The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

  • February 20FCHS will be offering the ASVAB test to interested sophomores, juniors, and seniors. For details, please email [email protected]
  • February 20The FCHS Music Department is hosting a "Night at the Movies" Concert at 6pm on Thurs. Feb. 22. Tickets are $5. See Ms. Harkrader in room 1517 for details.
  • February 19The FCHS Library will be hosting a Read-A-Thon on Thurs. March 7. It is $1 per 30 minute block or $10 for the entire day. Funds go to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
  • January 20Juniors and seniors taking the SAT in March should check their email for information and a calendar invite from Ms. Blevins. Email [email protected] with questions.
The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

FCHS teacher and varsity basketball coach Heath Bralley. Photo courtesy of JostensPix.

The Teacher Behind the Tattoos

FCHS PE teacher Heath Bralley has many tattoos that might come as a surprise to students. One is of Heathcliff the cat, an old cartoon character Bralley said he chose because “my name is Heath” he said, adding that it also covered up “a stupid tattoo I got my senior year of high school.”

His tattoos don’t stop there. He has a tattoo of a heart made out of a lanyard and a whistle to represent his job. Above it is a tattoo of his kids’ names, and through the heart is a pattern which is the same as the one on his wedding band. On the back of his arm is a tattoo of the word “Believe,” a word he says is important to him because “without believing, nothing can happen.” An additional tattoo, a basketball net with no rim, reflects another one of his mottos which is that “When you shoot, you want to hit nothing but net.

Bralley says last tattoo, a 3D cross with the letters ‘GIGTTHAL” represents his faith, and stands for “God is greater than the highs and lows.” He said he uses this as a reminder to keep his priorities in check.

Students who have had him for gym or Driver’s Ed may be familiar with some of these tattoos. Others know him as the vasity basketball coach. In fact, Bralley was named the 3D All District Coach of the Year in 2023.

Born in Wytheville, Virginia, Bralley always had a longing for basketball. His aunts and uncles surrounded him with the game from a young age.

“When the opportunity came in school, I played, enjoyed it, and it didn’t hurt that I was good,” he said.

When he was younger he used to dream of being a professional basketball player, but in 7th grade he “snapped back into reality,” he said, and thought teaching would be a good alternative. Another factor was having two teachers who changed his life, leading him to aspire to one day be able to inspire others.

After high school, Bralley went to college at Emory & Henry where he majored in Physical Education with a “teaching track” behind it. Now he says he loves his job, with his favorite part being able to “build relationships with his students, and get to know their interests and their plans for their future.”

Family continues to be a big part of his life. His wife was born in North Carolina, but they met in a Starbucks coffee shop in Charlottesville after being set up on a blind date. Together, they have two children, an 11-year-old son named Ty, and a daughter named Bryn.

Bralley said that in his free time, his “guilty pleasure” is video games. “I used to always play NBA 2K and Madden NFL, but when I had kids that slowed down,” he said. He also loves to run and exercise with his students in the gym, as well as during his planning period and free time.

If he has one piece of advice for students it would be this: “Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take life slow and enjoy every moment while you can.”

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