PREP SPORTS: ‘Holly Pond will always have a special place in my heart’: Kollin Brown recaps Bronco career

Holly Pond’s Kollin Brown. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. — Holly Pond senior Kollin Brown accomplished so much during his high school sports career and in this interview, he shared some of his favorite memories playing alongside his teammates.

“My favorite memory is winning area my 11th grade year. My favorite award that I won is the Joe Shults award that I received this past year,” Brown said. “I feel like I played with a lot of great players at Holly Pond. I think great players are dedicated to the game and dedicated to winning. In order to win, you have to have a team full of great players that are willing to give it their all to win. My teammates definitely helped make my job easier, and I always felt like if I was ever having a bad game, they would pick me up, and we would find ways to win games. I love all my teammates, and I wouldn’t trade them for any other team. I learned that a team is not made up of one person, and that everyone has to play together in order to win. I learned to trust my teammates and trust that they will make the right plays at the right times in order for us to win.”

Kollin enjoyed playing for all of his coaches at Holly Pond and will deeply miss being a Bronco next year.

“I’ve had a lot of great coaches during my time at Holly Pond. They all have contributed to help me become the person I am now and the player I was. My first coaches at Holly Pond were Mitch and Griffin Morris. Although I was on JV, they both taught me a lot and helped prepare me for the varsity level. My first two years on varsity was under Cory Glasscock and Tyler Yearwood. With those years being my first on the varsity, I feel like I learned the most during those years. The biggest thing they helped me with was not only my skill or decision making, but my attitude and how I handled myself on the court. Although they moved on to different positions, I still have close relationships with both of them. Hopefully, I can end up coaching alongside one of them in the future.”

He added,

“My senior season, I was blessed to play for such a great coach and an even better man in Tim Willoughby. Through all of the difficulties we faced this past season, we still made a good run, but more than that, we formed a bond that will last a lifetime. Coach Willoughby could possibly be the most dedicated and knowledgeable man I will ever meet. He loves the game of basketball more than anyone I know. All these men have helped me develop on and off the court, and I want to thank them for that.”

Kollin got to play in a lot of great games during his career and made some great memories in the classroom as well.

“While I was at Holly Pond, I made so many memories. I will definitely remember the team camps and the times the team just got together and had fun. I will miss playing with my friends and hanging out with all of my teammates. I will probably miss playing in front of a crowd the most. There is nothing like playing in front of a packed crowd, and I couldn’t ask for a better school and town to play in front of,” Brown said. “The first game that comes to mind is the area championship game my 11th grade year. It was a packed gym and a close game all the way through, and we just found a way to win it in the end. The county tournament games this past season are two of my favorite games of my career as well. They were both very tough games and although we didn’t come out on top in one of them, they were both very memorable games, and I will never forget them. I will also never forget when I broke the single-game scoring record with 51 points against West End. I made the most memories in Mr. Roden’s AG class. We were always doing something in that class, whether it was a wood project, welding, or playing around when there was nothing to do. I also really enjoyed when our senior class went to the lake for senior skip day. I made so many great memories at Holly Pond and am so thankful for all the people that makes Holly Pond the place it is.”

Holly Pond will always hold a special place in Kollin’s heart and he’ll never forget the great times he had there.

“What made Holly Pond a special place to go to is the tradition, because generations of my family have graduated from there. It was awesome getting to play on the baseball field named after my great grandfather, Chunk Yeager. I love the town of Holly Pond, because it is a very tight-knit community, and everyone knows everyone. Holly Pond will always have a special place in my heart, and I wouldn’t have chosen any other place to grow up,” he said. “I will definitely miss playing sports and wearing the green and white. I will always remember the times that me and my teammates spent together, as well as the adults that have encouraged and impacted my life. When it comes to the school side of things, I will miss two of my favorite teachers, Mrs. P and Mrs. Graham, and spending time with them. I will also miss all of my friends and remember all the great memories we made at Holly Pond.”

Kollin talked about a special role model in his life and gave some advice to those students that will be starting high school in August.

“I would say for school and sports, my role model is coach Willoughby. People that only see him on the court probably think he’s just a crazy, old man, but he is one of the best men I know and one of the biggest role models in my life. Seeing how good of a man he is makes me want to always be better and act the right way. He is always so generous and always puts others before himself. He has taught me so many things in just the one year I have known him, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to be one of his players. He truly is one of the best coaches I know and an even better man.”

He added,

“I would tell them that it seems like it’s going to last a lifetime, but you will be graduating before you know it. So, don’t take all the time that you get to spend with your friends and teachers for granted. Another thing I would tell them is to get out of your comfort zone and go and try new things. Even if you think you are going to be bad at it, go try it, and maybe you will end up being good at something you never imagined doing.”

Kollin participated in some clubs at Holly Pond as well and in addition to his academic achievements, he received a handful of basketball scholarship offers.

“I was a part of FFA and the Key Club. I feel like everyone should be a part of clubs. With Key Club, I got to help with the Veteran’s Day program, and with FFA, I got to be a part of the AG construction team. It feels good being able to help out the school, and it’s always fun going to the AG convention and meeting new people,” he said. “I have scholarships from Reinhardt University, Jacksonville State, University of Montevallo, Talladega University, and Barry University. It felt really good. It felt like a lot of my hard work had paid off.”

He gave some advice to those people that want to get to where he’s at right now, and talked about how he wants to be remembered.

“If you want to go anywhere in life, you are going to have to work hard. Other than work hard, I would say you will have to learn to be a good listener, and don’t be afraid to get advice from people, because it will help you a lot in the long run. You have to be mentally and physically strong to be good at anything. In sports, don’t let one play define the game or season. Just like life, don’t let one problem ruin your day, month, or year. You will get past that problem, and it will only make you a stronger person,” he said. “I hope people remember me as a good athlete, but more than that, I hope they remember me as a good person that always tried to do the right thing. I tried really hard to be nice and always put others before myself.”

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