Fall Players of the Year announced
Published 8:19 pm Saturday, December 28, 2013
The cream of the crop always distinguishes itself.
The Suffolk News-Herald staff considered a field of Suffolk’s finest athletes in the fall of 2013 and named Deshaun Wethington and Kaylor Nash as the male and female Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Fall Players of the Year.
The two were honored and awarded plaques during a presentation on Monday at Duke Automotive.
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Lydia Duke, the president of Duke Automotive, originally trained to be a teacher and therefore is always interested in how young people are doing. She was pleased to have her company sponsor the award.
“It’s just a natural for us to help with education and children,” she said.
Eley Duke, vice president of Duke Automotive, liked the idea of sponsoring the Player of the Week poll and a seasonal Player of the Year honor because it puts the spotlight on local athletes.
“This way the whole community can recognize them,” he said.
Suffolk News-Herald Editor Res Spears stated, “It has been a lot of fun this year to watch the Player of the Week vote totals rise each week and to see the rivalries between Suffolk schools played out on our website.”
Spears was especially pleased with the winners of the paper’s first Fall Player of the Year awards.
“Both Kaylor and Deshaun strike me as fine young people, as well as great athletes,” he stated. “We’ll be looking forward to hearing more about them as their careers progress.”
Wethington, the King’s Fork High School football team’s feature back, had been nominated for Player of the Week seven times, though he never won. He was excited to be recognized on Monday.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It means that people still see what I’m doing on the field.”
Wethington had an astonishing season for players of any age, but particularly for someone who is only a sophomore. He ran for 1,977 yards and 20 touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass and threw for one, as well.
He cited his goals coming into the season: “I wanted to at least get 1,000 yards. I almost did that times two, so I exceeded my expectations.”
He was the primary offensive contributor to the team’s historic playoff run, which ended in the regional semifinals. Of the totals above, 457 rushing yards and five touchdowns came in the team’s three post-season games. In the final game alone, he racked up 201 yards and a score while battling turf toe, bad ankles and a groin injury that had lingered for half the season.
His family was on hand for Monday’s presentation, including his mother, Angela Wethington.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I’m a proud parent.”
The younger Wethington said his goal for next year is to run for “at least 2,000 yards.”
Kaylor Nash has indelibly linked her name to a series of “firsts” due to her play on the volleyball court for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.
She had a stellar junior season in 2012, but managed to top it in most statistical categories this year, becoming the first player in school history to produce at least 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career.
In November, she led her team to win the state championship, the first in school history for the girls’ volleyball program.
She was named first team all-state, Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools Player of the Year and TCIS Tournament Most Valuable Player.
She racked up 478 kills, 450 digs, 130 aces and 24 blocks en route to becoming the first female Fall Player of the Year.
“It was pretty awesome getting this award, especially it being a new award,” she said.
Her parents accompanied her on Monday.
“Obviously, we’re very proud of her accomplishments in volleyball, but we’re equally proud of her accomplishments academically, as well,” said her mother, Gloria Nash.
Nash will look to build on both areas of achievement next fall at Radford University, where she received and accepted an offer to play and attend.