Hometown heroes: 62 local products playing college football in winter/spring 2021 season

By Richard Walker

Former East LIncoln standout Trevor Childers was a top tackler for Western Carolina in last week’s 2021 winter/spring season-opener. [catamountsports.com photo]
Five former local products will be helping Western Carolina in Saturday’s 1 p.m. Southern Conference game at Samford.

Last week, in the Catamounts’ 35-7 loss at Furman, three players made defensive contributions led by senior linebacker Trevor Childers’ eight tackles. Childers is a 2017 East Lincoln High graduate.

Also contributing for WCU were freshman safety Dorian Davis (Shelby 2019) with four tackles and freshman defensive end Tre Jolly (Shelby 2019) with one tackle. Junior running back Quenten Zanders (Crest 2018) also is on the roster and former Burns High player Jay Guillermo is a Catamounts’ assistant coach.

Fifty-eight other former local products are playing winter/spring college football:

Averett: The Cougars have seven local players – sophomore safety Namari Borders (Crest 2019), freshman defensive tackle Justin Donovant (North Gaston 2020), sophomore offensive lineman Dkyieon Byers-Henderson (Forestview 2019), senior offensive lineman and long snapper Timothy Davis (Forestview 2017), sophomore defensive tackle Dondra Burris (Huss 2019), junior offensive tackle Victor Hernandez (South Point 2018) and junior wide receiver Chase Nixon (Huss 2018) – and defensive coordinator David Clark (Kings Mountain 2007). Averett opens March 6 at home against North Carolina Wesleyan.

Barton: The Bulldogs have Darnell Johnson (Cramer 2017) and open their inugural season on Saturday against Erskine.

Brevard: The Tornados have junior running back Aaron Bennett (Forestview 2018), sophomore defensive lineman Wyatt Lankford (Crest 2019) and sophomore offensive lineman Andrew Tarleton (East Lincoln 2019).

Carson-Newman: The Eagles have sophomore punter Jonah Tincher (Mountain Island Charter 2019) and open March 13 at UVa Wise.

Catawba: The Indians have six players – freshman running back Kujuan Pryor (Burns 2020), sophomore quarterback Kaylon Wade (Kings Mountain 2019), sophomore defensive back Calvin Stephens (Mountain Island Charter 2018), sophomore running back Chandler Jones (East Lincoln 2018), freshman offensive lineman Wyatt Painter (North Lincoln 2020) and freshman linebacker Jeremiah Adams (Huss 2020) – and open March 20 at home against Newberry.

Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers have freshman quarterback Isaiah Bess (Shelby 2020) and freshman offensive lineman Julian Londeree (Ashbrook 2020) and open March 13 at Kennesaw State.

Davidson: The Wildcats, who opened last Saturday in a 26-23 loss to Elon, have junior linebacker Jake Alexander (South Point 2018) and senior safety Max Mead (South Point 2017).

Gardner-Webb: Ten local products are playing for the Bulldogs, who open Saturday at 3 p.m. at home against Elon – junior linebacker Matthew Robinson (South Point 2018 graduate), junior defensive linemen Donnie Thompson (Lincolnton 2017) and Tremayne Booker (Forestview 2017), junior tight end Stormy Mosteller (Burns 2018), sophomore kicker Devin Baldwin (Stuart Cramer 2019), freshman running back Jalin Graham (Crest 2020), freshman defensive lineman Christopher Richardson (Crest 2020), freshman wide receivers Eli Brooks (Crest 2020) and Jordan Marshall (Mountain Island Charter 2020), freshman defensive back Chase Marsh (Mountain Island Charter 2020) and freshman linebacker Kendall Massey (Ashbrook 2020).

Lenoir-Rhyne: The Bears have six players – freshman safety James Ussery (Kings Mountain 2020), freshman linebacker B.J. Ramseur (Crest 2019), freshman offensive lineman Xavier Jennings (Burns 2020), sophomore offensive lineman Phillip Davis (South Point 2018), freshman defensive tackle Blaine Dellinger (East Lincoln 2020) and freshman defensive end Rae-Kwon Young-Turner (Crest 2019) – and open on March 12 at Newberry.

Mars Hill: The Lions have seven players – freshman wide receiver Ja’hari Mitchell (Shelby 2020), sophomore defensive lineman Antwon McClee (Ashbrook 2019), sophomore offensive linemen William Bryson (Ashbrook 2018), Joshua Long (Ashbrook 2019) and Kevin Paysour (Forestview 2018) and freshman linebacker Bobby Watson (Ashbrook 2018) – and open March 12 at home against Tusculum.

Methodist: The Monarchs have three players – sophomore kicker Trevor Hargett (Huss 2019), junior offensive lineman Nick Wiggins (Hiss 2018) and freshman wide receiver Jarris Gash (Lincolnton 2020) – and open March 6 at Greensboro College.

North Carolina Wesleyan: The Battlin’ Bishops have freshman wide receiver Elijah Love (Bessemer City 2020) and sophomore offensive lineman Jordan Sadler (Forestview 2019) and open March 6 at Averett.

Presbyterian: The Blue Hose have freshman defensive end Anthony Dye (Huss 2020) and open March 6 at Gardner-Webb.

Wingate: The Bulldogs have six players – graduate quarterback Darquez Lee (Shelby 2016), senior linebacker Chase Marsh (West Lincoln 2016), sophomore offensive lineman Emanual Bido (Bessemer City 2018), junior wide receiver Antwanez Barnett (Hiss 2017), junior defensive lineman Ricky Smith (East Lincoln 2017) and freshman offensive lineman Alex Kale (Crest 2019) – and open March 13 at Barton.