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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 Andrea Heflin
Ware County coach Jason Strickland admits he’s been blessed to have coached a lot of really good football players during his career.
But having the opportunity to coach Trey Hargrove has been a real treat, he says.
Even before his senior linebacker played a down in the 2022 season, Ware’s head coach said losing Hargrove to graduation after this season will be the single-biggest loss of a player one of his program’s has ever experienced.
That’s because Hargrove is every coach’s dream. Strickland describes him as a real program guy who gives far more to the organization than double-digit tackles most nights.
“He’s probably our best football player, but he’s also probably our hardest-working player in practice,” Strickland said. “And, there’s just so much that he takes care of that we don’t have to worry about.
“He brings energy to practice, brings energy to the weight room and makes sure the locker room is clean. When he walks into a room, the tempo changes, and if you can’t get to his level, you’re gonna have a really bad day.
We’ve got some good leaders, but a lot of it is because of Trey. He’s just an incredible young man.”
And, he’s a dynamite football player, too. Hargrove, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound linebacker comes from good family genes. His older brother Michael Mincey was also standout linebacker for the Gators.
He was a senior for the Gators during the 2020 season and signed with Vanderbilt, but the older Mincey has since transferred to Kennesaw State.
They are both good football players, but their body types make them different players with contrasting skill-sets.
“Michael was 6-2, 230,” Strickland noted. “So, he was a lot bigger, more of an inside-the-box guy. Trey is more athletic, not as big height-wise. He can play in the box, but he’s a little more multiple.”
Trey is a big hitter, too. “He’s strong, just explosive. He’s a monster,” Strickland added. “He power cleans 350 (pounds.) When he hits you, it just sounds different.”
Colleges have taken notice of Hargrove’s strength and athleticism. He has more than a dozen offers and will begin to narrow his list to a select few soon.
“If he were 6-foot, he’d have 14 Power-5 offers,” Strickland said. “I don’t see how anyone can see him play and not say that kid will make us a better football team.”
Hargrove isn’t especially fond of the recruiting process, but understands he needs to start giving serious consideration to where he wants to attend school and continue playing football beyond Ware County. It’s possible he could choose to join his brother at Kennesaw, but Hargrove said he needs to do what’s best for himself in the end.
“Wherever I fit best and wherever I feel most comfortable,” he said when asked what factors he will consider most when contemplating his college decision. He added that he hopes to make his choice known before the end of September. “I want to go ahead and get it out of the way,” Hargrove noted. “I also plan on leaving in December, graduating and enrolling somewhere early.”
Hargrove holds a 3.7 grade-point average and has taken several Advanced Placement courses. He is a member of the National Honor Society.
Hargrove has God-given abilities that not everyone has, but he feels it’s his responsibility to make the most of his talents and improve his skills the best he can.
He tries to drive others to do the same. “No breaks. I’m gonna try to make them better also,” he said of his teammates. For any teammate, this might involve sitting down and watching practice and game tapes with Hargrove to either self-scout or break down an upcoming opponent.
“He’s a film junkie,” Strickland pointed out.
The coach already noted that Hargrove is a go-getter away from the field, too. This comes from his upbringing, the player explained.
“My mom has always made us wash clothes, wash dishes, clean up our rooms,” he said.
You might not find Hargrove sitting around very often, but there are times when he isn’t going full-speed ahead, believe it or not.
“I like to go outside, chill with friends and family,” he said.
He’s far from chill on the gridiron, though. And this year, the heavy-hitter is as ready to lower the boom on the opposition as he’s ever been.
“We’re hungry. I can feel it,” Hargrove said. “I’m excited about getting on the field with my teammates and hopefully finishing on a good note.”
By Kevin Price
Photography by Michael Brinson
It was late afternoon on the day before school started in Glynn County.Brunswick High senior Jayden Drayton was just coming off the practice field when he sat down to be interviewed in the Pirates’ fieldhouse. His work on the football field was done for this day in early August, and of course Drayton didn’t have any homework to do just yet since the new school year didn’t start until the next morning.
Still, his work for the day was far from done. He had promised to give a few of his BHS teammates a haircut after practice so they could have a fresh cut for the first day of school.
