If Brookstone is playing football, there is a good chance you will find Deron Hicks on the sidelines.
He’s not a player or a coach.
He’s just a dad with a good camera and a knack for taking pictures. And he takes a lot of pictures he posts to his Facebook page.
A week ago, Hicks, who is a corporate attorney in his day job, was working the sideline of the Brookstone-Jordan game. It was the fourth quarter and the game was close.
“Our quarterback, Russell Blanchard, was rolling toward our sideline,” Hicks recalled.
If you never been on a sideline for a high school, college or pro football game you can’t really appreciate the speed at which the game comes at you.
It’s fast, and you can get caught up in the action even if you are paying close attention.
That is what happened to Hicks.
“Every step that I took backward, they were getting closer to me,” Hicks said.
Until Blanchard and a Jordan defender hit the ground in front of him, sliding his way.
“The defender got under my feet,” Hicks said. “I had the camera in my right hand and I guess I put my left arm down to brace the fall.”
When the play was over, Hicks had broken the big bone in his arm just above the wrist. The photographer was the one in Jack Hughston Hospital getting his arm examined. Today, it’s in a hard cast and he is waiting a couple of weeks to see if surgery is required to fix the injury.
“Football’s a tough sport — even for the photographer,” Hicks posted on his Facebook page last Saturday morning. “Best part of the night — when I got knocked over, the only thing I heard from the crowd was ‘Is his camera OK?’ Yes, camera OK. Deron, broken wrist.”
There is a reason Brookstone fans asked about Hicks’ camera. What he does as a parent — his son, Parker, is a sophomore inside linebacker — is important in this social media world that we live in today.
A lot of the Brookstone family, parents and players, are Facebook friends and count on his photos. Amber Massey summed up the feelings in a comment on Hicks’ Facebook post.
“Oh goodness,” she wrote. “What’s crazy is you still managed to upload the pics for all of us to enjoy. Praying for a speedy recovery.”
Hicks, the son of a high school football coach and principal, takes a different approach when he shoots photos. He is looking to get shots of the players you won’t see in the newspaper and in the high-profile picture by media outlets. Hicks, 49, played high school football at Evans in Augusta.
“Back when I played, the pictures you saw in the yearbook and other places were of the star quarterback and running back,” he said. “I try and get pictures of all of the players. The linemen. You don’t see a lot of pictures of the center.”
And he has the equipment to get shots where you can see the facial expressions and struggles. I follow Deron’s work, and it’s really good.
And don’t think just because he has a broken left wrist the season is lost.
He was back on the sideline Thursday night, arm in a cast and a new monopod, shooting the Brookstone JV game in which his son was playing.
Keep shooting, Deron. Folks are counting on you. But next time, be a little quicker.