by Keith Chisolm, recruit804
Three teams from the 804 battled this past weekend at Hampton University’s Battle by the Bay 7v7 Tournament. The Dinwiddie Generals, Hermitage Panthers, and John Marshall Justices battled teams from the 757, Roanoke, and Maryland in a 7 vs. 7 football tournament. All teams were required to play a five game regular season in order to determine seeding in the single elimination playoffs.
The Dinwiddie Generals took a 4-1 record and their 4th seed into the first round of the playoffs. They battled another 804 team, the John Marshall Justices. In a closely contested game through the first quarter, the Generals opened up their offensive scoring on consecutive possessions while their stingy defense kept the Justices out of the endzone until the second half. By then the score was beyond reach as the Generals advanced to the second round. In the second round, the Generals faced a fired up Salem team, which the Generals had already defeated in earlier play. Salem scored on the first three possessions while holding a potent Dinwiddie offense to a single scoring drive in the first half.
Coach Billy Mills said his team was finishing a great off-season and was preparing to play the 7v7 circuit for the next few weeks. The Generals have big play potential on both sides of the ball. Ronald Kearney (JR, 6-1, 175), Wesley Reed (JR, 6-4, 190), and Ja’Quan Poarch (JR, 5-9, 165) proved to be lethal combinations as the Generals blitzed opposing defenses with both big plays and with a pinpoint controlled passing attack.
Defensively, Coach Mills’ linebackers and secondary looks very strong. Leading the defense, Rashaad Goodwyn (JR, 5-11, 190), already with several college offers including William and Mary and Old Dominion (see recruiting update with Rashaad Goodwyn, is surrounded with big time talent to include John Branch (SO, 6-2, 205) with an offer from Old Dominion in hand, and Denzel Williams (SO, 6-2, 190).
The Generals also had several linemen participate in the Big Man Challenge with Arron Vaughn (SO, 6-0, 210) winning the championship. Another General lineman that worked hard after receiving his first offer this past week was Shawn Gholson (JR, 6-1, 295). Shawn stated “after receiving that first offer from Bryant College in Rhode Island. When asked if he minded playing in the cold, Shawn said “its football, so no I don’t mind.”
Sporting their Carolina blue, the Justices put in work throughout the day. Zen Brown (JR, 6-1, 240) said “we are out here to get better.” The powerful running back led a determined team throughout the day with his relentless play and desire to win. Hobbled by cramps and a bum ankle, Zen played through it and made a difference.
On the other side of bracket play, Coach Patrick Kane’s Panthers were ready play as they brought their 3-2 record into the playoffs. The Panthers faced powerhouse Phoebus Phantoms in a thrilling double overtime loss. Hermitage used ball control to move down field. Besides the one or two big plays, the Panther defense kept the Phantoms out of the endzone most of the game.
The Panther’s Chad Johnson (JR, 5-7, 165) played the game sideline to sideline. He was in on every play, consistently around the ball. Another Panther that made big plays on both sides of the ball was Isaiah King (JR, 5-10, 200).
The 804 represented their schools and the central region very well this weekend. Although we did not have any teams in the championship game, Dinwiddie, Hermitage, and John Marshall played every down of every game the way the game was intended to be played: with intensity and passion.
– Keith A Chisolm, recruit804