Ford, Huzzie happy to be at LaGrange
Published 2:39 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’ve come home.
Qua Huzzie and DeMoreo Ford are two of the great players in the illustrious history of the LaGrange High football program.
Ford was a big-play wide receiver for the Grangers when they won back-to-back state titles in 2003 and 2004, and
Huzzie was an all-state linebacker who was the program’s all-time leading tackler when he graduated in 2009.
Those two men will be wearing the LaGrange colors again this season, albeit in a different role.
Ford and Huzzie are both members of a new-look LaGrange coaching staff that’s led by first-year head coach Chuck Gibbs.
Ford will be coaching the wide receivers, while Huzzie will be working with the linebackers.
Huzzie, who coached at Gardner Newman Middle School last year, said it “means a lot” to get this opportunity.
“I always wanted to coach in high school,” Huzzie said. “I didn’t know when I was going to get the opportunity to do it. I know what the tradition is here. I know I have what it takes to get the guys on the same page. I know what it takes to be a leader on and off the field.”
Ford, who was also on the LaGrange coaching staff in 2016, said “all you can do is guide them on how to conduct themselves. And we’ve got some talent. It’ll be a fun year.”
Ford was a part of three state-championship teams at LaGrange, and he was one of the team’s top players during his final two seasons.
Huzzie arrived at LaGrange in 2005, and he stepped right into the starting lineup, and when he was done four years later he’d accumulated more tackles than any other player who’d ever worn the uniform.
Ford and Huzzie both played football at Kentucky, although Huzzie later transferred to Murray State where he completed his college career.
Huzzie later played professional football in Finland, and he led his team to a championship and was named the league’s defensive MVP.
Ford and Huzzie have left their playing days behind, and now they’re looking to teach the sport to a new generation of Grangers.
Ford will be working with a talented group of receivers, including seniors Jordan Ogletree and Kayo Bradfield.
In addition to those veterans, Ford will be coaching some gifted but untested players.
“I have some guys that don’t even know they’re good yet, which is exciting,” Ford said. “We’ve got some guys that just started playing football, that can play.”
Huzzie will also have some skilled players to work with, including seniors Dexter Fitzpatrick and Vondez Taylor.
“I had a talk with the linebackers, and I told them, I’m the all-time leading tackler in the history of LaGrange football,” Huzzie said. “And it was funny, because it was nothing I did. It was all scheme, and trusting the coaches, trusting the players up front. Once we get back to that, it’ll change to start having fun.”
While this will be Huzzie’s first time as a high-school coach, he does bring some experience to the table, most notably from a year ago when he was a member of the Gardner Newman staff.
“This isn’t my first time coaching. I know the ropes,” Huzzie said. “And I’ve been coming to practice and watching. I’ve been coming to games and watching. I have a high football IQ. I know what the guys need.”
Huzzie added that this coaching job is “very important to me. I know what it means to be a Granger.”
Ford is committed to helping the players achieve in high school, and hopefully play at the next level.
“The biggest thing we want is to help these guys go off and achieve their dream of playing college football and beyond,” Ford said. “That’s the goal.”
LaGrange will host Kendrick in a preseason game on Aug. 10 before opening the season on Aug. 17 against Heard County.
Both games will be at Callaway Stadium.