During his athletic career at West Stokes High School, Brandon Starnes has excelled on the track and the football field. As a wide receiver for the Wildcats, Starnes’ tremendous speed allowed him to jet past defending players and grab long passes in game after game. On the track, Starnes’ fleet-footed nature was perfectly suited for dash events, which helped the Wildcats track team grab extra points in meet after meet.
With his athletic prowess on the field and on the track, Starnes attracted attention from several different colleges.
But, on May 9, Starnes made his choice by signing a letter-of-intent to play football with Methodist University. To get the news that he would finally be going to college was a good feeling for Starnes.
“It was exciting,” he said. “I was waiting for it for a long time. I felt relieved.”
Starnes said that he was attracted to Methodist University because of the school’s “homey” atmosphere and “winning” football program.
“It felt like a good fit for me,” he said.
Getting to play football at the college level is like a dream come true for Starnes, who has been playing football since seventh grade.
“It’s an honor to play,” he said. “I’ll be happy to be on the field again and keep doing what I love.”
Starnes’ mother, Shelia Dobson, said that when Starnes first wanted to play football in seventh grade, she had a little hesitation and worried about him getting hurt, but she never stood in the way of his dreams.
“He’s always wanted to play,” she said.
Wildcats Football Coach Jimmy Upchurch said that he knew Starnes was a “talented” athlete from the moment he saw him play. Upchurch said that Starnes’ “great hands” and speed allowed him to make some nice plays for the Wildcats.
Starnes would regularly sweep down the field for a pass and dart past opponents, leaving their heads spinning.
Dobson said that Starnes has always been fast, even from his days of little league baseball, when he would sprint his way around the bases.
No one is more proud of Starnes than Dobson. She said she always knew her son would play football on the next level.
Starnes is just happy to see all his hard work and hours of practice finally pay off with a chance to play football at the college level. He said he hopes to be a starter on Methodist’s football team.
When Starnes looks back on all his memories at West Stokes, he can’t forget 2011, when the Wildcats went on a historic 16-0 run to a 2A State Championship title.
“There is no way to top it,” he said.
To put it simply, West Stokes holds a warm place in Starnes’ heart.
“It feels good to know this was my school,” he said.