Before Lake Taylor’s victory over Stone Bridge in the Division 5 State Championship game, one of their seniors made his college commitment. Wide receiver Harry Freeman verbally committed to Norfolk State.
The Lake Taylor team rose to the occasion on Saturday in winning the Division 5 State Championship, and Jakale Pinkney was recognized as the Freedom Ford Player of the Week for his performance in the game.
It’s been a long time coming. The City of Norfolk hadn’t won a football title since Granby did it in 1966. Lake Taylor opened in 1967 and had their last shot at a football championship in 1982. This win was for all of the Titans that came before this year’s team.
Ocean Lakes was off to a promising start. On the first play from scrimmage Saturday, quarterback Churchie Harold threw a lateral to Andre Dessenberg, who then heaved the ball down field to a waiting Sese Wolters, who shook off two would-be tacklers and raced for the end zone. The 77-yard play was the highlight of the day for Ocean Lakes.
The Bay Rivers District’s top receiver has made his commitment. Grafton wide out Jesse Santiago started the fall with a few options, then had a flurry of late interest as his senior highlights made the rounds. Despite an offer to walk-on at Virginia Tech and a late push by the coaching staff there, Santiago committed to William and Mary Saturday during an official visit.
Saturday was a great day for football in The 757. Two of the region’s top teams competed for State Titles at Scott Stadium on the campus of UVA. In the opening game, Lake Taylor held on for a win. In the nightcap, Ocean Lakes couldn’t mount enough of a comeback to make it a clean sweep for the home team.
Ocean Lakes has been in some battles this year. Salem liked to win on the arm of Bucky Hodges. Oscar Smith prided themselves on a varied attack. C.D. Hylton had a hard time getting offense going. Saturday’s opponent, L.C. Bird, may have no such problem.
The Lake Taylor Titans have waited for decades to get back to a State Championship game. It’s now showtime. They’re traveling to UVA’s Scott Stadium for a date with destiny. At noon Saturday, the Titans will face off against the Stone Bridge Bulldogs.
The season may be long over, but things are not quiet at Booker T. Washington High School. The Bookers were a young team this year, but the halls are crawling with college coaches this time of year. Colleges are clamoring for the attention of BTW lineman Zain Upshur who had an impressive campaign for a Booker team that was down this year, but not out.
Great Bridge lineman Garrett Watts had a rough senior season watching from the sidelines. A knee injury suffered in a preseason scrimmage cost him his senior year of football, and perhaps an opportunity at a few more scholarship offers. Garrett is recovering well and feels like he has a lot to prove in getting back out on the football field. Watts put all doubts to rest on Wednesday when he made his college commitment.