Simply put, Ballou's Tre Everett is "the best wide receiver to play in the Interhigh in quite some time," according to his coach, Frank Young.

There is good reason for Young's sentiments.

Thus far this season, the All-Met wide receiver had 27 receptions for 375 yards in his first four games. He has scored four touchdowns for the Knights (3-2). Against Good Counsel Sept. 11, he caught 10 passes.

"He's done the job every year for us, and this season has been no exception," Young said.

Last year, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior proved he was more than just an adept pass catcher. Everett scored seven of his 17 touchdowns on the ground: two came on punt returns, four were scored on kickoff returns and one was scored on a reverse hand-off on an offensive play.

At times, Everett has lined up on the wing. Last year he rushed seven times for 80 yards and the touchdown. The key for Ballou is merely getting the ball to Everett and letting his 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash do the rest.

"He is so very fast and elusive that when he gets the ball in his hands you kind of hold your breath until someone tackles him," said H.D. Woodson Coach Bob Headen.

The ability to score on plays other than receptions has been important since Ballou hasn't used a pass-oriented offense in Everett's three years as a starter.

When Ballou does throw, Everett is usually the target, Young said. Ballou completed 72 passes last season and Everett caught 53 of them for more than 800 yards, earning him Street and Smith's magazine preseason honorable mention all-America honors.

"I enjoy handling the football, and I would like to have the ball in my hands as much as possible," said Everett. "I'm not a selfish player, but I think when I have the ball in my hands, I can help the team."

Everett has also shown remarkable resiliency, starting 26 consecutive games. And according to Young, he hardly goes out of his way to avoid contact. "For a guy who's not really that big, he sure has a lot of heart," said Young. "He is certainly one tough kid."

In fact, Young says what separates Everett from the other wide receivers in the area is his willingness to do the dirty job of blocking. "Tre is a great blocker and an excellent runner," said Young. "He's not that big, but he will knock someone over in a minute."

Everett has also shown an ability to adapt to different quarterbacks. Ballou has started a different quarterback each of his three seasons.

"It can be hard to adjust to a new quarterback," said Everett. "Sometimes I feel that we don't throw the ball enough, even if I catch a lot of passes.

"We've got a good coaching staff and the team is always good. I just wish we'd throw the ball a little more."

Everett has received about 200 letters from recruiters. But to the chagrin of many college football coaches, Everett will not go to their school unless one thing is understood: that he can continue to run track.

"I really enjoy running track," said Everett, who won the Interhigh long jump championships last season. "And I also think that it helps me {participating in track} when football is concerned because it keeps me in shape."

But for now, Everett is thinking only about his final football season. He's been selected the team captain, a job he relishes. "I am glad I am the captain because I think the guys respect me and look up to me," he said. "It also means that I will probably get the ball when the situation is tight."

Everett has scored in two of Ballou's three league games -- all victories. He scored the only touchdown of the contest in helping the Knights defeat Coolidge, 6-0, in the third game of the season.

Everett hasn't made up his mind where he is going to play next year, but for now, he's sure about one thing. "I've been on this team for three years now, and every season it seems that we have a good chance to win the Interhigh title. I'm not a loser and I don't want to leave here not having won a league championship. And I'm going to make sure that I do my best to help the team contend for the title," he said.