Westray lands in Louisburg

Published 10:41 pm Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jay Westray II was scouted by Louisburg College during his time playing football for Nansemond River High School. After playing with East Coast Prep, a one-semester post graduate program in Massachusetts, he ultimately chose Louisburg.

“It’s a blessing,” he said. “Everybody doesn’t get the opportunity to keep playing,” and he expressed his thanks to God for everything He has given him.

Playing football at the next level had been a goal of Westray’s since he was in fifth grade. He started playing football when he was 7, first in Churchland, and then for a couple years with the Bennetts Creek Warriors.

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He played three years at Nansemond River and then was supposed to be headed for Hargrave Military Academy to play in its football post-graduate program, “but Hargrave’s program got discontinued,” he said.

Hargrave’s football coach, Troy Davis, a player on the 1986 Pennsylvania State University national championship team, moved on to East Coast Prep and took Westray and 22 other recruits with him.

“Those players that he recruited, we led the team,” Westray said. “I’m proud to say that.”

The Firebirds ended up going 8-4, and Westray gave much credit to Davis for helping and encouraging him over the last six months.

“He’s always praying for me and everything,” Westray said.

Westray had multiple reasons for wanting to go away to prep school.

“I had been on my own before, so I felt like I needed to get away from home once again, and I felt like I had to get my grades up,” he said, and he also wanted to work on his craft. “I just wanted to be the best football player I could be.”

He said it was important to get outside of Virginia to showcase his skills.

Now, he is at Louisburg College in North Carolina on an academic scholarship with the chance to continue playing football.

His father, Jay Westray I, was excited for him to continue playing while also pursuing his academics. He was not at all the one who engineered his son’s situation, however. Having played football when he was in high school, Westray I knew well how rough it could be.

“I tried to introduce my kids to every other sport,” Westray I said. “So, with him, I really introduced him to basketball, other sports, but it was something about football that he genuinely loved. So I couldn’t get him away from football.”

It does not mean Dad has not been OK with his son’s choice, though.

“It’s something that he wanted to do, and I support him in it 100 percent,” he said.

Westray II, an experienced offensive lineman, shared his personal goals for his first season playing at the junior college level.

“This year, I plan on making some sort of all-conference notoriety, and I want to get a bowl ring,” he said, referring to the prize for players on teams that win a bowl game.