover with his footwork and
also his hips, but what I wasn’t sure about is
whether he would come up and stick
someone,” the GA coach said. “But, the first
practice, he came downhill and did it. I knew
he would be good then.”
Glynn head coach Rocky Hidalgo also was
thrilled with what he saw from the team’s
newest player from the get-go.
“We wanted him to play wide receiver and
also play in the secondary, and once we saw
him maneuver around in the secondary, we
knew he could could cover and be physical
“He was physically tough from day one, and
he worked like a football player. He was
willing to stick his nose in there and get
physical,” Hidalgo said.
Rooks was one of two primary targets for
Glynn’s quarterback as the Terrors started the
season looking to throw the ball more than
they had in the recent past. The other top
receiver for the team was sophomore David
Prince, another big-bodied kid who also plays
basketball for the Terrors.
Rooks opened the season as a starting
wideout and caught a touchdown pass in
Glynn’s opening game. He played in the
defensive backfield from the start, but
became a starter in the secondary for the
Terrors a few games into the season.
Rooks finished the season putting up modest
numbers on offense. He had 15 catches for
279 yards and three touchdowns for the
Terrors who lost to state runner-up Langston
Hughes in the first round of the Class AAAAAA
His game against Hughes, which featured
several Division I prospects, caught the
attention of the college recruiters who got
hold of the film.
That night, Rooks finished with more than 120
receiving yards and caught a 61-yard pass for
a touchdown. Also on defense, he totaled
seven tackles and intercepted a pass.
Rooks was already on several schools’
recruiting boards before that mid-November
playoff game, but he began to blow up on the
recruiting scene in the coming days.
Rooks received five scholarship offers the very
next week, one on top of the other. He was
offered a scholarship by Robert Morris when
travelling to visit Chattanooga. The Mocs
offered him a scholarship on his visit with them.
On the way home from there, he received
another offer from Georgia Southern and was
asked to stop in Macon for a visit with Mercer
which also offered him in the short time he
was on campus. The next day, when back
home, Samford University also offered Rooks
In all, Rooks entertained 13 official football
scholarship offers. He also was presented the
chance by Georgia to join the Bulldogs as a
But the school he wound up choosing was
Illinois, where Hidalgo has a friend who
coaches with the Illini. They sent a coach to
Brunswick to see Rooks shortly after
reviewing his game film.
“They called and told us someone would be
here in a couple of days. They didn’t come
here to shop around. They came in to buy,”
The Illini offered Rooks a scholarship, and
soon thereafter, he was on a plane to
Champaign for a campus visit in early
December. Rooks committed to the Big Ten
program on his visit and signed his letter of
intent to play for the Illiois in the December
“I liked it a lot, and they really showed me the
love, more than a lot of the schools,” he said.
Rooks made the trip to Illinois the same
weekend the GA basketball team played an
early region game against rival Brunswick. The
Terrors managed a close win over the Pirates
without their star player.
GA coach Terrance Haywood didn’t like not
having Rooks on the floor for a big region
game, but he was always very supportive of
him playing football. In fact, he was among
those who had been prodding Rooks to play.
“A recruiter was here one day recruiting
someone else, and Tyson walked into the
cafeteria where we were, and the guy asked
who he was and if he played football. We told
him that’s Tyson Rooks but he didn’t play
football. The guy said they would have
recruited him on his size alone.
“Tyson’s long and athletic, can run and jump.
We told him he could go big-time if he played
football. I’m glad he decided to do it.”
Rooks was drawing some interest from
smaller schools for basketball, but he’s
actually not tall enough to play on the interior
in a major-college program.
He was dominant for the Terrors this season,
however, and in most games, he was clearly
the best-looking athlete on the court.
Rooks averaged 17.3 points a game while
shooting almost 54 percent from the field for
the season. He also averaged 6.7 rebounds a
game as Glynn advanced to the state
“My game definitely improved this year,” he
said. “I trained a lot the last two years with
(former GA player) Bryan Hendley who is
really good. We worked on balance, shot-
form, ball-handling, all that.”
Rooks said playing football made him tougher
in the paint, too. “It’s a tough game and it
definitely made me tougher,” he said. “It
definitely brought out the dog in me.”
Haywood noticed a change in Rooks last
summer actually. “He had a different
mentality. He had that dog-mentality,”
Glynn’s coach said. “This was the kid we
always knew Tyson could be.”
Haywood believes that Rooks became more
competitive after participating in track and
field for the first time last spring.
“You’re out there competing against the other
guy,” Haywood said. “We saw his
competitiveness when he was out there, and
it continued over into basketball.”
Veal jokes about tricking Rooks into joining
the GA track team. He was attending the
occasional practice last spring to work on
footwork after deciding to play football as a senior.
They had him attempt to clear 5 feet, 8 inches
in the high jump one day and he did with ease
on natural ability alone. The next day, he
actually competed in the high jump in a team
meet and took second place.
