Sanders, Hillard embarking to lead Bayshore Bruins to tradition of winning

WWSB ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 2:03 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The second week of Fall football camp is underway at most high schools on the Suncoast and Bayshore High School is one of them.

The program went 0-9 in 2022, but they have many new players and are looking to start a new winning tradition. Fourth year head coach Jamaal Sanders says he’s noticing a pep in everyone’s step that hasn’t been there since he’s been the lead man in charge.

“It’s the energy,” Sanders said. “Our tempo at practice and we have extra coaches who have come over to do a lot of individual teaching to the kids. It’s definitely the energy. You can kind of feel the buzz going around that we’re going to do something special this year.”

However, in order to rebuild a program, there usually has to be a building block. For the Bruins, that’s exactly what senior offensive lineman Terrion Hillard is.

His leadership is something Sanders tells ABC7 that he is thankful to have in the locker room, but Hillard’s story comes with many personal struggles.

He’s from Indianapolis and comes from a side of life he calls very challenging. His journey took an even more heartbreaking turn at a young age with the death of his mother. That loss forced him to have to move to the Suncoast with his sister who is now his caretaker.

“Of course it’s tough losing your mother, but my sister picked up her role,” Hillard said. “She’s playing it right and we’re pushing.”

Hillard keeps his mother’s memory alive with his play on the field and performance in the classroom. His mental fortitude serves as inspiration for his teammates and coaches.

“If he can come from where he’s come from and shows up everyday and he puts in the work and he’s positive, everyone can,” Sanders said. " Me personally, he’s shown me that some days are gonna be bad days, but you can turn that day around by what you bring to the equation.”