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.
It’s not often that a player comes along and plays beyond his years. In the case of Lakeland linebacker Jaquan Yulee, college coaches are already salivating over what they can project. Yulee is 6-2 and 225 pounds as a Freshman, and he’s quickly becoming a go to player for Head Coach Glenwood Ferebee. In short time, Yulee projects to be one of the region’s next blue chip recruits.
The Bethel Football program has sent a lot of quality athletes on to play college football over the years. Nicholas Clark had big shoes to fill when he decided to lace ’em up and play football for the Bruins. Now, his senior season is done, and today he made his college commitment. He’ll follow his older brother in their path of playing football at the next level.
One of Bucky Hodges’ favorite targets has made his college commitment. After months of deliberation, James Church has decided on his college home. His family can continue to watch him play, and that’s important to the Salem High School wideout.
Heritage running back Khalid Abdullah proved himself this year. There were doubters after last year’s campaign where Khalid seemingly came out of nowhere. He proved himself to be a durable back in gaining 1555 yards on 228 carries with 21 touchdowns, tops in the Peninsula District for the regular season.
For his fearless performance in Saturday’s State Semifinal game against C.D. Hylton of Woodbridge, Churchie Harold won this week’s Freedom Ford Player of the Week Award. It was a narrow vote, with almost 800 votes between Harold and Lake Taylor kicker/linebacker Marquise Poole, Churchie won the award by two votes.