High School Football season opens with a star-studded doubleheader at Darling Stadium
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
The 2019 high school football season will open with the biggest event yet!
Darling Stadium will host the recruit757 Kickoff Classic featuring Maury at Bethel at Noon and Lake Taylor at Phoebus at 4:00 p.m.
The Bethel Bruins welcome a new head coach in Creighton Incorminias, who comes in as a former assistant coach at York High School. At York, the offense is wide open and high scoring. The Falcons have had 9-win seasons each of the past two years and Coach Inko’s offense is expected to be a contrast to the offense that Bethel ran under William Beverley.
They’re going to need plenty of firepower.
Bethel faces off against Maury, and the Commodores finished the 2018 season a game short of making the state championship game.
Highly recruited wide receiver KeAndre Lambert (nephew of Maury grad Kam Chancellor) will be a top target for the Bethel defense since Lambert piled up over 1,000 yards receiving on 60 catches and 14 touchdowns across 14 games.
Maury has numerous weapons on offense and defense. In addition to Lambert, their new quarterback (to be named since Alvonte Lawton graduated) will also have highly reliable targets in Dashaun Peele (1,089 yards on 54 catches with 11 TDs) and Tyshawn Granger (615 yards on 38 catches with 10 TDs). Virginia Tech commit C.J. Beasley (2020 RB 5-9 175) will be expected to eat up yardage in the ground game. Beasley had 147 carries for 1,778 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground in 2018.
The nightcap will be a rematch between VHSL Class 3 runner-up Phoebus and Class 4 runner-up Lake Taylor. Both teams fell in the state championship in 2018. They played to the wire in a 2018 regular season game at Darling Stadium. Lake Taylor pulled out that win with a two-minute drill style drive that left Phoebus down by four points with only seconds left in the game.
Both quarterbacks return for Phoebus and Lake Taylor.
Phoebus brings back Chris Daniels (2020 QB 5-11 175) to command the offense, and he’s flanked by running back Jaylen White (2020 RB 5-10 180). Daniels is missing a few of his top targets from the 2018 season where he finished with 2,108 passing yards on 80-of-141 passes for 25 touchdowns. Chris also contributed to the ground game rushing for 360 yards on 46 carries and six touchdowns.
Lake Taylor comes into the season with Malik Newton (2021 RB/LB 6-2 215) as their top offensive weapon. Newton is highly recruited and fills the role as a power back and a hard hitting linebacker. On either side of the ball, he has to be accounted for.
Quarterback Jeff Foster drives the Titans’ veer, where he is a true dual-threat with the run and the pass. Both Foster and Newton were Buffalo Wild Wings Player of the Week winners in 2018. Foster had 7 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns, plus he was 6 for 13 for 149 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 35-14 regional final win over Lafayette. Tight end Ikeem Wright is a significant weapon on the offense, but his role as a defensive end can’t be ignored. He was also a B-Dubs Player of the Week award winner in 2018, grabbing the award in the postseason for a performance that included 5 sacks, 9 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles and 5 QB hurries in his team’s 42-0 playoff shutout of King’s Fork.
The four teams involved will grab the headlines on game day.
The funds raised by the doubleheader will serve the community for the other 51 weeks of the year.
Men’s Huddle International is underwriting the event and will expand their work in the community, starting with Lake Taylor, Maury, Phoebus and Bethel High Schools. MHI leads programs in the public schools that include mentoring, character building and leadership. Ultimately, the goal is to enable young people to become successful adults, both in the classroom and in life.
We will highlight more of the activities of Men’s Huddle International as we get closer to the event.
Mark your calendars now for the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. That’s Saturday, August 31 at Darling Stadium in Hampton.
– Andy Hilton