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Three HCHS players chosen

AHOSKIE – They’ve given their all on the playing fields of Hertford County High School and they’ve been rewarded for it.

During the 2008-09 academic year, three student-athletes at HCHS have received Player of the Year honors from the Northeastern Coastal Conference. Antonio Vaughan (football), Jerry Wynn (track) and Brandon Warren (baseball) were each selected for the honor.

“We’re tremendously proud of these three young me,” said HCHS Athletic Director Charles Simmons. “They have represented themselves, their families and Hertford County High School very well.”

Antonio Vaughan

The first chronologically chosen was Vaughan, who was selected to the top spot from his quarterback position for the Bears football team.

Under the tutelage of HCHS Head Football Coach Diego Hasty, Vaughan surged to the top honor in just his junior season.

“Antonio is a joy to coach,” Hasty said. “He is a total team player with tremendous natural ability. He has unlimited potential.”

Vaughan said he was proud of the season his team had.

“Our season was great,” he said. “We practiced hard and went out and played every Friday night like it was our last game.

“Being that I am a quarterback, I have to give a big thanks to my offensive linemen,” he continued. “They block well which gave me lots of space to run and throw.”

After the Bears claimed the top seed out of the 3-A division in the league, they rolled through the first round of the playoffs (a 57-13 win over Eastern Wayne) before Vaughan was injured on the first play of the team’s second round game against Eastern Alamance.

“Personally, I feel that our season was good,” he said. “We made it to the second round of the playoffs, but could have done better. I got hurt the first play of the last game, which made me mad because I couldn’t contribute to the team. Overall, I still feel we had a good season.”

Vaughan said it was an honor to be chosen Player of the Year.

“To be named Player of the Year means a lot to me,” he said. “I went out and played every game like it was my last and to the best of my ability.”

As he looks to next year, Vaughan said he was excited about the year that lies ahead.

“Next year I’m looking forward to great things happening,” he said. “The players returning are working hard over the off-season and getting prepared for the game. We look forward to winning a state championship.”

Vaughan credited his parents with being his inspiration for doing so well.

“The people that have the most influence are my mom (April Archer) and my dad (Tommy Vaughan),” he said. “They always stress going out and playing hard every game and, most importantly, keeping my grades up so I can play.”

Brandon Warren

During Warren’s sophomore season the Bears had their best baseball campaign in the past 15 years, winning the 3-A division of the Northeastern Coastal Conference and finishing as tri-champions of the league.

“Our team did really well this season,” he said. “We had our nights of being excellent and our nights of disaster, but overall winning the conference was a great accomplishment.

“Everyone pitched in and did their part to help us have a great season,” he added.

Warren was 7-3 as a starter during the season after working diligently in the of-season to improve.

“When I was on the mound, I felt like our team came ready to play,” he said. “We all hit the ball and made great contributions.

“I worked really hard after last season to get my speed up and all that work paid off,” he said. “All of our success wasn’t one person it was a team effort.”

While paying homage to his team, Warren said he was proud of the honor he received.

“Being Player of the Year means so much to me,” he said. “There are a lot of great players in our conference and you have to play your best every night. I worked hard and it paid off.”

HCHS Baseball Coach Chris Towell echoed those thoughts.

“When he stepped out on the mound, he gave us all confidence,” Towell said. “We knew he was going to give us his best effort and everyone stepped up behind him.”

Despite losing so many players to graduation, Warren has high hopes for next year.

“Next year I am looking forward to getting further in the playoffs,” he said. “We are losing a lot of seniors, but hopefully our young guys will step up and fill in their roles and make it an even better season next year. I am very confident that next year will be a great year.”

Warren also credited his parents as his biggest influence.

“The people who have influenced me most are my parents,” he said. “They always tell me to work hard to be the best. They push me to strive every day to do better than before.

“Without my parents there by my side to guide me and make me better, I don’t know what I would do,” he added.

Jerry Wynn

Jerry Wynn came out as a senior to run outdoor track for the first time and not only won Player of the Year honors, but was part of a conference championship.

“Overall, our track team did great,” Wynn said. “I was proud that every team we ran against, we still finished number one. It took some work to get everyone to do their part.

“When we had our very first track meet against J.H. Rose and Rocky Mount (and won), I knew we were going to win the conference for the fourth year,” he added.

While proud of the season, Wynn said he felt he could have had a better season.

“I feel that I could’ve done better,” he said. “Most of all I’m proud that I didn’t give up on my team. Hard work really pays off and I want to thank coach (Scott) Privott and coach (Ronald) Gatling for pushing me the way they did.”

Wynn said he appreciated the honor he received.

“It means a lot to me that I won Player of the Year for track,” he said. “I really worked hard and pushed myself to the limit. It makes my school, my family and my coaches look good too.”

Wynn said his greatest influence was God.

“The only person to influence me to run track was God,” he said. “He gave me talent to run track so therefore I ran track.”

He also said he appreciated the inspiration of LaShawn Merritt.

“Just by looking at his stats and his career medals, he inspired me,” Wynn said.

Privott said he was impressed with Wynn’s work ethic and talent.

“He had an outstanding year,” Privott said. “He worked hard all the time.”