Charles Flowers, Troup High’s new head football coach, said he “can understand” why the folks at Callaway would be frustrated to lose their best football player a little more than a month away from the season opener.
At the end of the day, though, Flowers said that is the nature of the sport.
Players come, and players go, and this particular move which involved quarterback Quan Bray going from Callaway to Troup, he said, just happens to have worked out in Troup’s favor.
“You lose people, and you gain them,” said Flowers, the former head coach at Shaw who has been coaching Dougherty High in Albany the past three seasons. “That’s the nature of the business.”
Flowers said it was the Bray family’s decision to move into the Troup High district.
“What people don’t realize is, once you make a physical move, once you make a bona fide move, it’s done,” Flowers said. “They made a physical move.
“The question I would ask is, does anytime someone moves from one district to another, is everyone up in arms about that?”
Flowers said everything has been aboveboard, and that there was no recruitment involved.
“Recruiting is illegal. We wouldn’t recruit a kid and try to take him from wherever or anything like that,” he said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’m well aware of the rules and regulations.”
What makes this situation so noteworthy, obviously, is the player involved.
Bray is a superstar.
He was a three-year starter at Callaway, including two seasons as a running back and one year as a quarterback.
A year ago, he moved under center and was an extraordinary two-way player, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and passing for 1,000 yards as well.
In his first game at quarterback, ironically enough against Troup, Bray was sensational, running for nearly 200 yards in a 10-7 loss.
Bray went on to lead the Cavaliers to a repeat region championship and a berth in the state quarterfinals.
Colleges have taken notice, and Bray has become one of the country’s most highly recruited players.
Flowers, a veteran of the coaching scene who developed Shaw into a powerhouse and led that program to a state title in 2000, said his only concern is doing right by the players.
“Every coach has to ask, what is best for the athlete, whether it be in your favor, or not in your favor,” said Flowers, a Troup High graduate. “I’ve always been under the assumption that, if a player did not want to play for me, I would wish that young man the best and try to help him in every way that I possibly could. I would respect that decision, and I would move on.”
Flowers said he isn’t sure when Bray will join the team.
At the moment, the players are going through their summer program, with Georgia High School Association-sanctioned practice set to begin Aug. 1.
It does appear that, when Troup and Callaway open the season Aug. 27, Bray will once again be under center, he’ll just be doing it for a different team.
Flowers said he likes what he’s seen from his players this summer, and that everyone is starting to get that itch with the season getting so close.
“You start to turn it up a notch right now,” Flowers said. “(The season will) be here before you know it.”
Troup has a scrimmage game scheduled for Aug. 13, which is a week earlier than most teams will play.
Flowers likes having a week in between the scrimmage and the start of the season.
It not only gives the coaches two weeks to work on what they saw during the scrimmage, but it allows them to “go scout some other people that are playing that next week,” Flowers said.