More than 60 players participated in the Best of the 757 Football
Showcase over the weekend at Norfolk Academy. While there were several
individual standouts among the players named to the All-Camp team, no
single school at the event had a more impressive depth of talent that
the Kecoughtan Warriors, a program that may be on the rise and making
waves this fall.
Gearing up for year three at the helm, Coach Alonzo Coley at Kecoughtan
has plenty to be excited about with a large crop of returnees, several
of which stood out at the Best of the 757.
From the very start of the event, Jacione
Fugate was a 'buzz' name with his electric speed that
earned him the Fastest Man Award. A transfer to the Warriors
before last season from Booker T. Washington, Fugate was chosen Second
Team All-Conference running back during his sophomore year and should
only build on that next season. In addition to his great
closing speed, he's got a decent frame, better than average ball skills
and the type of instincts you need to be an impact player.
Fugate impressed at cornerback with his aggressive mentality and it
wouldn't surprise us to see him play that position in
college. Not to mention, he's got the type of length, speed
and coverage skills that recruiters covet. What would
surprise us is if he doesn't have at least a couple of those long
touchdowns of the 40+ yard variety next season.
Fugate reminded our staff of Lake Taylor's Nhyre Quinerly, a
multi-offer prospect from the rising senior class, and one of
the coaches used the word 'swagger' in describing Fugate as well.
Tight end Tyler Crist
consistently found creases in the defense. The sure-handed
Crist made it look routine getting open and snagging passes.
Last year, he was known primarily as the punter, but playing in an
offense that showed the ability to sling it round with success in 2013
(they threw for 398 yards in a close loss to 4A State Semifinalist
Heritage), he's bound to make his presence known/felt.
Physically, few stood out more than Nick
Carrera, who began his Kecoughtan career as a quarterback
and has transformed into a fine weapon hauling in passes instead of
delivering them. Carrera had 27 catches for 365 yards and
three touchdowns a season ago at tight end. When you combine
that production on the field and in the classroom, where he maintains a
3.0 GPA, it is somewhat surprising that he has yet to pull in an offer,
though that could change soon.
At receiver, Carrera may lack the elite speed for the next level, but
what he does possesses is an understanding of the passing game, the
necessary athleticism for the position, solid awareness and mixes in
some savvy. Of the receivers that participated, he stood out
as the most polished.
Another player to keep an eye on is Elijah White,
a Second Team All-Monitor Merrimac Conference selection a season ago
that also gets it done defensively. On this day, he covered
the boundary nicely and his best projection may be at the free safety
spot. Like Fugate, he's got a competitive edge to him.
Having won between four and six games for each of their last five
seasons, the Warriors program has proven to be a stable outfit, yet
they've not quite made the leap into being an upper division group. The
fall of 2014 could prove to be the turning point for the school if
these players (and more) continue to develop.