E.A. Sports Today

New Hope

With athletics offerings expanding in school’s second year, Hope Christian hires Top Gun owner, Monsters’ GM Brooks to lead baseball program.

Cover photo: Monsters general manager Roby Brooks talks with Choccolocco Park director Billy Thompson before the team’s home opener on Friday. Brooks will also serve as Hope Christian Academy’s first head baseball coach next spring. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Hope Christian Academy’s sports offerings will expand in the 2024-25 school year, and so will Roby Brooks’ titles.

The owner of Top Gun Athletics and newly minded general manager of the Choccolocco Monsters will be Hope’s first head baseball coach, Hope head of school Nick Burns said Monday.

Hope Christian logo

This as Hope, which plays in the Alabama Independent Schools Association, enters its second school year of existence. The school will add eight-man football, volleyball, cheerleading, girls’ basketball, baseball, softball and track to a list of sports offerings that featured boys’ basketball and cross country in 2023-24.

Brooks has been in the news lately for shepherding the Monsters’ return to Oxford after playing their 2023 season in Columbus, Ga. Playing in the Sunbelt League, a wood-bat summer league for college players, the Monsters are off to a 3-0 start with a roster that Brooks built and coaches that Brooks hired.

Brooks’ shepherding that state of Hope’s baseball team came about after he and Burns, the former head coach at Brooks’ alma mater, Wellborn High School, had several conversations.

“We started communicating a little while ago,” Burns said. “He’s always been an outstanding guy that we’ve known for a long time.

“We talked about that we weren’t going to have baseball in our first year, but we’re going to have it in the coming years. Spoke to him about heading up the program. He did a lot of praying. We did a lot of praying, and God just kind of lined everything up where he’s going to be able to take over as our head coach.”

Brooks is the son of the late Jimmy Brooks, for whom a park in Wellborn is named, and the brother of Wes Brooks, who guided Oxford High’s baseball program to two Class 6A state championships before moving into administration.

The Brooks brothers played for Wellborn and Jacksonville State University. Roby started Top Gun Athletic, a travel-ball and training venture for area players. The Monsters hired him as their general manager after announcing their return to Oxford.

“It’s just another way, another opportunity, to give back to kids, kind of like my dad and other people who helped me and my brother get to where we got,” Brooks said. “There was a lot of help.

“I started Top Gun because of that, and nothing will change with Top Gun. This will make Top Gun even better. Top Gun is going to make Hope Christian better, and Hope Christian will make Top Gun better. It’s another avenue for us to kind to reach people and and pour into them just physically, academically, spiritually.”

Hope’s head football coach will be current assistant principal and athletics director Chris Stone, who played for Daleville High School and Arkansas State University. Elementary school assistant principal Malorie Burns, who played for Wellborn and Southern Union Community College will coach the volleyball team.

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