Everette headed to Winston-Salem

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 13, 2008

AHOSKIE – It has become tradition.

Last week, Hertford County High School was ready when Darren Everette signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Winston Salem State University.

Over the past four years, more than a dozen HCHS players have gone on to play football at the collegiate level. This year, Everette was the first to sign as he chose WSSU over North Carolina A&T, East Carolina University, Howard University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I liked Winston-Salem the best,” Everette said. “It was not too big, but not too small.”

Everette played linebacker and defensive lineman for the Bears during his four years wearing the blue and gold.

“My four years playing here have been wonderful,” he said. “I started as a freshman and it was great to come in and start.”

He said the training he had received at HCHS would be valuable as he begins his college career this fall and added that he hoped to start as a freshman for the Rams, just as he did for the Bears.

“I’m going to set that as my goal,” he said. “I’m going to hit the weights hard as I can.”

The Rams, who finished their first full season of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) membership this past year while turning in a 6-5 overall record, continue in their transition to the NCAA Division I level by adding talent to an already powerful roster.

Everette was one of 14 players signed by Winston-Salem on National Signing Day. Three others came from North Carolina including Lamar Whidbee of Perquimans High School in Hertford, Akeem Ward of Middle Creek High School in Holly Springs and Dave Harris of West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte.

Everette will also be joining former Hertford County High School standouts Jaquin Sessoms and LaMarcus “Buck” Jenkins at WSSU.

First-year HCHS Head Football Coach Diego Hasty said, despite 30 years of coaching, he never grew complacent about seeing his players head to college.

“I’m so happy for him, his parents and his family,” Hasty said. “It is always good for the school and community to see fine young men have the opportunity to receive an education while they continue playing at the next level.”

Hasty said Everette would provide the Rams with “outstanding athletic ability” at the outside linebacker position.

“They want someone to run and rush the passer, which is something he will have to work on,” Hasty said. “He was number one on their board at that position because they know the ability he brings.”

Hasty said he also believes having Sessoms and Jenkins on campus is a benefit for Everette.

“They can show him the ropes and tell him what is expected,” the coach said. “Having a buddy system always helps. It’s tough to go away the first time and not know anybody so it will be good that he has former teammates.”