A 1993 graduate of Brookwood, Tedd Sims is the assistant varsity softball coach and varsity baseball pitching coach at Peachtree Ridge, where he has been a teacher for the last three years. Sims, 33, returned home to Gwinnett County after college and began teaching and coaching at Central Gwinnett in 2001.
Sims talks with staff writer Christine Troyke about his baseball career, loyalties and golf in this installment of "Getting to know ...."
CT: Just to clarify the spelling of your names?
TS: My first name has two D's and my last name has one M.
CT: Do people get that wrong a lot?
TS: Most people do the opposite.
CT: Is there any reason for the two D's? Because it's not the usual way to spell Ted.
TS: The only reason is I'm not short for Theodore.
CT: You're pretty heavily involved in the athletics at Peachtree Ridge. Is that just what you like to do?
TS: I enjoy working with the kids and I'm very competitive. So sports is what I need to be doing (laughing). It's healthy competitive.
CT: You played baseball in high school?
TS: I played baseball in high school for Brookwood for Dale Moore. I played two years of varsity.
CT: What was the best game you played?
TS: My best game in high school was probably my senior year. I pitched against Newton County in a region playoff game at South Gwinnett. They had four guys get drafted that year and I threw five innings and gave up one run. It was a home run.
I only pitched 17 innings my senior year and that was five of them. I didn't bloom in baseball until I got to college.
CT: Where did you go to college?
TS: I went to DeKalb Junior College, now Georgia Perimeter, for two years. Then I went to West Georgia.
CT: Did you play baseball all four years?
TS: I played all four years of college and I had a very successful career.
CT: What was your best game in college?
TS: My most memorable moment in college, we were in the regional to put us into the World Series, playing the University of Alabama-Huntsville. We were getting beat 7-1 in the third inning. I came in (to pitch) in the third inning and we ended up winning that game 10-7. That put us into the College World Series. I had that shining moment.
CT: Well, that's a lot more than some people get.
TS: I know. I've actually had quite a few. My very first year coaching high school sports, we won state softball championship in 2001 at Central.
I went into sales when I stopped playing at West Georgia, but went back and got my degree in education in 2000.
It was a very good start. My brother was a coach at the time at Collins Hill. He told me some coaches go 30 or 40 years without winning a state title and you've been coaching six months.
CT: Did you grow up entirely in Gwinnett?
TS: I was born and raised in Lilburn. I grew up playing ball in Mountain Park. All my friends went to Trickum and Parkview, then they rezoned my neighborhood my seventh-grade year to Brookwood. It was an interesting transition (chuckles).
CT: Did that create any conflicting emotions for you?
TS: There was no conflict. The thing about it is, when you grow up playing with somebody and then you compete against them, it makes the rivalry more fierce. There's more bragging rights. It's not just school versus school.
CT: So when Brookwood and Parkview play, is there any question which side you'd sit on?
TS: There's no doubt about that. I'd sit on the Brookwood side.
CT: I understand you're an avid golfer.
TS: I am an avid golfer. I've tried in the past, just when I've had some spare time, to get a job at a golf course. Because there's lots of perks to that. It's not an inexpensive sport.
But what I love about golf so much is it's you against the course. I have a saying, 'You're only as good as your next game,' and it applies to golf too. You can have 16 holes and two bad ones (ruin the round).
CT: Do you have a favorite course around here?
TS: My favorite course is obviously Sugarloaf. I used to work out there. My second favorite is Monroe Country Club. I like greens that roll true and fast.
CT: Is there a course you would most like to play?
TS: I would love to go and play Pebble Beach. I was fortunate to play Sawgrass. But any of the courses in Scottsdale (Ariz.).
CT: Who is in your dream foursome?
TS: I would probably have to say Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods and my father.
CT: Is there any athlete you've been blown away by watching here in Gwinnett?
TS: The athlete that has impressed me the most in Gwinnett from my coaching standpoint, I would have to say, three years ago, Brookwood had a running back and baseball center fielder, Chris Covington. From all my years watching sports in Gwinnett, he impressed me the most because he played with every God-given talent he had and then some. He'd run through a wall.
CT: Is there any place you'd like to live other than the Atlanta area?
TS: My family is just really important to me. My mom and dad live five miles from me. My brother lives five miles from me. I've got two awesome nieces and I get to see them all the time. If they were to move, I would consider it.