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PIGSKIN PREVIEW: Players to watch

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Ayden-Grifton's Micheal Webb, center, runs the ball during their game against Farmville Central on Sept. 8, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Friday, August 17, 2018


Micheal Webb


Running back/cornerback

* Webb has received preseason praise from head coach Paul Cornwell for his work ethic as the Chargers look to build on last season’s even 6-6 record in the Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference.

* He should see an increase in touches in the Ayden-Grifton run game as a junior, looking to utilize his speed to outrun defenders and become the team’s mainstay rusher for the next two seasons.

* Webb has shown the ability to not only terrorize defenses as a tailback, but he also has the skills to track balls through the air in the secondary and create big plays while playing cornerback.


D.H. Conley

CJ Johnson


Wide receiver

As a junior, Johnson totaled 31 total touchdowns and 1,547 yards on 68 receptions, outpacing Conley’s second-leading receiver by 808 yards (Jaquavion Bridges, 739 yards).

Johnson averaged 119 receiving yards per game as a junior in 2017. Bridges held second in the category at a distant 61.6 yards per game.

Johnson committed to East Carolina University on May 17. He joined a trend that saw many other local prospects commit to the Pirate program and will join former teammate and QB Holton Ahlers when he becomes a Pirate.


Farmville Central

Keziah Everett


Defensive end

* At 315 pounds, Everett is the anchor of the Jaguars’ defense, forcing his way into opposing backfields and serving as a constant threat to alter passes and opposing running attacks.

* Everett’s talents also landed him with the East Carolina football program as, like Johnson, he announced during the offseason he will stay in Pitt County, picking ECU over a host of other interested schools.

* The defensive end will be the leader of the Jaguars in 2018. While not very vocal, his presence is one of a leader and one the team rallies around, and his presence will require game-planning by opponents.


J.H. Rose

Ben Harris


Wide receiver

* On a Rose team that finished 3-8 and missed the playoffs, Harris nonetheless stood out as the only Rampants receiver to top 1,000 yards in 2017, finishing with 1,054.

* As a junior, Harris found the end zone 12 times, also a team high. His 1,000-yard campaign was built on consistency; he averaged 105 yards per game.

* The 6-foot-4 Harris will form a formidable pairing with fellow outside receiver Wesley Shade, also 6-4, and the Rampants could utilize their length to help create big plays.


North Pitt

Keyshon Cox


Wide receiver/safety

* Perhaps the most versatile and busy player on the field no matter who has the ball or what the situation, the multi-talented Cox will act as a key receiver on offense, a safety on defense and will even be the Panthers’ punter.

* Cox is one of the tallest players on the Panthers, listed at 6-foot-1, giving him an advantage both in battling coverage to make big catches on offense, but also to help erase opponent receivers on defense.

* At Panthers practices, it is Cox who has become the vocal leader for the team, leading the unit from the front during drills and conditioning this preseason.


South Central

Jeremy Lewis


Defensive end/wide receiver

* As a junior, Lewis accounted for 55 total tackles, including 20 solo stops and 35 assisted, to help the Falcons’ defense complement their offense and form a playoff team.

* The edge pressure created by Lewis’ combination of speed and power helped to lead the Falcons defense, and he recorded a team-high four sacks for a total net loss of 41 yards.

Lewis joined other high profile-recruits in committing to East Carolina during the offseason, joining Everett, Johnson and recent commit Traveon Freshwater (Elizabeth City Northeastern) as members of a loaded ECU 2019 class.


Humans of Greenville


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

High Schools

September 25, 2018

D.H. Conley posted tennis wins on three consecutive days last week, and the Vikings lost just one of the 27 matches played.

The Vikings started the run with consecutive victories over against South Central, 8-1 last Tuesday and 9-0 on Wednesday, and then they downed Eastern Wayne 9-0 on Thursday.…

September 25, 2018

South Central continues to show they are the top football team in Pitt County after downing 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference rival J.H. Rose on Friday, 20-18.

The win was the Falcons second straight victory over the Rampants. 

The Falcons (5-0, 1-0) are led by quarterback Justin Humphries,…


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

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

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…

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