MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — The Baldwin Braves have been close before.
But to get them over the hump this season, one small change is making the biggest difference.
“I felt like we needed discipline in the weight room, a little bit more of the stuff we were preaching out here on the field,” defensive coordinator Roderick Cummings said. “It needed to go hand in hand.”
Coach Cummings knew just the man to call.
Central Georgia legend C.B. Cornett is running weights for the Braves at 75 years young.
“We just said he was the perfect fit because I know the things he did for me as a player in high school what he did for us at Westside,” Cummings said.
“They have to be pushed by somebody, because a lot of them don't want to push themselves,” Cornett said. “That's what I am, I'm a pusher.”
Coach Cornett has made stops at Westside, Central and Macon County, where he led the Bulldogs to the 1996 state championship.
59 years of coaching can take its toll, but get in the weight room...
“I'm pushing them, I guarantee you that,” Cornett said. “I've always told our kids, you never stay the same. You're either getting better or getting worse every day.”
And it's the same message he has for himself.
“Once you retire, to me if you just sit down and do nothing, you're going to die,” Cornett said. “I want to live as long as I can, and I want to be an influence on young people.”
Coach Cornett has been influencing young people for six decades in the weight room -- and everywhere else.
“Daily for me as the DC, he gives me pointers, gives me little ideas that we need to think about doing at practice to make us a little bit tougher,” Cummings said. “The knowledge he has, man, it works wonders.”
In nearly six decades, Coach Cornett's philosophy hasn't changed much, but now it's making all the change for the Braves.
“I'm going to push these kids just like I did at Macon County,” Cornett said. “If we do have a special season, it's going to be because they made up their mind to.”
Following a week off, Baldwin (3-1) will head to Griffin to take on Spalding (4-0) on September 23.