KFHS football players college-bound

Published 10:43 pm Thursday, May 23, 2013

King's Fork's Alex Holloway, Clarence Burrus, DeShawn Johnson, James Hibbs and Danny Gromkoski publicly committed to play college football during a ceremony on Thursday at King's Fork High School.

King’s Fork’s Alex Holloway, Clarence Burrus, DeShawn Johnson, James Hibbs and Danny Gromkoski publicly committed to play college football during a ceremony on Thursday at King’s Fork High School.

Five more players who helped produce King’s Fork High School’s most successful football season last year made public commitments to hit the gridiron at the college level for four different schools during a ceremony held on Thursday at the school.

Clarence Burrus and Alex Holloway are headed to Virginia State University, Danny Gromkoski represented the football half of his scholarship to Averett University, which also includes baseball, James Hibbs will travel the farthest to Western Kentucky University and DeShawn Johnson declared for Virginia Union University.

They were joined at the ceremony by their teammates, including those who have already announced their commitments: Charles Clark (Virginia Tech), Davon Grayson (East Carolina University) and TC Livingston (Norfolk State University).

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“I don’t know how many schools in the area can boast of eight guys going to play college football,” Bulldogs head coach Joe Jones said. “That speaks a lot for the work ethic of these kids.”

Jones praised the five being recognized on Thursday for more than what they did on the field.

“I’m going to miss these guys, not just because of their football talents, but just the kind of individuals they were and the character they had,” he said.

Clarence Burrus played on the offensive and defensive lines for the Bulldogs and said that Virginia State had recruited him to play offensive tackle. He shared what signing to play college football and attend college meant to him.

“It’s a dream I’ve always wanted — to go to school for free,” he said. “That’s the biggest honor that I have from all of this, and to continue to play football. After high school, I thought I wouldn’t be playing again, but I made it to the next level.”

After starring as an offensive guard for King’s Fork, Alex Holloway hopes to do the same at Virginia State, though he noted they might move him to tackle.

“It just put the fear in my heart that God did it all for me, and He put me in a position where I need to move to the next level, I need to work harder,” he said.” It just means a lot to me, because of all the stuff that me and my brothers have been through together, we finally made it. So, I’m just glad to be here with them.”

Linebacker/fullback Danny Gromkoski was participating in his second ceremony this spring after receiving a scholarship to play both football and baseball at Averett University. He said that he was being recruited for football first, but got noticed by the Averett baseball program while playing for a summer travel team.

“I checked them out and they told me, ‘You could play both,’ and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a great opportunity,’” he said.

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” he said. “It’s a blessing. I’ve been playing both my whole life. It’s hard to separate both of them. I’ve never wanted to stop playing both, so it’s a blessing to just be able to play both at the same time.”

James Hibbs will go from serving as a wide receiver in high school to running routes for Western Kentucky. He commented on not only the significance of going to the next level but also the big move that will be attached to it.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “Just the fact that I’m graduating, I’m moving away from here, I’m moving on to something a lot bigger. It’s a great moment in my life,” he said.

DeShawn Johnson expects to either play strong safety at Virginia Union or stay at inside linebacker. He began playing football in the eighth grade, and his dream to play in college was born in his sophomore year.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I love playing football, and education always comes first.”