Bulldog seniors make college decisions

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, April 15, 2010

King’s Fork seniors Brian Johnson, Brian Richardson and Donta’ Steward have decided where they will continue their education and their football careers next fall.

All three will be close enough for their family and friends to come out and see how they’re doing. Johnson and Richardson are going to Chowan University while Steward is going to Newport News Apprentice School.

The high school football season came to a close back in November, but with the college recruiting process ongoing, all three guys had to keep working hard all the same. Now with Johnson and Richardson ready to be Hawks and Steward becoming a Builder, the new football season and summer practices are suddenly less than four months away. “August 7” is the date Richardson has circled.

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Johnson, who will play outside safety for CU, says the opportunity to play football and earn a scholarship through football is a great payoff for all the hard work.

Even since the end of his senior season, “you’ve still got to stay committed. You’ve got to work hard, spend a lot of time in the weight room and work on keeping your grades up to go wherever you want to go,” Johnson said.

Getting the chance to play football close to home is “just how it worked out,” Johnson said.

“I knew some people there. I’ve got a couple friends who are there. When I went down there, I liked the campus and liked the coaches,” Johnson said.

“It means a lot because I’ve always been planning to play for a college team and get a good college education and further my goal of playing in the pros and this is a first step,” Richardson said.

‘It’s a lot of stress off my mind,” Richardson said.

Richardson, at 5-foot-11 and 310 pounds, played as a two-way lineman for the Bulldogs, but will be a nose guard/defensive tackle for the Hawks.

“Football season’s never over. You always have to be working out, getting stronger and working on conditioning,” said Richardson.

“I’m trying to get bigger so I can fit in,” Johnson said about what he’s already working on for his first collegiate season.

Steward is expecting to play outside linebacker at Apprentice. “The coaches told me they like my aggressiveness on defense,” Steward said. Steward also played tight end for King’s Fork.

At Apprentice, there’s sports, classes and a full-time job for a student-athlete.

“Work starts at 7 a.m. each day. Then when we get off, there’s football practice,” Steward said. Every other day Apprentice students have classes.

“I’m going in for something, pipefitting, I don’t know anything about. But I know I’ll learn and it’s a great opportunity. When I’m finished, I’ll be a high-level employee,” Steward said.

Chowan is entering its second season in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Hawks were 2-8 overall and 2-5 in the CIAA in 2009. The Builders were 1-9 last season and play in the Atlantic Central Football Conference. Both programs were under new head coaches in 2009, Tim Place at Chowan and Michael Vite at Apprentice.