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Local attorney named to Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame
George Waters overcame loss of sight in one eye to earn all-state status.
george waters 1
Liberty County's newest Athletic Hall of Famer George Waters. (Photo provided by Pat Donahue).

MIDWAY - It is a testament to just how good a player he was, Kenny Fussell said, when George Waters was named his high school team’s most valuable player – as an offensive tackle.

Waters, the longtime Richmond Hill attorney, was inducted into the Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday night, with much of his family and many of his old teammates on hand. Waters was a standout player at Bradwell Institute, excelling on both sides of the football.

“He never took a play off in practice,” said longtime friend and former teammate Kenny Fussell. “He never took a play off in the game. He gave it all every single play. He had a motor that never stopped.”

Fussell noted that Waters started on the varsity as a freshman, earned all-state honorable mention as a defensive end as a sophomore and was an all-state first-team pick at offensive tackle as a senior.

“He just did things that couldn’t be done,” Fussell said. “He was just an incredible athlete.”

Waters accepted his induction, with his family, including his wife Beverly, their children and his brother Rusty at a table right in front of the podium.

“It’s a pleasure and an honor,” Waters said, “and I’m very humbled about it.”

Waters said he believes sports are an important part of education, and going to school means more than learning what is in the books. It also means learning life lessons.

He even acknowledged his high school English teacher, Barbara Martin, who was in attendance for her grandson Cole Martin’s induction.

“You learn a lot of lessons in life, and sports are an integral part of learning lessons in life,” Waters said. “What gets you wherever you go is wanting to be there and applying yourself. I heard the repetition and you can say that again and study and preparation, and if you do that, I think you’ll succeed in whatever you do, whatever your endeavor is.”

The coaches and players also found ways to compensate for Waters’ obstacle as a player. A childhood accident left him blind in his right eye. Fussell even recalled a tackle eligible play called for Waters, and Waters telling the Bradwell quarterback to “throw to my good eye.”

It wasn’t just Waters’ exceptional play that inspired his teammates. He found other ways, too.

Late in his senior season, after the Lions (Bradwell’s mascot changed after integration) lost a game that would have given them the region championship and a spot in the state playoffs, they found themselves down 26-8 at halftime to Vidalia. In a quiet and sullen locker room, Waters picked up a metal chair and flung it across the room, Fussell recalled.

“I don’t want to go out like this,” Waters declared to his teammates. “I’m going to go out doing the best I can, and expect everybody else to do it.”

Bradwell came back to win 28-26.

There were other moments where Waters displayed his on-field prowess. Bradwell, then a Class A school, faced powerful Waycross, a AAA school, one of the biggest in the state then. The then-Bulldogs were a nationally-ranked team, with record-setting running back Doyle Orange leading the way.

Orange ran for more than 200 yards a game every game that year – except one. Waters and the Bradwell defense held him to 53 yards, Fussell said, and Waters forced a fumble that led to the eventual winning touchdown.

The next year, against Waycross, Waters forced two fumbles and the Lions upset the nationally-ranked Bulldogs again.

Waters was inducted as part of the 18th class of the Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame, which celebrated its 20th year. The Hall took a two-year COVID-19-inducted hiatus.

Waters also cited the work ethic his late father instilled in him, and he also said he wished he had participated in more sports too.

“I think there has to be a healthy balance somewhere,” he said. “Maybe they’ll reach that for the next generation.”

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