Hilman Rhodes is one of the most unique athletes in local history. He was the only male athlete in Glynn Academy history to win 16 letters from his freshman to senior year in the major sports of football, baseball, basketball and track. Rhodes was a standout in all of them, earning All-Region and All-State honors.
He was a right halfback for Glynn’s 1949 team that went unbeaten and defeated Lanier High in Macon 55-0 in the South Georgia championship game before then falling in the state championship game to Brown High in Atlanta. As a freshman, Rhodes played left end for the Terrors and was the first-ever freshman to make the Glynn varsity team. His sophomore season he played halfback and linebacker and then played fullback in his junior year for the also powerful 1948 Terror squad. Rhodes was named to the All-Region team both in 1948 and 1949 and in his senior season of '49, was named to the All-State football team.
In baseball, Rhodes earned starting catcher duties as a mere freshman, saying the only reason he played catcher was because he couldn't afford a fielding glove and the team already owned a catcher's mitt. He then earned All-Region honors as a sophomore. In basketball, he also was a starter for the Terrors, and in his freshman season, Glynn advanced to the state finals before losing to Decatur High.
In track, like the other sports, Rhodes really excelled. He was named to the All-Region track team four consecutive years and captured the state shot put title in both his sophomore and junior seasons. In his junior year, he also won the state 440-yard dash. Rhodes said many years later he wanted to concentrate only on baseball and basketball at Glynn Academy but that Coach C.M. Page talked him into also running track and then, of course, going out for football.
After leaving high school as a 5-11, 225-pounder, Rhodes then signed a football scholarship with the University of Florida. In Gainesville, he started for the Gators' freshman team at left end for a year but then, his first love of baseball came calling again. Rhodes was offered a $5,000 contract by the then Brooklyn Dodgers and he immediately signed with the major league team, thus giving up his collegiate football career. Rhodes played for three years in the Dodgers minor league system before the team sold him to the Cincinnati Reds organization. But because of a serious arm injury, Rhodes saw his baseball career come to an end at that point.
Later, he would serve as director of the Glynn County Recreation Department. Rhodes would later be inducted posthumously into the Glynn Academy Hall of Fame.