Wethington, Marshall get regional acclaim
Published 12:53 pm Thursday, December 31, 2015
The King’s Fork High School football team gained recognition five different times when the 2015 All-4A East Region selections were announced. The Bulldog honorees were led by seniors Deshaun Wethington and Cullen Marshall.
Wethington made the all-region first team as both a running back and an offensive utility player, while Marshall made the first team as a defensive lineman and received honorable mention as an offensive lineman.
Senior Notorious Brown made the second team as a linebacker.
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In reaction to making the all-region first team, Wethington said it was a “great feeling, great honor. Just glad to be recognized once again for the second year in a row.”
Prior to his first team all-region honors as an upperclassman, he made the second team as a sophomore.
When he learned of Wethington’s selection this year, King’s Fork coach Joe Jones said he was excited for him.
“Very well-deserving,” Jones said of his top running back. “He’s proven himself each of the last three seasons.”
In 2015, Wethington ran for 1,716 yards and 25 touchdowns; in 2014, he ran for 1,560 yards and 21 touchdowns; and in 2013, he ran for 1,977 yards and 20 touchdowns.
As for why he thought coaches in the region voted him to the 2015 first team, Wethington said, “I proved that I could run the rock, and I guess they recognized that.”
He proved it when it was especially important, too — during the regional playoffs.
Though the Bulldogs entered the postseason on a four-game losing streak, he helped them return to form in the first round, running for 250 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-36 home win over Smithfield High School.
As King’s Fork faced No.1-seeded, undefeated and defending Group 4A state champion Lake Taylor High School in the regional quarterfinals, Wethington ran for 83 yards and two scores, helping his team maintain the lead for the majority of the game. The Titans edged the Bulldogs 52-39 with a fourth-quarter rally.
Wethington was a four-year starter who finished his high school career having rushed for 5,922 yards and 73 touchdowns. His regular-season career total of a little under 5,000 rushing yards puts him behind only Salem High School’s Kevin Whaley on the all-time list for South Hampton Roads.
Putting Wethington in the running for the offensive utility player honor, Wethington served, at times, as a quarterback for the Bulldogs, even once completing a 29-yard pass. He also had four catches for 37 yards as a receiver.
Cullen Marshall’s first-team honor was the first regional recognition of his high school career.
“A whole lot of hard work paid off,” Marshall said. “I’m proud of myself but also proud of my team,” because they helped him get to this point.
As a key force on King’s Fork’s defensive line, Marshall finished the season with 57 total tackles, including 13 tackles for loss and three sacks. He also forced three fumbles, recovered two and had one pass breakup.
“I was excited for Cullen,” Jones said of his reaction to Marshall’s first-team honor. “Cullen had a really good year. He’s worked hard to get himself prepared for this year. I’m proud of him.”
As an offensive lineman, Marshall helped facilitate the Bulldogs’ powerful run game, which generated 2,530 yards and 37 touchdowns during the 2015 season, averaging 210.8 yards per game.
Notorious Brown recorded 97 tackles for the year, including eight tackles for loss and two sacks, and he forced two fumbles.