Cutting hair is a hobby for Drayton, but he does make a little money doing it from time to time, too. “I just cut in my living room or go to someone’s house and do it,” he said. “If we’re homeboys, I might just do it for them. But sometimes, I’ll say give me $5 or $10. I’m doing you a service, you know?”
Drayton professes to be a self-taught barber, having mostly learned what to do by watching YouTube videos while also receiving some helpful tips from family members who operate a local barbershop in Brunswick. “I’ve been doing it about two years. I started my sophomore year,” he said.
Already a young entrepreneur, Drayton plans to seek a business-related major in college and is interested in starting his own line of luxury barbershops one day. “Cuts by J.D.,” he said, when asked a possible name for his future barbershops.
“I don’t know, though.”Drayton, our featured Scholar-Athlete for this 912 Sports Magazine issue, is already committed to play football at Harvard University starting next season. He took an official visit to the Ivy League school back in the summer and fell in love with the prestigious academic institution located in Boston. He gave a verbal pledge to the Crimson after returning home from the visit and talking with his family and coaches.
“What won me over was the players took me under their wings, showed me around and we just kind of did our own thing, just everyday living,” Drayton said. “They’re just normal kids like me.”Drayton received more than a dozen offers to play college football. He had scholarship offers from every Ivy League school, all three service academies, plus Georgia Southern, Austin Peay and Central Michigan.
In late summer, he was accepted into the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the No. 1-ranked business school in the country. Drayton felt like he owed it to himself to visit the school this fall and has notified Harvard of his intention to do so. The coaches there were understanding, he said.He is also getting interest from both Vanderbilt and Duke, both of which could possibly offer him a scholarship this fall. It would take an offer from one or both, another Power-5 school or a real attraction to the business school at Penn for Drayton to reconsider his intention to further is education and playing career anywhere other than Harvard, he said.
On track to graduate in December, Drayton holds a 4.2 grade-point average while having taken several Advanced Placement courses during high school. He made a 24 on the ACT test early on in high school, easily posting a qualifying score for admission to college. But, recently he took the standardized test again to measure his academic progress and made a 29.
Drayton attended Glynn Academy his first two years of high school and started at wide receiver as a freshman for the Red Terrors. As a sophomore, he was a standout on offense, played in the defensive secondary and also returned punts and kickoffs for the Terrors. He accounted for 1,257 yards of offense in his first two seasons at Glynn and made the All-912 Sports Postseason Team following his sophomore season as a defensive back.
Drayton transferred to Brunswick prior to his junior season when the Pirates used him on both sides of the ball but primarily played him in the defensive backfield. This season, Brunswick, which went undefeated last fall and won the Region 2-AAAAAA title before getting upset in the second round of the state playoffs, entered the season planning to utilize Drayton’s big play ability as a slot receiver and return man in the kicking game.
“We’re gonna try to put the ball in his hands as much as possible,” said first-year BHS coach Garrett Grady. “That’s where he’s most electric and can help us the most, with the ball in his hands.”Drayton, who is 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds was excited about trying to make big plays on offense coming into the season.
“This is my first year being a true receiver,” he said. “I definitely feel like I can have a big impact. I like scoring, running, making exciting plays.”When he played at Glynn, Drayton, of course, was an underclassman who led by his actions on the field, if anything. Last year, he was a new player on an experienced BHS team that included entrenched senior leaders such as running backs Chuckobe Hill and Ree Simmons, mammoth offensive lineman and Florida State signee Kanaya Charlton and linebacker Staffon Stanley.
This year, though, Drayton knew he had to take on more of a up-front leadership role, starting on Day 1 of the offseason. “I realize I have to be the guy,” he said. “I know I have to talk, be energetic.
”Coming off a perfect regular reason last year when they won all 10 games on their schedule the way to the region championship, Drayton said the team’s seniors are focused on going out as back-to-back region champions. But, they have bigger goals, too, including playing deeper into the postseason. “I feel like we can be just as good or better,” Drayton said. “I’m focused on winning every week.
”When it comes to academics, Drayton said his favorite subject in school is math. He is taking a calculus class this semester. Drayton is active in his youth group at church. He also runs track for the Pirates and enjoys playing pickup basketball with friends.
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