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Everett eyeing state title


Keziah Everette, Farmville Central High School Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Keziah Everett is known best for his abilities on the football field, but the former Farmville Central gridiron star and East Carolina signee also has another talent: shot put.

Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 315 pounds, Everett’s strength and size have helped bring him success in the event, where he is currently ranked first in the state.

The FC track and field program, led by former head football coach Scott Gardner, has had 11 state champions, broken six state records and has finished second in the 2-A classification four straight years. This season, however, in his last trip before heading to Greenville, Everett is looking to bring some hardware back to Farmville and cement his legacy as a legendary two-sport athlete in the town.

“(The ranking) is a blessing,” Everett said. “The hard work that coach Gardner has put in has meant a lot to my success.” 

The shot put event, which involves athletes swinging and rotating their bodies to throw a 12-pound ball as far as possible, requires more than just pure strength, but also technique and hand-eye coordination.

“There are a few different types of ways you can throw,” Everett explained. “You can be a slider or a glider, or you can spin. I learned both ways. I’ve been sliding for four years, and I started spinning about a year ago. I’m more comfortable with the sliding and gliding part.

“You get your routine down,” he said. “I go in there look at my focus points, go to the back of the circle, take a deep breath and think of one thing on your mind. Then you slide and get your feet to where you want, push off with everything, make sure your focus points are right and grunt. Grunting is the most important part of the shot put.”

After four seasons of football and track and field, Gardner and Everett have developed a special bond.

“He is a good guy to be with,” Everett said of his two-sport coach. “He’s taught me a lot of things and he is a great mentor to anybody, any young man.”

Gardner believes the root of Everett’s talents is not just his physical abilities.

“He’s explosive and fast,” Gardner said. “But what makes him so special on the football field is what makes him special everywhere he goes — he’s a good person. He does the right things, a ‘yes sir,’ ‘no sir’ guy. He’s gonna do the right things. He’s an explosive guy, and the quickness with his shot is what you really have to have.”

Training for his throws involves plenty of time and dedication by Everett to go along with a difficult regimen.

“It’s cold, especially for indoor (season),” Everett said. “It’s really a grind, picking up that 12-pound ball; sometimes I train with 16 pounds. The effect it does on your body, especially your wrist and ankles, you really have to work out every part of your body.”

After finishing the track and field season, Everett will move just down Highway 264 to Greenville, where he will join fellow Pitt County products such as CJ Johnson of D.H. Conley and Jeremy Lewis of South Central under new ECU head coach Mike Houston and begin to focus on the Pirates’ 2019 football campaign.

“I talk to them (Houston and other ECU staff) on the regular,” Everett said. “They are great people. I’ve never heard a word of negativity, only positive words. I’m ready to get over there.”

Everett and the rest of the Jaguars will compete on Feb. 9 in the state championship meet.

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


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