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Shoulars sets the standard at N-East

CREEKSVILLE – There’s a new standard at Northampton County High School – East.

Keon Shoulars.

East Athletic Director H.B. Harris said the senior standout, who signed a grant-in-aid to attend Elizabeth City State University and play football there, was a standard to which all student-athletes at the school would be measured.

&uot;When we came here two years ago, it was obvious he was a model on which we could build,&uot; said Harris, who doubles as head football coach. &uot;With his character, leadership and scholarship, there were none better.

&uot;Keon will serve as a barometer for all those who follow,&uot; he added. &uot;He has set the bar for which now we can follow.&uot;

Shoulars said he is excited about the opportunity to become a Viking and attend a school that is already familiar to his family. His mother, Joanette Holloman, and his brother each attended ECSU.

&uot;I’m real excited,&uot; Shoulars said. &uot;I feel good about this.&uot;

The first-team All-Roanoke-Chowan selection said he would probably play linebacker at Elizabeth City State, but also could be moved around. Wherever he plays, he is looking forward to getting on the field.

&uot;I liked what I saw when I was there,&uot; he smiled.

The Rams’ senior was one of a handful of Northampton-East players that suffered through three losing seasons during their careers, which extended a playoff drought that dated back to 1997.

Shoulars, a captain of the football team, helped lead the Rams back to the playoffs in 2004, where they advanced to the second round.

&uot;It felt good to be the captain and have a chance to lead the younger players,&uot; he said. &uot;I enjoyed teaching them what it feels like to win.&uot;

During his growth over those three years, Shoulars has earned the respect of Offensive Coordinator Donald Gibbs who also coached the senior in basketball.

&uot;I think the biggest thing for me is to watch this young man grow from a boy to a man,&uot; Gibbs said. &uot;He is a good football player, a good basketball player and a heck of an athlete for Northampton-East, but he is a better human being.

&uot;He is a good person and we’re going to miss his leadership on and off the court and field,&uot; Gibbs added.

He also said that Shoulars was the epitome of what all athletes should be.

&uot;When you say student-athlete, that is a class he belongs in, because he is truly a student-athlete,&uot; Gibbs said.

The signing, held at Northampton-East, was attended by Northampton County Interim Superintendent of Schools J. Wendell Hall, Board Member Lafayette &uot;Lott&uot; Majette, Principal Terence Wyche, Assistant Principal Keith Bell and a host of family and friends.