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PREP SPOTLIGHT: National Signing Day 2019

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AJ Dupree signs a Letter of Intent for North Carolina A&T at Greene Central High School Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019.

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Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The majority of high school football players across the country signed their national letters of intent in December, but there were those who wanted to take the extra time to make their decisions.

Wednesday marked the late, and traditional, signing period for those who were ready to announce where they would continue their athletic and academic careers.

D.H. Conley defensive lineman Reed Chandler kicked off the day by making a longtime dream come true, suiting up for Army West Point on the field in 2019.

“This is extremely exciting. I’ve been dreaming about this day since I was in seventh grade,” Chandler said. “To have it finally all come together is just awesome.”

Chandler will begin military service following his graduation from West Point. 

Just down the road, J.H. Rose watched as four players also signed commitments to various schools, starting with Ben Harris, the Rampants 6-foot-5 star wide receiver, signing with Charleston Southern. Harris, originally from Charleston, saw the opportunity as a way to return home.

“It’s a blessing to be able to play Division I football,” Harris said. “Not a lot of kids get to experience this, so its a blessing.”

Quarterback Grant Charles Jarman will stay close to home, accepting a preferred walk-on spot with hometown East Carolina.

“This is very special,” Jarman said. “I’ve grown up watching ECU football since I was born. Watching ECU play every Saturday has always been something I loved doing, so going out on the field next year will be a great experience.”

Rampants defensive back and top wrestler Phifer Ozimek signed on the dotted line to play for Campbell. Family ties played a big role in his choice to join the Camels.

“My brother went there, so I grew up going to the games and really liked it,” Ozimek said. “I really liked the coach a lot. After going to the camps, they showed me around and I really liked the facilities.”

The final Rampant to sign was Ethan Bower, who committed to Trinity (Texas).

“I was actually born in Houston, so this is like returning home for me in a way,” Bower said. “Originally, I wasn’t for it, but I went down to Texas and saw the campus, and the coaches were very supportive, and I feel like that’s the best opportunity for me to grow my career as a player and also as a person.”

Greene County and the Greene Central Rams also saw their top player, AJ Dupree, make his choice official, signing with NC A&T. Dupree, who spent time over his four years playing both sides of the ball, will play safety for the Aggies.

“I’m ready to get out there and prove myself and show this is meant to be and I’m meant to play on this stage,” Dupree said. 

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

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High Schools

June 14, 2019

Athletes from three local schools learned if they received the honor of being named to their sports All-Conference list in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. Take a look at who made the cut. 

BASEBALL 

11 players received all conference honors, with D.H. Conley leading the way with…

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June 13, 2019

Another batch of local high school athletes signed letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level.

Chargers duo inks to Louisburg College

After rounding out their careers with their best statistical seasons, Ayden-Grifton baseball players Blake McLawhorn and…

060719-A-G Signing

June 13, 2019

After recently seeing his D.H. Conley athletic career come to a close Shea Ward continues to improve his game on the diamond. The Pitt Community College commit is playing with the Post 39 Legion team this summer before joining the Bulldogs. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Ward about his…

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June 12, 2019

After fighting weather postponements last week, Post 39 and Farmville Post 151 finally had a chance to face off, with Post 39 walking away victorious, 11-1, in six innings.

Robbie O'Neal had a stellar performance for Post 39, picking up the win by tossing five strong innings. He earned 13…

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June 12, 2019

A former Farmville Central state champion is key to success of Pitt County basketball this past season

All Tyreek Dupree wanted to do was give back, and he certainly did.

Dupree graduated from Farmville Central in 2016, and was a member of the Jaguars squad that went 28-0 and won the 2-A state…

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June 09, 2019

Anna Sawyer was this season’s most impressive breakout player.

The freshman batted .570, nailing 53 hits and scoring 40 runs on the year. She also accumulated 40 RBIs. Sawyer’s performance netted her The Daily Reflector’s Batter of the Year award. 

Sawyer led her team with a .…

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June 09, 2019

Conley head coach Wayne Deans led the Vikings to yet another deep playoff run this season, as his squad finished 25-3 overall and a perfect 12-0 in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference, winning the conference title. The Vikings fell in the East Regional final to Eastern Alamance. 

“We…

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June 09, 2019

Lauren Wiles stepped into the role as the go-to pitcher for D.H. Conley this season. The sophomore hurler posted a 14-2 record, finishing with a 1.27 ERA. Her efforts earned her the title of Pitcher of the Year on The Daily Reflector’s annual All-Area softball team. 

“It was great…

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June 09, 2019

FIRST TEAM

Anna Sawyer, D.H. Conley: Batter of the Year

Taylor Bowen, Ayden-Grifton: A .609 batting average had Bowen leading the Chargers this season. She also led the team in hits this season with 42. 

Kate Lancaster, Farmville Central: The Jaguars’ senior leader will graduate after…

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June 06, 2019

A highlight of the summer is the American Legion season. Twice a summer, Pitt Post 39 and Farmville Post 151 meet and play for standing in the Area I division. The two tried to play Wednesday night at Pitt Community College, but rain once again forced a delay to the game, which will be made up…

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