Vaughan tabbed as Male Athlete of the Year

Published 11:26 am Monday, August 2, 2010

Few players dominate a field or court the way Antonio Vaughan does.

The recent Hertford County High School graduate led the Bears on the offensive side of the football and the defensive side.

He then took his skills to the basketball court where he was one of the top players in the conference and the region.

“He was the heart and soul of our football team,” HCHS Head Football Coach Scott Privott said. “He has a passion that he just wasn’t going to lose.” Privott pointed to a key moment against conference rival Northeastern High School as a prime example.

“We moved the football, but didn’t score,” Privott said. “Antonio told me not to worry, he was going to take care of it.

On the next series, he picked off a pass and returned it 50-plus yards for a score.”

Vaughan was the starting quarterback for the Bears and led the team statistically despite missing the last several games with an injury.

Vaughan racked up a team-high 1,333 yards rushing on 99 carries with 15 touchdowns while averaging 13.4 yards per carry.

Through the airways, he completed 43 of 69 passes for 857 yards and 14 scores.

Defensively, Vaughan had four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns and one fumble recovery which was also returned for a score.

In addition to his personal stats, he helped lead the team to a league title and a near-perfect season.

After his senior season, Vaughan was named All-Northeastern Coastal Conference and chosen All-Roanoke-Chowan and regional Player of the Year.

In addition to earning those honors, he was chosen to represent Hertford County High School at the Verizon Wireless Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

He was selected as a defensive back and was the fifth player in HCHS history to so be honored.

“It was a tribute to his hard work,” Privott said of Vaughan’s selection. “Antonio has worked so hard on and off the field. He’s done a great job as a leader. “There is nothing more you can expect from a young man than he’s given,” the coach added.

“He has shown exactly what you need to do when you wear the blue-and-gold.”

After finishing the gridiron season, Vaughan took his place on the basketball court.

There he stepped into the same leadership role he has always held for the Bears on that court.

HCHS Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Charles Simmons said he felt much the same way Privott did.

“He was our heart and soul on the basketball team,” Simmons said.

“When he played well, the entire team played well.”

Simmons said despite Vaughan’s scoring prowess, he may have actually been even better on the defensive end of the floor.

“He’s 5’-8” or 5’-9” and he still averaged six or seven rebounds a game and led the team in steals,” Simmons said.

Both coaches said they were proud of the young man Vaughan had become during his time at HCHS.

“When you are as good and as popular as Antonio, you can easily get a big head,” Privott said. “He’s never been like that.

He’s always focused on being a better player and a better person.

“He may not be the perfect student-athlete, but he’s pretty close,” the coach continued.

“He’s certainly a model student-athlete.” Simmons agreed.

“I’ll say the same thing about our overall athletic program as I did about our team,” the AD said.

“He was our heart and soul. I hope the kids coming behind him will learn to carry themselves on and off the court the way he did.

“Antonio is a great example of what a student-athlete should be,” Simmons added.

Next season Vaughan will continue his playing career in Virginia after inking a National Letter of Intent to attend Old Dominion University.

The total domination of the football field, his hard work on the basketball court and his dedication as a student-athlete led to Vaughan’s selection as the Reggie Wiggins Male Athlete of the Year. Runner up In a twist, the runner-up for the award was also from Hertford County High School During his junior year, Brandon Warren was selected to a trio of All-Roanoke-Chowan teams including soccer, football and baseball.

He was also tabbed Best Offensive Player in baseball. Other’s receiving recognition Also receiving votes for the award this year were Shane Tripp of Bethel Christian Academy, Blake Hill of Lawrence Academy, Dontez Tyler of Hertford County High School, Montario Hunter of Hertford County High School and Akeem Lassiter of Gates County High School.

About the Award The Reggie Wiggins Male Athlete of the Year Award is given annually by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald for the male athlete that had the most successful year and demonstrated a positive attitude towards teammates, coaches and opponents.

It is named in honor of the newspaper’s first Male Athlete of the Year. Wiggins was selected Male Athlete of the Year after an outstanding senior season in which he was honored in football, basketball and track at Hertford County High School.