Rooks was soon clearing the bar over 6 feet
and went on to finish sixth at state last May
while jumping 6-4. Rooks also ended up
running with two GA relay team last season.
“He was bored sitting around at meets. He
wanted to compete and asked what else he
could do. I told him I was just waiting on him
to ask whenever he was ready,” Veal said.
Currently, Rooks is competing in the high
jump along with the hurdles and also is a
member of Glynn’s 4x400-meter relay team.
His best jump to date in his main event is 6-6
which puts him among the state-title
contenders. Brunswick’s Riyon Rankin has
jumped as high as 7-foot this season which is
the best mark in the state to date.
“Tyson’s getting strong right now. Those two
push each other,” said Veal who believes
Rankin and Rooks could finish one-two at
state in either order.
Rooks, of course, will graduate from Glynn
later this month at Glynn County Stadium,
where the Terrors play their home football games.
He will leave the next day for Illinois to take
summer classes while also participating in
summer football workouts which begin June 2nd.
“I can’t wait,” Rooks said. “It’s going to be a
By John Dupont
Photography by Andrea Heflin
Bank on Fisher Crews’ success. Having first established himself as a proven commodity in the
classroom, the senior is also among the most viable personalities on Pierce County High
School’s extracurricular front. Whether scholastics, clubs, or sports, Crews is, quite frankly, one
who comes to mind when PCHS folk speak of excellence as the standard.
“Fisher has so many gifts,” says Brett Brooker, economics instructor at PCHS. “He provides
leadership on the golf course, in student government, and in FFA. The community is so fortunate to have such a successful student who demonstrates strong character and faith. Fisher’s great contributions to PCHS will last for years to come.”
The son of Taite and Kimberly Crews, he was ranked in the top two of his class of more than 200 as of the press deadline. Voted “Most Intellectual” among his peers, the UGA Merit Scholar has earned more than 30 college hours through dual enrollment. The current student council president, Fisher Crews also served as class president as a freshman, sophomore, and junior. His academic ledger also includes service on the PCHS Student Advisory Council and designation as a College Board National Rural Student.
Crews, who scored 1480 on the SAT, was named co-recipient of the 2020 Star Student Award at
PCHS. He chose his mother, a teacher at Pierce County Middle School, as Star Teacher.
Recently, Crews was also selected as Student of the Month by the Blackshear Exchange Club.
There he recognized Brooker and spoke of a mutual passion for economics.
“Whether lectures, projects, group activities, or even tests, Coach Brooker always takes every
opportunity to teach,” said Crews. “Economics and a possible double major in Finance will best
prepare me for my future career path while allowing me to gain the necessary skills to truly make an impact on the world through economics. I plan on becoming an investment banker for three years before moving to private equity. As an investment banker I can help contribute to the
success of major companies which in return will improve society as a whole.”
Still striving to reach his peak in endeavors like golf - which he has played since age four -
Crews has nonetheless experienced quite a bit of success on the links.
“I have not played to my full potential, but my game is steadily improving,” he notes. “I think
75 is my low this season. My all-time low was a 67 in a summer tournament and I shot 31 on the
back nine in a tournament to come from three back to win by four.”
That’s a somewhat modest self-assessment when compared to PCHS head boys golf coach Corey
Lesseig’s take, who says his most indelible memory of Crews came during the athlete’s
freshman season on a putt that clinched the area tournament for the Bears.
“He has been a solid contributor to a series of region and area championship teams since his
freshman year,” says Lesseig. “Fisher is a driven perfectionist and a goal-oriented student. On
the course, when he is focused and engaged, he is a fierce competitor.”
No stranger to championships, Crews competed in the region/area FFA Meat Evaluation and
Agricultural Sales competition this year. PCHS won both contests while Crews finished as the
top individual in the region/area in meat evaluation. His workmanship earns nothing but high praise from his advisor, John Ratlliff.
"Fisher is simply one of the brightest students I have ever worked with,” says Ratliff. “He has such a high level of intelligence that most things come easy to him, but he likes to try new things and put himself in challenging situations. I think he knows these challenges will make him better in the future because life constantly puts us in new and demanding situations where we have to make quick and correct decisions. He is very comfortable being uncomfortable.& quot;
Recently Crews tapped Southern Methodist University as his college choice, having also applied at Georgia Tech, Michigan, and Vanderbilt.
Ultimately, he says the decision to become a
Mustang hinged on alignment with his personal convictions. Additionally, Crews says he would
like to form charities and homeless shelters via investment banking. On the homefront, he is
already logging community service hours through Beta Club. Favorite charities include the DC
Downtown Food Ministry of Waycross. He attends Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear.
“Fisher is the kind of kid you'd want as a friend and teammate in school, and as your financial advisor when you get older,” says Lesseig. “And one you will look back on when you are in your retirement rocker and thank the Almighty you had a chance to know back when.”
Sign up to hear from us about new stories and podcasts
Check Out ON AIR with 912 Sports every Thursday at 7:00PM and ON Demand.