Bulldogs well-represented in regional honors

Published 9:34 pm Friday, December 12, 2014

King's Fork High School junior Deshaun Wethington was selected to the first team as a running back. (Danny Haymond photo)

King’s Fork High School junior Deshaun Wethington was selected to the first team as a running back. (Danny Haymond photo)

The King’s Fork High School football team advanced to the Region 4A South semifinal game for the second consecutive year, which is helping it develop a reputation with the top coaches from the region’s four conferences who vote on all-region selections.

King's Fork High School senior TyQuan Weston was named to the all-region first team as a kick returner. (Danny Haymond photo)

King’s Fork High School senior TyQuan Weston was named to the all-region first team as a kick returner. (Danny Haymond photo)

The Bulldogs had two first team honorees and five second team honorees this year after producing King’s Fork’s first ever 10-win football season.

A school-best 8-2 regular season helped pave the way for the Bulldogs’ high postseason seeding, No. 4, and consequently their inaugural home playoff games.

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King’s Fork’s primary offensive weapon in its 2014 campaign was junior feature back Deshaun Wethington, who was named to the all-region first team as a running back.

“He was a unanimous pick as one of the three first team running backs this year, which I was happy to see because I kind of felt like he deserved to be there last year,” Bulldogs coach Joe Jones said.

Wethington played in all three playoff games last year, with impressive numbers in each outing, but only made second team then.

This year, he received the first team honor despite being held out of two of the three games due to a hamstring injury.

“I think reputation helps,” Jones said.

The other coaches in the region were aware of him, and Jones said he emphasized that Wethington has been impressive since his freshman year, having complied over 4,100 rushing yards and averaged about 8.6 yards per carry over the last three years.

Wethington said the first team honor meant a lot, particularly as he was not able to finish the season.

“It just shows how much coaches see what I’m doing and how much my team helped me to get first team,” he said, citing his offensive line and the slotbacks.

Wethington finished the year with 170 carries for 1,560 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Making the all-region first team along with Wethington was senior TyQuan Weston, as a kick returner.

“He returned eight kickoffs this year, and two of them were for touchdowns and one of them was against Oscar Smith (High School),” Jones said.

Scoring against the Tigers, one of the best teams in the state at the Group 6A level, commanded respect. That return was for 99 yards.

“He’s a threat every time he touches the ball on kickoff returns to score,” Jones said.

That fact was also a reason he did not have many kickoff returns overall, as teams did not want to kick to him. The other reason was that the Bulldogs received fewer kickoffs this year as they were better on defense, an effort Weston contributed to as a defensive back.

Weston said he had his mind set on making the all-region first team this season.

“It means a lot,” he said of receiving the honor. “It’s something I always wanted to accomplish.”

He accumulated 318 yards in his kickoff returns, including 85 for a score against Nansemond River High School.

“He’s a got a 50/50 chance of making first team all-state, too,” Jones said.

Making the all-region first team makes players eligible for state-level honors. Jones believes Wethington also has a good shot at making the all-state first team.

Making the all-region second team for King’s Fork were senior center Steffen Bruce, senior defensive backs Kane Miskel and Weston, senior defensive lineman George Reid and junior defensive end Josh Bush.

Jones said they were “all very deserving of that honor.”

“Being first or second team all-region is an honor in itself and just a testament for a good season and productive season those guys had,” he said.

Jones noted the Bulldog defense gave up about eight points less per game this year compared to last year, and this likely contributed to all the defensive selections.

He also highlighted his staff’s role in developing these players.

“I’m grateful to have the coaching staff we have, with Dave Waddell as the defensive coordinator, Shaka Miller as the offensive coordinator, Richard Froemel as the special teams coordinator,” Jones said.