Record-setting HCHS quarterback signs college scholarship

Published 5:04 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

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AHOSKIE – Since the very first time he strapped on a set of shoulder pads as a member of the Ahoskie Bobcats youth football program, Keveon Rodgers has looked forward to this day.

That day arrived here Thursday morning of this week when he placed his signature on a college scholarship.

Rodgers, Hertford County High School’s all-time scoring leader, will continue his football career and education at Elizabeth City State University.

As a youngster, Rodgers played most all positions with the Bobcats, quarterback, running back, linebacker, and safety. He repeated that in middle school, but by the time he arrived at HCHS, Rodgers embarked on a career that concluded with his name in the record books as the school’s leader in touchdowns accounted for (128) and total yards (8,368). And that offensive production came in just 31 games.

“Some of those (touchdowns) just came off broken plays where I would have to run a play that was designed as a pass,” he admitted. “And as for the passing yards, I was lucky to have some really good receivers.”

As a sophomore (2021 season), Rodgers played in only seven games, but had his hand in 25 touchdowns: 93 of 147 passing for 1,374 yards and 16 TDs, and 51 rushes for 382 yards and nine scores.

It was during his junior season (2022) where Rodgers began to attract a lot of attention from collegiate coaches. By the time that 11-win season was over, Rodgers had accounted for nearly 4,000 yards of total offense and 60+ touchdowns. He was 156 of 229 through the air for 2,374 yards and 30 TDs while rushing for 1,561 yards on 142 carries and 33 TDs.

That record setting season led Rodgers to earn statewide accolades as he was selected as the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year by

Rodgers capped his amazing prep career in 2023 where the Bears, 10-3 overall, made another deep run into the state playoffs. He threw for 1,812 yards (107-of-175 passing) and 26 TDs while adding 845 yards on the ground on 95 carries and 14 TDs.

For his career, Rodgers accounted for 8,368 total yards, which translates into an average of 269.9 yards per game.

“I thank my coaches for all of that,” Rodgers said humbly. “All of them, they made me a better player. They made me a better leader and that’s what it’s all about.”

With NC Central University and Winston-Salem State University showing interest in landing his talents, Rodgers said what made him lean more towards Elizabeth City State was that he could make an immediate impact to their football program.

“It’s a great atmosphere there and there’s the chance I can start as a freshman,” he said, adding that he plans to major in physical science.

Looking back on his days as a member of the Bobcats football program, Rodgers was asked if he could offer any advice to those who are now just learning the fundamentals of the game.

“Listen to your coaches,” Rodgers said. “You grow [as a player] with each step you take.”

In addition to his middle and high school coaches, Rodgers stressed there was one other mentor who was instrumental in the success he’s experienced to this point.

“My daddy (Hymien), he coached me too,” Rodgers said. “He taught me a lot about football, basketball….and everything.”

Ronald Gatling served as the HCHS head football coach this past season. He previously served as an assistant coach.

“Keveon has got two really important things going in his favor: he’s a great kid and he is very coachable,” Gatling stated.

The coach noted the difference in the offensive numbers put up by Rodgers in his junior and senior seasons.

“After that really big junior year, I knew our opponents would be focusing on stopping Keveon, so we changed up a bit on offense where we had a more balanced attack,” Gatling said. “I talked to him about that and he accepted that, which shows how unselfish he is as a player. And we still had a great year.

“Despite all the numbers he put up as a player in our football program, I still don’t think we’ve seen what Keveon is really capable of doing; he still has room to grow and improve,” Gatling added. “He will blossom in the right system, and I think Elizabeth City [State] is right for him.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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