ROCKINGHAM — The news came as a shock to Devant’e Covington and Tyrone Crowder.
The two Richmond Senior football players were speechless Monday when told they were selected to The Associated Press all-state prep football team.
In addition to earning the AP honors, the duo were also members of the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team, which lost to South Carolina 23-19 Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.
Crowder was named on 13 of the 17 ballots from sports writers from across the state, while Covington grabbed six votes to secure his spot.
Crowder finished his senior season with a blocking average grade of 92 percent and was credited with 126 pancake blocks. He helped the Raiders average 42 points a game and rush for 329 yards a contest. Crowder is ranked 101st in ESPN’s Top 150 and was the only offensive lineman selected to WSOC-TV’s Big 22. He was also an all-Southeastern Conference selection this year.
In addition to his appearance in the Shrine Bowl contest, Crowder is slated to participate in the Under Armour All-American game. The contest is set for 8 p.m. Jan. 5 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“It’s a great honor,” Crowder said. “It lets me know that I am being recognized for what I do. Offensive lineman don’t get recognized too much, but I guess people liked what I did.
“When I first started playing, I didn’t think about winning awards, I did it because I enjoyed playing.”
Covington, who has verbally committed to South Carolina, was second on the Raiders with 109 tackles, including 16 for loss. He had six sacks and four quarterback hurries. Covington was credited with two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. Like Crowder, Covington was an all-SEC pick this season.
“I’m honored,” Covington said. “Honestly, I didn’t think I would get anything like this because I thought there were other guys out there better. I’m surprised.”
Butler, which captured its third state 4AA championship in four seasons, had four players named to this year’s team. This was the second time in four years the Bulldogs have achieved this feat. Receiver Uriah LeMay, defensive back Channing Stribling and linebackers Peter Kalambayi and Sean Wiggins represented the state champions.
Kalambayi was one of two players to be named to the squad for the second straight season. The other was Vance linebacker Larenz Bryant, who like Covington, has committed to South Carolina.
Richmond wasn’t the only school to have a pair of all-state picks. Davidson Day and Mallard Creek also placed two players on this year’s team. Record-setting quarterback Will Grier joined offensive lineman Schuyler Coleman from Davidson Day on the squad, while Mallard Creek was represented by wide receiver Marquez North and tight end Jaylen Samuels. North played his sophomore season at Lumberton as quarterback before moving to Charlotte.
Wakefield receiver Jordan Fieulleteau received the most votes of any player, named on 16 out of 17 ballots. Northern Guilford running back T.J. Logan and Tarboro defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis were next, receiving 15 votes.
Joining Logan in the backfield was Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood, while Albemarle’s Roger Prince Jr., Davie County’s Trip McNeil and East Forsyth’s Brandon Smith round out the offensive line.
South View’s Greg Gilmore and Hunt’s Lewis Neal were selected to the defensive line with Covington and Lewis.
Normally limited to three linebackers, this season’s team features four after South Point’s Daishon Davis and Wiggins tied for the last spot with five votes apiece.
Korrin Wiggins from Hillside, Jack Tocho from Independence and Jermany Hammonds of Monroe joined Stribling in the secondary.
The special teams performers were North Davidson’s Specer Landfried as the kicker, Porter Ridge’s Matt Wogan was the punter, while Swansboro DeAndre Thompkins was the kick returner. Matthew Maennle completed the team at athlete.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.