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When Derwin Hughes first moved to Springfield this summer, he didn’t know exactly what to expect. He had visited his family in Washington County often, but living there was a completely different story.
But it didn’t take long for him to feel welcome after he joined the football team.
“I was just kind of amazed at how all the coaches welcomed me on the team,” Hughes said. “Playing football has really helped me meet new people and make friends since I’ve been here.”
Hughes first showed an interest in football when he was eight years old after he saw his older brother play.
But his first love was a different sport.
“I love playing basketball,” Hughes said.
That didn’t stop him from working on his football game, even though he joined WC’s team later than most players because of his move during the summer.
And that more than anything is what has impressed Head Coach Eric Sagrecy: Hughes’ persistence at perfecting his craft.
“Coming in late like he did, with already established guys, a lot of guys faced with that situation would not have stuck it out,” Sagrecy said. “We’ve had guys in similar scenarios who haven’t, actually, but he just kept working on his game.”
Hughes didn’t have to wait long for his first memorable moment as a member of the Commanders. In fact, his first game was a win.
“Everybody was playing real hard and everything,” Hughes said. “That game really sticks out for me.”
Hughes thinks his greatest advantage as a football player is his tackling ability because he can “get lower than most people.” But he has also excelled in many of the football drills because of their similarity to basketball training.
“A lot of the stuff you do in football is just like basketball,” Hughes said. “You’re just working on your footwork and your conditioning most of the time.”
Hughes, who used to play baseball but has decided not to pursue that this spring at WC, plans on playing basketball and possibly running track for the Commanders now that football season is over.
Sagrecy thinks that the work ethic he showed during the football season will be a great asset to him in any venture he attempts.
“He’s proven himself as a football player and as a young man because he kept coming back and worked to get in a position where he could play,” Sagrecy said. “He stayed with us through the season, so that’s a testament to him as a young person that’s committed to something. He’s been a great person to be on our football team.”
While Hughes describes himself as someone who “makes friends pretty easy,” he recognized that the support of his teammates and coaches helped make the transition even smoother.
After high school, Hughes plans on attending Eastern Kentucky University in hopes of becoming a lawyer.
But wherever his postgraduation plans take him, he’ll always have the support of the WC Commander program, according to Sagrecy.
“I’m glad he’s a part of our family,” Sagrecy said. “He stuck it out when it wasn’t always easy. He’s a great kid.”