By Kevin Eickman
Darryl L. Hicks was a member of the Milford Class of 1981. While he may have been classified as undersized, he was never classified as underachiever. Football coach Jack Simon from that 1981 team, marveled at the accomplishments of Hicks. “Darryl was a tremendous competitor, he always gave it everything he had.” Simon stated.
Hicks was the MVP of the 1981 squad playing linebacker and guard. He was also selected as the outstanding athlete of that same graduating class. Those that remember the athletes from that graduating class, know that it was one of the more special classes to ever pass through Milford. That year Milford won the State wrestling title, and accomplished the feat of having six wrestlers win individual titles. “It was fantastic to be a part of a group of guys like that,” Hicks stated. “We worked so hard, and were so committed to each other, it was a great group to be a part of.”
Hicks athletic success and recognition continued , as he was selected to the 1981 Blue Gold game. He would be named captain of the Gold squad, and was runner up for the outstanding lineman of that game. Being a part of that team was a thrill for Hicks. “Playing in Blue Gold was a fantastic experience, to meet all the guys I had competed against in high school was great,” commented Hicks. “It was great to find out how different teams and players did things, and to find out how much we all had in common with each other.”
Upon graduating from Milford, Hicks attended Morgan State University on a wrestling scholarship. The Division-II school was a national power at the time, and would routinely go up against Division-I powerhouses. “We had so many great wrestlers, it was just incredible,” said Hicks. In 1984 Morgan State would finish runner-up for the Division-II National Championship. Hicks received a degree in Business Administration when he completed college.
Hicks said there were several people in his life that provided him inspiration and guidance along the way, at the top of the list was his brother Stanley. “My brother was so important to me growing up, he was always there for me,” stated Hicks. “My father was also very important to me, he taught me to expect more of myself.”
There are a number of coaches Hicks had along the way that had a lasting impact on him. “Going back from middle school forward, the coaches were always there for me.” Hicks said. “Roy Rigby, Jack Simon and George Zissman always helped me to get the best out of myself.” Hicks does believe he owes a special thanks to Simon however. “Coach Simon saw something in me that I didn’t, he showed me just how good I could be,” Hicks said. “He showed me how being undersized could work to my advantage.”
Being named to the Hall of Fame is very special to Hicks. “I will be joining my brother as a member of the Hall of Fame, and there is no describing how special that is,” commented Hicks. Darryl also thinks that the Hall of Fame is a great way to remember past Milford players. “There have been so many great players that have played here, it is fantastic that Jack Simon and Mike Tkach came up with a way to honor the history of Milford football.”