The Garden Villa Giants were established in 1961 by founder and beloved coach Quenard E Hicks Sr., in the Cuney Homes of Houston’s historic Third Ward. On his way home from work one day, Coach Hicks saw several children playing football in the street, and instead of getting mad at them because they were blocking the street, Coach Hicks decided to get them together and organize a football team. Coach Hicks formed, what was initially known as the “Cuney Homes Rattlers,” and he joined a local league where they did well for many years, all the while making a name for his team around the little league society of coaches and players.
As time passed, Coach Hicks joined the Southeast Football League and boasted three teams by that time – the Giants, the Patriots and the Broncos. Through the assistance of his son, Quenard Hicks Jr. (“Q”), and his best friend, Felix Powell, Coach Hicks was able to successfully run the team for many years. Coach Hicks later moved his teams to the Pop Warner League that had recently come to Houston. With the move, Coach Hicks’ three teams were now formed into one team, the Giants, with several levels that ranged from 5 to 15 years old. The Giants did very well in the Pop Warner League, and traveling to the Southwest Region Playoffs several times. In 2002, the Giants became the first Houston team to win a State Championship, and go on to play for the National Championship. Ever since that success, the Giants have won several State Championships, and have made several trips to the Pop Warner Championships in Florida.
Sadly, Coach Hicks passed away in 2007, but the Giants players that he trained, both young and old, have continued to make his dream stay alive. Coach Hicks’ beloved Giants have moved on to the American Youth Football League and have won many titles in that league. In 2011, the Giants won the National Championship in the D2 Peewee Division, and in 2013, the Giants won the National Championship in the D2 Jr. Peewee Division. The Giants have continued Coach Hicks’ successful winning tradition since his passing, and have had many successful athletes go on to play college football and acquire various degrees. Many Giants players have gone on to play in the NFL, with the first being Chykie Brown of the Baltimore Ravens, who won a Super Bowl Championship in his first year with the team. Another player, Charles Sims, played with the Garden Villa Giants when his team the Blades merged with the Giants, and he is currently a star running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Two twin brothers, Jamel and Jamal Charlo, went on to win Boxing titles, and they both held Championship belts at the same time.
Each year, you can count on the Giants to be in the Southwest Region Playoffs, playing in Kissimmee, FL, against teams from all over the country, for the right to call themselves the National Champions. To help these kids compete at the highest level and have this experience, it costs a lot of money, especially when you consider the fact that they take an average of 25 kids per team, to Florida for the weeklong tournament. This year, the Giants are taking three teams to Florida, or roughly 75 kids, and their youngest tackle team will be traveling to Dallas for the Southwest Region Playoffs, in the 8 and Under Division. Travel is not cheap, so the Giants are hard at work doing fundraisers to help make these kids dreams come true.
Their motto is same as it has been since Coach Hicks founded them in 1961:
“Togetherness – Win, Lose or Draw”
The Forward Times congratulates the Garden Villa Giants youth on another successful year, along with their staff, coaches, trainers, parents and supporters. We are so proud of you and now we want you to do your best and bring us back some championships to the Greater Houston area.