Bulldogs net two state-level honors

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The King’s Fork High School football team’s 2014 campaign was, in a variety of ways, the best in the history of the school, so it was fitting that it garnered some more all-state honors that have historically been scarce for the Bulldogs.

Junior Deshaun Wethington became the second player in school history to make the all-state first team, one of only three running backs selected across the state at the Group 4A level.

“There were six guys up there that were all well-deserving of first team, but only three get picked,” Bulldogs coach Joe Jones said.

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When Wethington learned he made the first team, he said, “I was in shock. It was real shocking, but it was a real good feeling, being that I — like I’ve said before — didn’t finish the season and still was able to achieve something so big.”

Wethington, or “Debo” as he is known to his coach and teammates, played in 11 of 13 games for King’s Fork this season, but was held out of the first round playoff game and the regional semifinal due to a hamstring injury. He also missed all but the very beginning of the regular season finale against Western Branch High School.

Despite the missed time and games in which he was able to rest early because of King’s Fork’s strong roster, he finished the year with 170 carries for 1,560 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 9.2 yards per carry.

The state at the 4A level is divided into two regions: 4A South and 4A North. Each region produced three running back candidates for the all-state first team, and the North ended up with more representatives at the position.

“Debo was the only one from 4A South, and it was really close voting, and some guys had great years, lots of yards, but I think the fact that he had over 1,500 yards, second year in a row, he had over 1,900 last year, has over 4,100 in his career, I think that had something to do with it,” Jones said.

Region 4A South produced the 4A state champion, Lake Taylor High School, so when Wethington learned he was the only 4A South running back to make the first team, he said, “I’m in shock again.”

Last year, kicker Austin Wall was the first Bulldog ever to make the all-state first team, which he did last year, thanks in large part to his field goal that gave his team a landmark playoff win over No. 1 Phoebus High School.

Making the all-state second team this year as a kick returner was King’s Fork senior TyQuan Weston.

“Ty was very deserving of that,” Jones said, noting Weston finished with nine kickoff returns, including one against Lake Taylor in the regional semifinal.

Weston said he had been thinking about earning an all-state honor since last year.

“It means a lot,” he said of receiving one. “I worked hard at it during the offseason, so I was looking to make it, hopefully, and I did.”

He returned two kickoffs for touchdowns this season, including one for 99 yards against perennial Group 6A state title contender Oscar Smith High School.