'BYH' to the GOP, working on their new motto, "We don't mind if a man tries to rape you, we only care if you don't want...

QB the big question at Conley

1 of 2

Holton Ahlers throws a pass during the Rose-Conley football game at Conley on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The D.H. Conley football team is known for its spectacular athletes. Fast, physical and athletic are all adjectives often used to describe the Vikings players.

The Vikes finished with an 11-2 record in 2017, led by a perfect 6-0 mark in Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A play. With star quarterback Holton Ahlers and wide receiver CJ Johnson leading an offense that lit up defenses for a total of 682 points, it seemed like the wins would never end for the Vikings. That was until a 44-29 loss in the second round of the 3-A state playoffs against Northern Guilford ended the storied high school career of Ahlers.

The question of who will fill the big shoes left behind by the now-East Carolina freshman QB is one that has fans talking. It will be up to Conley head coach Nate Conner to determine who he believes provides the best opportunity to return the Vikings to the state playoffs.

“We have a few guys we are looking at,” Conner said. “Nick Hamilton is a real good quarterback. He’s doing really well so far, but we haven’t decided who is going to be the main guy just yet.”

Conner also said there could be times when Johnson could move from the outside of a formation to right in the middle, acting as a running back or quarterback. 

Hamilton led the Conley junior varsity team to an 8-2 record last season, throwing for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also added one touchdown using his feet while rushing for 65 yards.

Conner said there are several JV players from a year ago who are getting significant reps now in practice. 

A great deal of responsibility will be placed on the Vikings’ senior class, including Johnson. He committed to ECU in May, and will now have his full attention devoted to making a deep run in the state playoffs.

“It’s always great to have a guy like that on your team with his kind of work ethic. He is a really special player and he shows how hard he works by setting a good example both in the classroom and on the field,” Conner said. “He has been really great in helping our younger guys. He’s an all-around young man that we are proud to have as a part of this team.

Defensively, Conner is looking to lean on Reed Chandler. Chandler, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 240 pounds, is “a strong and explosive player,” according to Conner. He plays on the d-line and is athletic with a nose for tackling any ball-carrier.

“He’s an intelligent young man. People know his name around here, but I have the feeling more people will know his name come game time,” Conner said. 

The Vikings begin their season on Aug. 17 when they host Northeastern. They will then travel to face Rocky Mount and Washington before returning home for a matchup with East Wake on Sept. 7, A trip to West Craven, and a home game against Eastern Wayne, will prepare them for another two-game road trip facing New Bern and then rival J.H. Rose on Oct. 19. 

Conley will host Southern Wayne and then play a season-ending showdown with South Central on Nov. 2.

“We’re going to win the state title,” Johnson said of the upcoming season.

Contact Jake Keator at 252-329-9594 or jkeator@reflector.com and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

September 21, 2018

The Hertford County Bears handed North Pitt football its fifth-straight loss with a 45-0 victory, snapping the Bears’ own three-game losing streak, on Friday night in Bethel.

This was the second-straight game the Panthers were held scoreless, with the team coming off a 40-0 loss to crosstown…


September 21, 2018

A 35-yard touchdown pass from South Central quarterback Justin Humphries to Jeremy Lewis gave the Falcons a late lead in the fourth quarter to give them the win over Rose, 20-18, in high school football action on Friday in Winterville.

Humphries had another good outing for SC (5-0, 1-0), finishing…


September 21, 2018

Pitt County high school football teams took a bye week last week as they rescheduled or cancelled games to prepare for Hurricane Florence.

A week later, three teams will make their return to the field, including one of the biggest matchups of the season thus far as J.H. Rose (3-1) travels to…


September 20, 2018

One of the strongest points of the South Central football defense is its defensive line. Senior Phillip Chen is one of the anchors along that line, using his speed and power to make offensive linemen regret ever lining up against him. Reflector prep sports beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Chen…


September 19, 2018

In a battle of undefeated volleyball teams, it was visiting D.H. Conley that walked away with a clean record after downing South Central on the road 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Conley notched three hectic wins, 25-12, 25-22 and 25-22.

An ace from Hannah Shafer put the Vikings (13-0, 5-0 Eastern…


September 19, 2018

Pitt County football teams canceled games in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Florence last week. A week later, some county teams are once again postponing matchups due to issues arising from the storm. 

D.H. Conley and West Craven shared a mutual open date on Sept. 28, providing a…


September 17, 2018

It’s difficult to win the first 11 games of your season consecutively, and it shows the mark of a true contender for a state title.

Try having not one, but two of those in the same conference. Add another that at 9-3, continually fights for its chance at a conference and state title. Add…


September 13, 2018

The early-season high school football showdown between unbeaten J.H. Rose and visiting Havelock was as advertised at halftime last Friday night, with the Rams battling into a slim 21-17 lead at halftime.

The host Rampants, however, could only watch, and chase, in the second half as Havelock poured…


September 13, 2018

It’s hard to find a sporting event at which Grant Humphreys isn't a participant. The versatile athlete is just as comfortable with a ball in his hands on the court and field as he is parting water in the pool. High school preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Humphreys about his skills and…


September 12, 2018

In the first meeting of the season between local volleyball powers, J.H. Rose staged an attempted comeback in the fourth set on Tuesday night, but D.H. Conley staved it off to remain unbeaten in a 3-1 win.

The Vikings (11-0, 4-0) outlasted the Rampants (9-3, 2-2) in four very tight games, 26-…

100 stories in High Schools. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 10
        Next Page»   Last Page»