National Signing DayPublished 10:18am Thursday, February 6, 2014
AHOSKIE – Now it’s on to the next level.
A pair of local top-tier prep prospects was in their school library and before the cameras Wednesday for college football’s National Signing Day.
Ryan Weaver and his former Bears teammate, O’Shane Ximines, both of Hertford County High School, signed their letters of commitment.
Weaver, who leaves the HCHS program after setting the school’s all-time passing record for yardage (3,103) and passing touchdowns (30), signed with Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) member, Elizabeth City State.
O’Shane Ximines, who played defensive end his final two years of high school, heads to Conference USA member school, Old Dominion, after completing his senior season with 15 sacks, 68 tackles, and 8 passes-defended including knocking away what proved to be the game winner in the Bears’ 2A first-round playoff victory over South Granville.
“Elizabeth City State was a good choice for me on three fronts,” said Weaver. “My Mom is an alum, (the school) wanted me for football, and I want to major in Criminal Justice.”
Weaver’s mother, Treva, is a 1998 grad of ECSU; and at one time young Ryan lived in Elizabeth City with his family before they moved back to Hertford County.
Meanwhile, the flame throwing right-hander accepted the Vikings’ offer after drawing interest from Chowan, NC Central, and Methodist.
“I liked their coaches, the fan support, the players, and the way they prepare for football games,” Weaver added. “I hope I can bring a hard work ethic, sportsmanship, and leadership to this team. The biggest thing I want is to get my degree and a chance to play college football.”
Weaver, who also plays on the Bears baseball team, said another appeal of ECSU was a chance to also play college baseball.
His father, Ronnie, nicknamed ‘Rabbit’, who also served as his son’s offensive co-coordinator during his time with the Bears said going to school so close to home allows his family a chance to often see him play.
“He had the family connection to the school thru his mother, his aunts and uncles,” the elder Weaver said, “and there are a lot of kids from this area who attend Elizabeth City.”
“Both these kids were great ball players,” said HCHS head football coach Scott Privott. “Weaver set all those passing records and O’Shane was the cornerstone of our defense for the past two years.”
Ximines says Old Dominion, located in nearby Norfolk, VA, allowed him the best opportunity for success. Although he played defensive line in high school, Ximines said Monarch assistant, Ron Whitcomb, who recruited him, told him he would probably play linebacker in college.
Ximines also drew interest from East Carolina, Marshall, UNC-Charlotte, Cincinnati, Appalachian State, and Campbell; but he said ODU provided other redeeming qualities.
“They’re close to home, I liked the coaches, and they’re on the beach,” he said with a grin.
Ximines will also be among familiar faces: former Bears players Antonio Vaughan and Kevin Privott – head coach Privott’s son – also attend ODU. Ximines says he wants to study either electrical or computer engineering.
“I hope I can play right away,” he added. “I also have to get used to flying to games. The only game we take the bus to play next year is at N.C. State.”
Dane McDonald, Ximines’ mother, who said she plans to attend all of the Monarchs’ home games and as many road games as she can, also liked ODU for the academics.
“Football is good,” she said, speaking like a mother, “but academics will come first.”
The pair also drew praise from HCHS principal James Futrell.
“They were true student-athletes during their time here,” Futrell said. “They contributed with community service and they understood how the opportunities Hertford County High afforded them gave them a chance to go on to the next level.”