Denbigh's Terrence Dingle (1) will play in both the Elite Athletic and VHSCA All-Star games. (June 25, 2014)
A former defensive back at Norcom High in the mid-1990s, Jason Wells has always believed the 757 has the premier football talent in the state. But he never believed there was enough of a delegation from the region, particularly his side of the water, in the Virginia High School Coachess Association All-Star game.
So Wells decided to put together what will be called the Elite Athletic Scouting Senior Bowl, which is scheduled for Friday night at Norcom. A team made up of 2014 graduates from the Peninsula and Eastern districts will go against a group from the Southeastern and Beach.
“There was always a debate over who was the strongest region,” Wells said. “Now, I’m biased, of course, but I always thought we were the best region in the state. We’ve had minimal representation, especially from our side, so we decided to have our own game that won’t interfere with the (VHSCA) All-Star game.
“It’ll be a celebration of the last chance for some of them to play. We’ve heard so many of them say, ‘Wow, I didn’t think I’d get to put on the pads again.’ ”
There are 16 players from the Peninsula District: Elijah Philippe, Walter Brantley and Kevin Giles of Phoebus; Terrence Dingle, Taukarri Hilton, Kalihl Wharton and Jaquan Jenkins of Denbigh; Robert Sheppard, Darrion Turner, Juany’e Patillo and Tashaunt Banks of Heritage; Stephen Zavatski, Troy Shackelford and Tyler Banks of Gloucester; Terrance Jones of Woodside; and Michael Curtis of Warwick.
Poquoson’s Ty Crouse is the lone Bay Rivers representative.
Many of the players have signed college scholarships, some Division I (Western Branch defensive back Daquan Lawrence to Wake Forest), and some D-II (Dingle, the Daily Press Offensive Player of the Year, to Harding University). Others are still hoping to land somewhere.
With the VHSCA All-Star games going to Lynchburg this year, there are fewer players from the 757 on the football rosters. There are 10 from Peninsula-area schools, including four — Dingle, Sheppard, Brantley and Jones — who are also scheduled to play in the EA All-Star game. There are only two from the Southside.
Last year, with the games still in Hampton, there were 14 Peninsula players and four from the Southside.
The VHSCA All-Star game is scheduled for July 11 at Liberty’s Williams Stadium.