LOUISVILLE, Ga. --- B.J. Bostic had only ordered a Sprite, but it wasn't food or drink that was keeping him hunkered in the corner booth of the local Huddle House.
Bostic, a Jefferson County senior, can talk about football as long as you ask: Jefferson County football, area football, college football. The only thing interrupting him on this morning is well-wishers asking him if he's ready for Christmas, though it doesn't take long to return to his favorite subject.
"Being around the program for four years and seeing how much it means to coach (J.B.) Arnold, that kind of rubbed off on me," Bostic said. "We don't got much around here. But a Friday night, there's nothing better to do than watch us play. There's nothing you can do at 7:30 at night that's more exciting than watching us play."
Bostic will leave a legacy his county can boast about for years on Jan. 7, when he will move into a dormitory at Georgia Tech, where he has accepted a football scholarship. This legacy is best quantified by the statistics from his final season: 2,582 total yards, 39 total TDs scored four ways. Perhaps more important, Bostic is The Augusta Chronicle Georgia Player of the Year for leading the Warriors into the state quarterfinals for the first time since the school opened in 1995.
"They don't make them like this," said his coach, J.B. Arnold. "This is a special breed."
Bostic, a three-year starter at quarterback, played more snaps at wide receiver this season than any other year. He did not play quarterback for an entire game until the team's playoff- opening win over Tattnall County.
Arnold said it took some pressure off Bostic to play Chester Stone at quarterback at least one snap every game of the regular season. By then, Bostic's reputation had exploded. He entered his final year ranked as a four-star recruit by rivals.com, which rated him among the top 250 players in the nation. He was a marked player, one who ended up in 13 games passing for 1,124 yards, rushing for 1,227 and catching nine passes for 231 yards..
"That helped out more than you would think," Bostic said. "It definitely took some of the pressure off."
Bostic is not guaranteed to have played his final snap at quarterback. During his official visit to Georgia Tech on Dec. 11-13, coach Paul Johnson said he might try Bostic at quarterback or the A-back position, according to Bostic. He will begin working out with the Yellow Jackets on Jan. 11. -- Bostic has already obtained enough credits to graduate from high school -- along with two other players from the state who are also enrolling early.
Bostic said he will remember his final year at Jefferson County for things beyond the school-record number of wins, like how the team would sway together with the slow, steady bass line of its favorite rap song. The players always felt together, Bostic said, which is why he had no shame losing to eventual state runner-up Calhoun in the state quarterfinals.
"I think that really says a lot about our program, our community coming together," Bostic said. "I would have felt bad if we didn't get that far. I had high expectations. Everyone did, really.
"We wanted to compete with the best, and we thought Calhoun was the best and we gave them a run for their money. I wasn't pleased for us losing, but I was still pleased with the season."
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or email@example.com.
SCHOOL: Jefferson County
HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 5-11, 175
SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: Accumulated 2,582 yards of offense and scored 39 total touchdowns four ways: passing, rushing, receiving and kickoff return; helped team to the state quarterfinals for the first time. ... Threw, ran, caught and returned a kickoff for touchdowns in a win over East Laurens on Oct. 9. ... Has accepted a football scholarship from Georgia Tech.
Q: Besides hard work, why have you been successful?
A: I set high standards for myself. ... I've been self-driven my entire life.
Q: What do you like being an athlete at Jefferson County?
A: I wouldn't want any other coach or to play at any other school. We are just country boys trying to play football.
Q: Fifty years from now, what will you remember about this decade?
A: My old high school days, running out on the field, shaking the coach's hand ... just being a Jefferson County Warrior.
Q: What song motivates you before a big game?
A: All the Way Turned Up by Travis Porter
Q: Name a Web site you visit every day?