ELLISVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - South Jones High School Todd Breland had known of Reid Gavin for near two decades.
But since taking over as football coach at South Jones High School, has Breland gotten to know Gavin.
“I’ve known his family for a long time,” Breland said. “I went to high school with his father and knew Reid since he was a little kid, but didn’t know anything about him.
“But the last six months, getting to be around him on a daily basis, he’s an outstanding young man and a great football player.”
Gavin, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive lineman, was selected as the Braves’ “Player of the Pine Belt.”
“It means a lot to me because everyone around here knows everybody, so just representing Jones County, it just meant the world,” Gavin said.
The senior, who is verbally committed to the University of South Alabama, not only has the physical tools for work in the trenches, but the versatility to play anywhere along the line.
“Growing up, I’ve always had to play what my coaches wanted me to play,” Gavin said. “I didn’t really have a choice, so I played left tackle, left guard, right tackle, right guard and then center some. It’s just what I had to do growing up.
“So now, I’m thankful for that because when I go to college, I might not be able to play the position I want. If there’s another position open, then I can play that if I need to.”
Breland called Gavin more than a handful for opposing defenses.
“He’s powerful,” Breland said. “He’s a bulldozer player. He’s strong with his upper body and his legs. When he gets his hands on you, he can move you. Other than the physical attributes, he brings leadership to the unit and the team.”
Breland, who wound up a very successful run at Laurel High School before taking over the reins in Ellisville.
“I’ve known him for a long time,” Gavin said. “Everyone loves him. We’re pumped up for the season. We think we have great things coming.”
Breland has liked what he’s seen from the players.
“It’s been great,” Breland said “Nobody knew what we were facing when we all got here, dealing with the (coronavirus) pandemic.
“I told the kids early we have to be flexible and they have been. They’ve done a good job of adjusting and it’s a really great group of kids and there’s great community support. We’re excited and everybody’s fired up about football and hopefully we can get back to normal soon.”