Former players remember Coach Cravey at memorial service - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Former players remember Coach Cravey at memorial service

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VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) -

The funeral for legendary football coach Buck Cravey resembled a high school reunion.

Many of his trophies, plaques, and photos covered tables in the lobby of the church. Former players wore their Vidalia High letterman jackets.

They bore the patch for their 1969 state championship. No matter what decade they played, they shared a respect and love for the coach who roamed the sidelines of their school 24 years, and a total of 40, in his career.

"He was a great motivator," said former player Wendell Dixon. "He was also a second father to us. If we did anything wrong, we didn't want our daddy to know and we didn't want Buck to know."

Cravey stands 17th in state history for career wins by a head coach. He's the only coach to win a GHSA state championship with a public school and an GISA championship with a private school.

That title came in 1997, part of his decade at the helm of Pinewood Christian Academy.

"One of his biggest qualities was that he could get the best out of people," added Lin Hodges, who played for Cravey at Vidalia. "Winning was important, but not as important as doing your absolute best."

"Coach Cravey loved to keep up with his former players and see how they were doing, what kind of success they'd had, how many kids they had," noted Tommy Sasser, who played for and coached with Cravey at Vidalia.

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