Wethington earns online honor

Published 12:35 am Sunday, February 2, 2014

Phenom: The play of King's Fork High School's Deshaun Wethington during his sophomore year earned him a fresh accolade to start 2014. (File photo)

Phenom: The play of King’s Fork High School’s Deshaun Wethington during his sophomore year earned him a fresh accolade to start 2014. (File photo)

King’s Fork High School’s Deshaun Wethington recently gained further recognition for A sensational sophomore football season as a selection to an unusual multi-state pool of talented players.

DigitalScout.com is a prominent website offering services to track high school and amateur sports statistics. One of its offerings that King’s Fork used this year was the High School Game Center for weekly box scores.

To honor the extensive following its football software had this year, including 1,000 users across the nation, Digital Scout created an award list to highlight the standout players on participating teams.

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Wethington was named an HSGC All-Northeast First Team running back out of a field of 14 states.

“I was excited I got recognized,” he said, after being surprised about the honor, which he learned about over morning announcements one day at school.

Since Neal Waddell was the one to tally stats for the Bulldogs, team head coach Joe Jones was initially unfamiliar with HSGameCenter.com when he learned of Wethington’s award. But then he saw it was affiliated with Digital Scout and began visiting the website, he noticed the high caliber of the other players who were selected.

“I felt it was a good honor for him and deserved honor,” Jones said. “It’s nice when he or any of the Suffolk high school guys get some notoriety for their accomplishments.”

In 13 games, Wethington ran for 1,977 yards and 20 touchdowns. As the Bulldogs’ primary offensive weapon, he led his team to a 9-4 record and an unprecedented playoff run for the school, which reached the regional semifinals, just four wins shy of a state title.

In an email to Coach Jones, Digital Scout content editor Cameron Mellor offered his congratulations during this first year of All-Northeast HSGC awards.

“Having a player selected on the inaugural list is a great testament to your program, your coaches, yourself and the player as the criteria used to grade players was very elaborate and extensive,” he stated.

Aside from Wethington’s team using Digital Scout’s HSGameCenter program this year, the grading criteria included yards gained and touchdowns scored, the team’s winning percentage, the percentage of team total offense and more, according to the HSGameCenter website.

The award was particularly meaningful for Wethington, since he had failed to receive all-state recognition within the Virginia High School League. He made the all-region second team and all-conference first team.

“He has some God-given talent,” Coach Jones said. He praised his whole offensive unit for being able to create gaps, and then cited Wethington’s skill at finding and exploiting those gaps as a running back. “That’s what separates the good ones from the great ones is that they have great vision.”

Jones also highlighted his star sophomore’s rate of acceleration.

“He’s at full speed in two steps,” he said. “Not a lot of running backs have that ability to be at full speed that quick, but he does.”

He also complimented Wethington’s ability to mix things up, gaining yards by running inside and outside.

When asked why he has been able to accomplish so much at a young age, Wethington said he does not really focus on age, because in his Pop Warner days, “I always played a league up.”

“I’ve been playing with people that are older than me, so I’m already used to this,” he said.