Two sign from HCHS

Published 3:59 pm Monday, February 7, 2011

AHOSKIE – Two more HCHS gridiron greats are heading to the next level.

Last week, quarterback Petey Boone and defensive lineman Dontez Tyler joined the throng of Hertford County High School football players who accepted opportunities to move to the next level in the past six years.

Boone, who was named All-Roanoke-Chowan Player of the Year, selected Western Carolina University as his next stop while Tyler will be taking his talent to Old Dominion University.

For Boone it was simply a matter of being wanted and feeling comfortable with where you were going.

“I felt very comfortable when I went to Western on my visit,” he said. “I liked the quietness of the campus and I felt right at home.

“They stuck with me from the beginning,” Boone said of WCU’s coaching staff. “They were after me from the scrimmage at the beginning of the year all the way through. They are the ones that wanted me most.”

Boone also considered North Carolina Central University, Fayetteville State University and Winston Salem State University.

He said as he looks to the future, he knows there is a lot he has learned from HCHS that will go with him.

“I think the main thing I’ve learned is leadership and maturity,” Boone said. “They will be a big help.”

Boone also credited HCHS Head Football Coach Scott Privott with a lot of his success.

“He was a big influence,” Boone said. “When I needed something, I knew who to run to. He always knew how to put a smile on my face.”

For his part, Privott said he knew Western Carolina was getting a quality football player and person.

“All along, it seemed like Western was a good fit for Petey,” Privott said. “Once he decided the football was his way to go instead of basketball, he had a lot of interest.

“Western Carolina was the most persistent of them and I think they play in one of the best conferences in the country,” he added. “Petey will be a good fit for them.”

Boone said he expects to play quarterback in Western’s wildcat formation while also lining up at slot back and running back.

Tyler’s path to Old Dominion is a little less direct. He initially agreed to play at the University of Maryland, but plans fell through when the entire coaching staff of the school changed.

“Everyone was wiped out there and that left me free to look at other options,” Tyler said. “I knew that I probably wanted to stay closer to home than I originally planned.”

Having an opportunity from Old Dominion made that possible.

“I went there and I liked everything about it,” Tyler said. “I was looking hard at another school, but when I received the opportunity at ODU, I knew that’s where I wanted to go.”

Tyler was an All-Roanoke-Chowan First Team selection in 2009 and 2010 and he will be anchoring the defensive line at Old Dominion.

During his prep career, Tyler said he had learned how to work hard.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is to work hard and keep God first,” he said.

As for his coach, Privott is an important part of his life.

“Coach Privott has helped me out a lot,” Tyler said. “If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I’d be where I am. He’s been like a second father to me.”

Privott said despite the changes at Maryland, he believed things worked out best for Tyler.

“Things happen in mysterious ways,” Privott said. “When the things went down at Maryland, he was distraught, but it helped him find out how much he was wanted.”

The coach said he heard from West Virginia, Towson University, Ball State and others.

“In the end, Dontez wanted to be close to home,” the coach said. “Old Dominion got in late, but they really worked hard. The head coach and entire defensive staff came to watch him play basketball. I think he was impressed.”

Both young men have been important in the success HCHS has enjoyed the past several years.

“They have helped bring stability to our program,” Privott said. “Our offense is centered on the quarterback and Petey did a great job.

“Dontez was a playmaker on the defensive side and that made a big difference,” he added. “I am grateful that I had the opportunity to coach them and I’m glad they’re getting a chance to play at the next level.”