HC duo inks with VU

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2005

AHOSKIE – A pair of Bears will be Panthers.

Hertford County High School seniors Ken Lee and L.J. Everette have signed scholarships to play next season at Virginia Union University.

&uot;I’m excited for the kids,&uot; head football coach Greg Watford said. &uot;This is an excellent opportunity for them to get a great education and further their growth and development.

&uot;Sometimes it’s good for kids to learn that the world is bigger than home,&uot; he continued.

The coach said he was impressed with both student-athletes in part because neither had started at the position they signed for until the 2004 campaign.

Lee, a 6’3&uot;, 210-pound safety, said he chose Virginia Union from a list of schools that he considered. Those institutions included Catawba, Virginia State, the University of Virginia – Wise and Lenoir-Rhyne College.

&uot;It felt like I fit in better with the coaching staff and players at Virginia Union,&uot; Lee said. &uot;I’m looking forward to winning and being able to enter the draft one day.&uot;

Lee started at quarterback during his junior campaign for the Bears, but found his niche at safety last season. From that post, he was named All-Northeastern Coastal Conference and was selected to the All-Roanoke-Chowan First Team in football.

The HCHS starter at safety during last season, Lee is looking to fill that same spot once he suits up for the Panthers. He said the coaches at VU said he could compete for playing time right away.

Lee has also been a major factor for the Bears on the basketball court and he said he hopes to continue that trend as well.

&uot;I might be able to play basketball,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m going to try it when I get there and see what it’s like.&uot;

Watford said the school was getting a steal in Lee.

&uot;Physically, he’s just a specimen,&uot; Watford said. &uot;On the field, he can see what’s going on around him when he’s on defense. He just has a knack for being around the ball.&uot;

Lee had six interceptions in 2004, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He also caught seven passes for nearly 100 years.

Lee is the son of Rodney Moore and Chenita Lee.

For Everette, he spent two years on the varsity, but became a starter at cornerback during the ’04 campaign. His freshman and sophomore seasons he played running back on the junior varsity level, but said he prefers defense.

&uot;It really doesn’t matter that much, but I like defense,&uot; he said. &uot;I like hitting and catching interceptions.&uot;

Everette brought down three picks during his senior season with the Bears. He also had three receptions for 49 yards on the offensive side of the ball.

&uot;L.J. is a rarity,&uot; Watford insisted. &uot;He’s 6’2&uot; and a cover corner. He only got beat two times the entire year – that’s in 15 games – which is incredible in itself.

&uot;He has great closing speed and is a solid tackler,&uot; Watford continued. &uot;He also has tremendous work ethic and is very coachable.&uot;

Everette selected Virginia Union from a list of three schools. The other two institutions were Virginia State and Winston-Salem State University.

Everette is the son of Gene and Darlene Everette.

Both Everette and Lee said they were pleased with their senior season at Hertford County. During that campaign, the club started 0-4 before rallying to a 9-6 finish including a trip to the Eastern Finals.

&uot;It taught me that no matter what, you’ve got to keep working hard,&uot; Lee said.

Everette said he was happy with the season and that he felt the team had a good year. He also said he had no idea when they were winless after four games that they could be in the eastern finals.

Both HCHS standouts will do well in their upcoming campaign, according to their coach.

&uot;Virginia Union has a long tradition of great defensive backs,&uot; Watford said. &uot;They are getting a steal with these two guys. They will do well there.&uot;

Hertford County has sent seven players to play football at the college level during the past two seasons.

Former coach Dealton Cotton began working last season to have more students look to playing in college.

Watford said that change was something he was continuing now that he has taken the reins of the Bears’ program.

&uot;Dealton revived a good trend here,&uot; Watford said. &uot;Back as far as the ’60s and ’70s, we were sending people to college to play football.

&uot;We’re not selling the NFL – although we have two players in Jason Horton and Curtis Deloatch who are there,&uot; he continued. &uot;We’re saying if you come here and work hard, you can earn a chance to play football at the next level and get a free education.&uot;

The HCHS football boss said there were others from the Class of 2005 who likely would make commitments in the coming weeks to play football next season.