Over its first two years of existence, the Woodgrove High School football team has experienced a multitude of firsts, from its first win to its first victory over Purcellville rival Loudoun Valley.
Atem Ntantang was front and center every step of the way.
On Monday, the first player to score a touchdown in school history became the first Wolverine to commit to a Football Bowl Subdivision school.
Ntantang, a rising senior running back and defensive back, is bound for Boston College.
“Personally, it means a lot, because I’ve been able to be a part of a lot of firsts here, and this is another huge step for our program,” Ntantang said. “To be the first football player to sign D-1, it’s just incredible. I’m sure there are going to be more to come, but someone has to be first.”
The 5-11, 185-pounder rushed for more than 900 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior season, but Ntantang is preparing for another first this fall when he shifts from running back to cornerback and slot receiver in first-year head coach Mike Skinner’s system. Boston College recruited Ntantang as a defensive back and his development will be critical for his chances of earning playing time early on in Chestnut Hill.
“I’m excited but anxious to see how far my preparation, my footwork, my techniques have come this summer,” said Ntantang, who chose the Eagles over offers from Yale, Columbia and Georgetown.
Ntantang is the third player from western Loudoun in the last three years to commit to Boston College. Stone Bridge safety Spenser Rositano made an instant impact as a true freshman last fall and standout Loudoun Valley wide receiver Harrison Jackson will join him this season.
Despite missing the postseason, the Wolverines improved drastically from Year 1 to Year 2, doubling their win total. But with Skinner, a former Stone Bridge assistant and state champion head coach at Centreville in 2000, at the helm, Woodgrove is eager to take the next step in its third season.
“From the moment Coach Skinner got it, it felt like he was the last piece of the puzzle,” Ntantang said. “Coach [Jerry] Gordon built the foundation for this program, but now we’ve got a mind-set that we’re going to improve and make a run in the playoffs.”