Meet Daryl Hawkins, the Peach County Trojan Man
FORT VALLEY, Ga. -- If you've been to a Peach County football game in the last 26 years, odds are that you saw Daryl Hawkins on the sideline. Just look for the man wearing the sequined cape and donning a black helmet with a gold mohawk on it.
Hawkins has been patrolling the Peach County sidelines as the Trojan Man for over a quarter of a century now -- he got the idea after the team's first trip to the state championship in 1992.
He's always loved Peach County football, and just wanted to find a way to energize the team and the stands.
"I just didn't want to sit in the stands," Hawkins said. "I had too much energy to be up in the stands and all that."
In 26 years since first putting on the Trojan costume, Hawkins has only missed two games. One when a rain makeup conflicted with that year's Georgia-Florida game -- Hawkins is a devout Gators fan -- and the other when he had to attend his father's funeral.
He graduated from Peach County in 1974. His wife and two daughters also graduated from Peach County. This community -- and this team -- are in his blood, and he's just thankful to have the chance to be a part of the show every Friday night.
"Just to be a part of it and everything like that, it's amazing," Hawkins said. "To hear the crowd just erupt when the boys come out on the field, I just wanted to be a part of it."
None of the players on the current Peach County roster were alive when Hawkins first donned the Trojan costume, but each of them are equally appreciative of having a fan who's there for them no matter what.
"If we score, he's gonna be there congratulating. If we don't score, he's gonna be there picking you up every time," senior center Dylan Perry said. "He's just always there for you. It's good to know you've got somebody that's got your back all the time."
Hawkins' first year as the Trojan Man also happened to be current head coach Chad Campbell's first year on the coaching staff at Peach County. Campbell has always welcomed the energy that Hawkins brings to the field, and the love he has for Peach County football.
"Daryl is a great human being. He's great -- he's good people," Campbell said. "He does it because he loves Trojan football."
"It's a good thing for the young kids to look up to," Perry said. "Because he's just been out here so long. He's a great influence on the community."
The Trojans high-powered offense has put a toll on Hawkins body this year -- he runs a giant "PC" flag up and down the sidelines with each touchdown -- but he wouldn't dream of being anywhere else on game day.
"I wouldn't have it any other way on Friday nights," Hawkins said. "This is where I've got to be. Or wherever we're playing at, that's where we're at."