Vaughan headed to Shrine Bowl

Published 2:27 pm Friday, December 11, 2009

AHOSKIE – Antonio Vaughan is headed off to represent Hertford County High School.

The senior quarterback/defensive back will travel to Spartanburg, South Carolina today (Saturday) to begin a week-long preparation for the Verizon Wireless Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Vaughan, who became the fifth player in HCHS history to play in the Shrine Bowl, follows Will Simmons (East Carolina) and Tydreke Powell (UNC-Chapel Hill) as representatives over the past four years.

“It means a lot to me to be selected to represent Hertford County,” Vaughan said. “I’ve worked hard towards this.

“When I saw Will and Tydreke selected, I made this one of my goals,” he added. “I decided to work hard and have a chance to be selected in my senior year. It feels great to have it happen.”

Vaughan will spend next week preparing for the 1 p.m. kickoff at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg. He will also have the opportunity to visit the Shriner’s Children Hospital, something he looks forward to.

“I’m proud to be able to be one of those visiting the children’s hospital,” he said. “I look forward to it.”

Vaughan played 10 games this season before injuring his leg in the game at First Flight High School. Even missing the final games of the season, he led the team in rushing with 1,333 yards on 99 carries with 15 touchdowns. He also completed 43-of-69 attempts for 857 yards with 14 touchdown passes.

Defensively, Vaughan had four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. He also had a 56-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

He was selected to the Shrine Bowl team as a defensive back, but doesn’t know yet whether he will play safety of cornerback.

As to the injury, Vaughan has been off crutches for just over a week and said he has been working hard to be in shape to play next weekend.

“I’m still getting there,” he admitted. “I’ve been jogging and riding a bike and I feel like I’m getting stronger every day. I’m planning to play if at all possible.”

Vaughan said with his season being cut short because of the injury, he was determined to play in the Shrine Bowl.

“It’s very important to get back on the field,” he said. “I want the opportunity to play in my last game.”

Vaughan said he was proud to represent his high school and follow in the footsteps of Powell, Simmons, Wendell Chavis and Devon Smith.

“Playing at Hertford County has meant a lot to me,” he said. “I feel like I have a second family with the environment we have here. I’m proud to be able to represent Hertford County as a member of the Shrine Bowl team.”

HCHS Head Football Coach Scott Privott said he believes Vaughan is exactly the type of student-athlete who should have been selected.

“I look at it as an honor. It’s a tribute to his hard work,” Privott said. “Antonio had worked so hard on and off the field. He has done a great job as a leader. There is nothing more you could expect from a young man than he has given. He has shown exactly what you need to do when you wear the blue-and-gold.”