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Vaughan to play in Shrine Bowl

AHOSKIE – Even though Hertford County High School is a week away from starting the state North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A Playoffs their quarterback/safety Antonio Vaughan found out on Thursday that he will be playing the final scheduled high school game of the 2009 season in the Carolinas.

The 5’-8”, 146 lb. senior became the third HCHS player in the last four years to be selected to wear the North Carolina “green & gold” in the 73th Annual Shrine Bowl in Spartanburg, SC on December 19.

Vaughan joins former teammate Will Simmons, who participated last year, and Tydreke Powell in 2006 as recent Bears’ participants in the prestigious game. Two other HCHS players have taken part in the game, linebacker Wendell Chavis was an alternate selection in 2003, while tight end Devon Smith became the first Hertford COunty player to be a Shrine Bowler in 1993. Smith would go on to play at North Carolina State University.

The Tar Heels will be trying to break a two-game losing streak to the Sandlappers, however NC has won four of the last seven games. South Carolina leads the series 40-27-4.

As a three-year starter at quarterback, Vaughan has been terrific with 2,649 yards on the ground, 1,749 passing, while accounting for 60 touchdowns.

However, his work this season caught the eye of the North Carolina Shrine Bowl staff led by veteran Charlotte Catholic coach Jim Oddo.

In this 2009 season, he has averaged 13.3 yards per carry while piling up 1,148 yards on the ground and 14 visits to paydirt. His efficiency in the passing game is his best in three years hitting on 63.7 percent of his passes for 674 yards and 10 scores.

Even with these eye-popping offensive numbers, Vaughan is listed as a defensive back on the official Shrine Bowl roster. Hertford County opponents know what type problems he can also cause in the secondary from his strong safety spot. During his career he has 10 interceptions, four of which he has returned for touchdowns.

The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas which benefits the Greenville, SC Shriners Hospital for Children, will be played on December 19 at 1 p.m. in Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College.