Four sign at HCHS

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 12, 2007

AHOSKIE – In Greg Watford’s tenure, it has become tradition.

Hertford County had four players from Watford’s 2006 Northeastern Coastal Conference champion football team sign on with National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I teams last week on National Signing Day.

Seniors Danny Dembry, Dominique Gatling, LaMarcus “Buck” Jenkins and Tydreke Powell signed National Letters of Intent to play collegiate football.

“I’m so proud,” Watford said after the ceremony. “This shows the great things these young men are doing here. They are four terrific young men and I’m sure they will do great things at the next level.”

Dembry committed himself to Wake Forest University, the home of the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference champion Demon Deacons.

It was the school he wanted to attend from the beginning and said he was patient and waited for his offer.

“I loved the coaches and I loved how everything was close,” Dembry said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was little and I’m looking forward to it.”

While Dembry committed to the ACC champion Wake Forest, Powell believes playing for the University of North Carolina Tarheels and new coach Butch Davis gives him the best opportunity to win an ACC title of his own.

The senior defensive tackle said he took a long look at Virginia Tech, but loved Carolina.

“I looked at Virginia Tech closely, but I was in love with Carolina from day one.”

Asked by “Talkin’ Sports” host Gattis Hodges what he most looked forward to in 2007, Powell took a light-hearted jab at his teammate.

“I’m looking forward to playing Wake Forest and seeing fear in Danny’s eyes,” Powell said.

While those two will lock horns, Dembry will also have somewhat of a rivalry with Jenkins, who will play across town at Winston-Salem State University.

Jenkins, who played tight end at HCHS, is hoping to hold down the same spot with the Rams when he arrives on campus. The school offered the HCHS senior a chance and that’s all he was looking for.

“At Winston-Salem, I’ll have the chance to come in early and start,” Jenkins said. “That’s what I was looking for.”

Jenkins also was sought after by Elon and North Carolina Central.

While Central missed out on Jenkins, they did land Gatling, who will head to Durham to play linebacker.

“North Carolina Central was the first to make an offer and I took it,” Gatling said.

Gatling also said he believed he would be able to play early at his school and was excited by that opportunity.

Watford said he and his staff had sent out around 200 tapes on players from HCHS in the past year and a half, plus filling out surveys and taking phone calls.

“And somewhere in between, we had to find time to coach them,” Watford joked. “Now, that monumental task is well worth it.”

HCHS Principal Jerry Simmons also commended the four players and his coaching staff for a job well done and said he looked forward to seeing the young men play on Saturday next season.