(CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.)  – For a 17-year-old quarterback who has thrown for just shy of 3,000 yards, has over 30 career touchdowns, maintains a 4.0 GPA, you’d think Houston Hicks (6’1”, 205 lbs) has much to brag about.

Not so, however, with one of the most buzzed-about young players hailing from this Southeastern Tennessee town. This natural leader and committed athlete from Boyd Buchanan School chooses instead to focus on things far more important than touchdowns.

Intensity is still the name of his game — but he applies it first in his Christian faith, family, academics, and then football. And Hicks leads with humility – not pride. Citing Colossians 3:23, the Boyd Buchanan gunslinger says he strives to give “all of my heart” in everything he does.

But don’t confuse meek with weak: Hicks is the rare prospect whose talent is beyond debate.

That kid … can lead a Division I School’ 

Hicks first splashed on the scene in his very first game as a freshman. In an unforgettable gutsy shootout against the defending state champs, he fired for 372 yards and put up 35 points. This coming fall, he will be a poised senior, ready to lead his team back to the state title game. The team around him is talented enough to achieve this goal. As a starter, Hicks is 25-11 over three seasons.

On a journey that also has been significantly shaped by his participation in the SoCal Coyotes non-profit organization’s ‘Above the Line™’ program, which emphasizes behavioral management and leadership, Hicks is currently being recruited by numerous Division I schools, including many Ivy League schools, and that number continues to grow. Wherever he lands, he plans to study pre-med.

Coyotes’ Hall of Fame head coach and quarterback guru J David Miller watched Hicks carefully last year at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodeaux, La. “Every year there is one or two quarterbacks who can really lead and spin it, where you say, ‘That kid is definitely capable of leading a Division I school.’ Houston’s one of those young men.”

At age four, Hicks was throwing a football. He grew into a natural passer who loved the mental gymnastics that came with his soaring football IQ. Heads first turned during his middle school years, when he put up back-to-back all-conference awards and records, with a TD to INT ratio of 15:1.

Faith, Family, Football 

Throughout Hicks’ journey, his faith has been paramount. After completing the SoCal Coyotes ‘Above the Line™’ program in 2023, he felt he needed to make a further impact on his faith-based school. He started a small group he called ‘The Gathering’ – an opportunity to openly share the Bible with classmates. .

‘The Gathering’ continues to meet and has seen attendance grow. Teammates have branched out, sharing faith and leadership with middle school students – another direct reflection of Hicks’ first foray into broader student ministry.

He recently sat down for a Q&A with the Coyotes to discuss his promising future – and how he stays grounded amidst the growing hype.

SCC: What do you love most about the game of football? 

Houston Hicks: I’ve grown up with football my whole life. It’s something I can always rely on to reward hard work and dedication. Football helps me be the best I can be, and it’s where I feel I can make the most impact. The coaches and friends I’ve met through the game make it really enjoyable.

SCC: Tell me about your faith journey and how it impacts your daily life.

Houston Hicks: During my freshman year, I placed a lot of value in sports and the way others looked at me. Over time, I found my true value in God. Knowing that He let His Son die for me shifted my perspective. My value doesn’t come from this world – it comes from the Lord. I don’t want to be ‘a circle of one’ person. I do all I can to help others who want to live in the same way.

SCC; Who has been the most important person in your life to shape you, and why?

Houston Hicks: My dad (Bobby) has been the most important person in my life. He works hard for our family and lives his life with effort and intention. He’s never about himself, always leading by serving others. I really admire that about him.

SCC: What does the next year to five years look like for you?

Houston Hicks: I want to play college ball and make the most of my senior year. I hope to finish with a title run, then go to college for pre-med and eventually medical school.

SCC: What made you take up the leadership initiative at Boyd Buchanan School?

Houston Hicks: During a student discussion called “The Gathering,” I felt a need to change within myself and inspire others. Just because our school is Christian doesn’t mean everyone there is. I wanted to let the Spirit speak through me and make a difference.

SCC: What do you want to see come from this at school?

Houston Hicks: I value quality over quantity. I want to create a group that’s truly trying to live for God, whether it’s one person, a hundred, or the whole school.

SCC: What would you tell your younger self if you could go back to 7th grade?

Houston Hicks: I’d tell myself that football isn’t everything. Personal success isn’t just about what you achieve; it’s about your relationship with God. It’s more important than how others see you.

SCC: What do you want to be remembered by as a high school student-athlete?

Houston Hicks: I’d like to be remembered not just as an athlete but as a well-rounded student and friend. Being known as a good person is more important to me than just being a great player.

SCC: Anything else you’d like to add?

Houston Hicks: It’s about being ‘Above the Line’ and bringing others with you. Upperclassmen have the responsibility to set an example. Jesus didn’t die to be served but to serve others. Seniors should be the example-setters and the ones who serve. It’s not just about you, but about bringing others up above the line so you can celebrate together. It’s not a celebration of one person, but a celebration of everyone going in the right direction.




In 2021, California State Senator Melissa Melendez selected the six-time champion SoCal Coyotes from 40,000 other District 28 Inland Empire and Coachella Valley organizations as ‘Nonprofit of the Year.’ 

The Coyotes’ 501c3 and award-winning ‘Above The Line™’ leadership programs impact the social, mental and physical growth of more than 50,000 youth annually through remedial curriculum, youth camps, clinics and symposia.

Beyond its youth curriculum, the SoCal Coyotes organization has earned its pristine reputation through its 12-year operational track record, verifiable data, community outreach programs, public-private sector alliances, and measured results.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By TSCC
Load More In Coyote Spotlight
Comments are closed.

Check Also


(PALM SPRINGS) – In an inspiring move to support and uplift at-risk youth, the SoCal…