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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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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

High Schools

May 25, 2019

After a dominating 10-0 win in Greenville on Thursday, D.H. Conley’s baseball team returns to Wilmington tonight to decide the 3-A East champion in Game 3 against top-seeded New Hanover.

It was in Wilmington on Tuesday when No. 2 Conley was no-hit by N.C. State recruit Blake Walston in a 5-0…

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May 24, 2019

FARMVILLE -— The town of Farmville is steeped in basketball tradition.

This season alone, Farmville had four undefeated regulars seasons from its middle school, junior varsity and boys’ and girls’ varsity squads, with the boys’ team capturing its second 2-A state…

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May 23, 2019

After falling in Game One of the 3-A East Regional baseball finals Tuesday, No. 2 D.H. Conley rebounded on Thursday, defeating No. 1 New Hanover 10-0 in six innings to force a winner-take-all Game Three Saturday.

UNC Greensboro commit Robbie O’Neal threw a gem, tossing his first complete game…

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May 23, 2019

As the current school year nears its conclusion, athletes from around the county are finalizing their choices to continue their academic and athletic careers at the college level.

Following is a summary of recent local signings:

Ayden-Grifton quartet signs

Four Ayden-Grifton standouts signed this…

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May 23, 2019

Ayden-Grifton senior Mason Ross wrapped up a successful career for the Chargers this season. As a state qualifier in wrestling and the A-G everyday shortstop in baseball, Ross committed to continue his baseball career at Methodist University last Thursday. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with…

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May 23, 2019

D.H. Conley’s baseball and softball teams both fell into a 1-0 hole Tuesday night in the beginning of their respective 3-A East Regional Finals three-game series.

Both teams must fend off elimination in Game Two tonight in hopes of forcing a decisive third game. The winner of the series moves…

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May 21, 2019

Just four days after advancing to the 3-A East Regional finals thanks to a 3-2 walk-off win over Southern Alamance, the top seeded D.H. Conley softball team found itself on the opposite end of the same score after eight innings Tuesday against No. 2 Eastern Alamance.

The Conley loss gave the Eagles…

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May 21, 2019

The 2018-19 season couldn’t have gone any better for South Central senior Shykeim Phillips.

He helped lead a dominant Falcons squad to the Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A conference regular season and tournament championship. In addition to that, they completed one of the great state tournament runs…

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May 21, 2019

The final four has arrived for spring high school baseball and softball, with both sports on the brink of determining representatives for the state championships, meaning this week’s regional series will provide the biggest moments this season.

Only one area school, D.H. Conley, remains in…

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May 17, 2019

The South Central softball team couldn’t catch a break Friday night in Winterville, and Hoggard took advantage, ending the Falcons season with a 5-0 loss.

The Vikings advanced to the 4-A East Regional championship with a 5-0 road win over the Falcons on Friday night. They’ll begin the…

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