Saturday’s fourth annual Chesapeake Bowl at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex offers some of the best talent on the East Coast a chance to matchup with fellow high-caliber college prospects one final time as high school football players.
More than 100 high school seniors spent their first night in Virginia Beach Thursday, listening to former Maryland and NFL running back LaMont Jordan. The 1996 first-team All-Met running back from Suitland High talked to the seniors about faith.
“He basically told us to keep our relationships strong with God,” Gonzaga safety Miles Taylor said. “LaMont is a great coach and person that went through a lot, and at the end from what he’s learned he’s at peace with God. He was saying he wants us to achieve that.”
The annual senior bowl game pits a South team — comprised of players from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District — against a North roster featuring athletes from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The North leads the series 2-1, and won last year’s game 38-13 at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex.
Most of the 18 area players that will suit up for the South have already given their oral commitments to Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision schools: Patriot wide receiver Quintin Reynolds (Old Dominion), Taylor (Georgia Tech), Friendly safety Alameen Murphy (Stanford), Briar Woods quarterback Trace McSorley (Vanderbilt), DeMatha athlete Deonte Holden (North Carolina State) and DeMatha wide receiver Chris Jones (Wisconsin).
With a college commitment in the bag, why would a player risk injury in an exhibition game?
For the McSorley, a first-team All-Met selection, the choice was simple. He’d never competed in an end of year all-star game, so when he received his invitation in August, he knew then that he wanted to participate in the game that will cap his high school football career.
“I’m looking forward to competing with some of these dudes. They’re pretty high-rated players,” McSorley said. “They are going on to play big time BCS football, and we can start adjusting to a faster pace and a faster game here.”
After several years of battling in the WCAC, Taylor, Holden, Jones and O’Connell wide receiver Marquis Rowe put the rivalry aside to play together this week. They are all friends off the field, and they carpooled together for the three-hour ride to Virginia Bach. Taylor and Holden will continue to face each other in the Atlantic Coast Conference as future members of the Yellow Jackets and Wolfpack.
The athletes are likely seeing the best talent they’ve experienced since the 7-on-7 summer circuit and various camps. The heightened competition level has the players excited for Saturday’s kickoff.
“There is a lot of great competition and great players out here,” Taylor said. “The speed of the game has gone up I think, and that will help everybody prepare for next level. This game is filled with the best players in the area.”
View the full roster for the South team here.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 2
The number of Post Top 20 teams that were upset in the first round of holiday tournaments Thursday. In girls’ basketball, Fairfax defeated No. 20 Old Mill 52-41. And in boys’ basketball Battlefield edged No. 19 Capitol Christian 79-78 in a thriller.
–South Lakes forward Abigail Rendle talks about her commitment to William & Mary and the No. 6 Seahawks’ 8-0 start to the season.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Below is our second installment of Top Plays of the Week for basketball.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Title IX girls’ basketball tournament hosted by Trinity University and Wilson will feature four Top 20 teams in action today.
No. 17 Georgetown Visitation vs. Mays (Ga.) at 4 p.m. at Wilson
No. 4 Riverdale Baptist vs. South Medford (Ore.) at 2 p.m. at Trinity
No. 10 Good Counsel vs. South Shore (NY) at 4 p.m. at Trinity
No. 7 Elizabeth Seton vs. Nazareth (NY) at 6 p.m. at Trinity