The fleet feet of Addison Peak

Published 11:01 pm Saturday, September 7, 2013

Addison Peak has developed within the last year into a running back for the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Saints that is both speedy and intelligent. Both traits helped him garner 1,990 votes to become the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week. (Titus Mohler/Suffolk News-Herald)

Addison Peak has developed within the last year into a running back for the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Saints that is both speedy and intelligent. Both traits helped him garner 1,990 votes to become the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week. (Titus Mohler/Suffolk News-Herald)

Utilizing his speed in the prime running back position for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s Wing-T offense, junior halfback Addison Peak has been doing something special for his teammates and coach since his first game with the Saints in 2011.

Two Fridays ago, Peak had defenders from Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School after him, but they could not catch him — not before he had piled up 129 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries.

The performance led to a nomination in the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week poll, where fellow nominee, sophomore Jaclyn Mounie of Nansemond River High School field hockey, trailed him closely in votes, but ultimately could not catch him. Peak earned 1,990 votes to Mounie’s 1,978.

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NR head coach Ali Mowry said Mounie was a worthy nominee because she’s an excellent all-around athlete who is also humble, coachable, dependable and hard-working.

Following her team’s season-opening home loss, Mounie helped turn things around by stepping up her game two days later for a 2-0 win over Great Bridge High School in which she scored both goals.

Peak scored twice, as well, on runs of 52 and 60 yards in the Saints 40-16 win to start the season.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the linemen: William DeLuca, Shay Wood, Lee Willis, Austin Babb and Michael Mahoney,” he said. “They opened up wide holes for me. They did that, and I just did the rest.”

“He’s really become an intelligent runner,” NSA head coach Lew Johnston said. “He sat behind his blockers Friday on both the long touchdowns,” something he said any good running back must be able to do.

Johnston remembered first seeing Peak run at a Wing-T camp he held at Amherst County High School during the summer of 2011. “I saw flashes of that speed, and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, this kid has got a future,’” he said.

He estimates Peak can run the 40-yard dash in 4.3 or 4.4 seconds.

But Peak ended up playing soccer instead of football in 2011.

He recalls first playing football in the sixth grade, when he joined a Pop Warner with some of his friends. He hurt his hip, however, and the pain lingered through his first season on the junior junior varsity team at NSA.

As a result, his parents decided he should play another sport, which led to him playing soccer in his eighth- and ninth-grade years.

“I liked it, but I didn’t like it as much as I did with football,” Peak said.

Though he did not land Peak as a freshman, Johnston said, “I stayed on him, kept recruiting him and talking to him and encouraging him to come out.”

Peak said, “He’s trying to so hard to get me to play, I’m going to play for him, obviously. I loved it from the get-go, because all those guys were already my friends and whatnot, and I liked being around them, so I loved playing football.”

His impact was immediate.

While Peak, a multi-sport athlete, loves football, he actually prefers lacrosse. He has benefited from the football knowledge that Johnston has imparted to him, but he credited the coach particularly with teaching him a lot about life.

“He’s just led me in the right way, and I know he’ll always be there for me,” Peak said.

Of Peak, Johnston said, “There’s none classier on the team, I love him to death. He just enjoys life, and it makes it fun to be around him.”

As Peak continues to put up highlight-reel plays, he says it’s his mother’s fight against cancer that motivates him on the field.

“I want to show her that I’m doing something.”