The Sun News

KENT: Former Demons player makes transition to coaching

By ALLINE KENT, Sun News correspondent

This time last year, Colby Price was getting ready for a football game.

Colby, was a starter for the Demons last year and was elected one of the team’s captains. He graduated from Warner Robins High School in May.

Fast forward a year, and Colby is still getting ready for a football game. This time, however, his role is a lot different.

Colby has gone from player to coach in just a few short months.

Colby was helping out with spring training in April and was talking to Demons assistant coach David Hodges about his career plans for after graduation. He planned to major in education and to be a high school football coach.

“He told me, ‘I am going to talk to my dad,’ ’’ Colby said.

Coach Hodges’ dad -- also Coach Hodges -- is the head coach for the Central Fellowship Christian Academy football team. Richard Hodges took the position last year after retiring as a teacher and coach for Warner Robins High School.

Richard Hodges came by the Demons’ practice the very next day to talk to Colby about coaching and offered him a job.

Colby’s responsibilities at Central Fellowship include being the offensive line coach for the varsity -- a position he is well-suited for since he started at both guard and center for the Demons for two years -- and offensive coordinator and line coach for the middle school team.

Colby started with the Lancers with their first summer practices and he said he immediately drew on his own time with the Demons.

“I basically put them through a Warner Robins offensive line practice,” Colby said. “The challenge is that the numbers are a lot smaller than what we had at Warner Robins so everybody has to know every position.”

It isn’t just the actual practices at Warner Robins High that Colby is drawing inspiration from.

“I am trying to model my coaching philosophy after Coach Teague and Coach Way,” Colby said. John Teague and Bryan Way share the duties of coaching the offensive line at Warner Robins High School. Way is the head coach and athletic director at the school and Teague also coaches the JV football team and the swim team.

“Coach Teague really brings common sense coaching to play on the offensive line,” Colby said. “He will really slow down and show you the basics, how to get the steps right, how to put your hands. Coach Way takes that basic knowledge at practice and expands on it with game scenarios.”

It sometimes takes years for a player to fully appreciate his football coach, but for Colby a full appreciation started as soon as players started addressing him as “Coach Price.”

“When you are a player, sometimes at practice you are so hot and are just doing what you can to get by,” Colby said. “You think the coach doesn’t notice that but as a coach those players stand out that aren’t listening. It is a lot different being looked at as a coach and not a player.”

Along with his coaching duties, Colby has been helping to work on Central Fellowship’s first football field.

“It is going to be an honor to be one of the first coaches on that field,” Colby said.

Currently a student at Georgia Military College, Colby finishes up classes in the morning and then heads to Central Fellowship in the afternoons for practice.

“It is a lot of responsibility but I am excited about building the program and working with the players. Coach Way and Coach Teague wanted us to learn, but they wanted us to have fun, too. We played to win but at the end of the day, what they wanted us to take away from the game of football was character and that’s what I want for my players as well.”