Cavs named top coach, player

Published 10:08 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2016

As Lakeland High School’s football team prepares for the semifinals of the 3A East VHSL playoffs, the school has picked up a couple of big honors in its conference.

Coach Kevin Knight has been named coach of the year, and senior running back Damontra Milteer has been named player of the year.

Six Lakeland players made the first-team All Conference, four were named to the second team, and two received honorable mentions.

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Lakeland is currently 6-5 and the third seed in the region as it prepares for the semifinals on Friday. “I’m happy for my team,” Cavaliers coach Kevin Knight said. “I’m proud of those guys. These guys have been working hard since January. Their hard work paid off for them. I wish more guys could have gotten acknowledged, but I’m proud of everyone.”

Milteer headlines the first-team offense. He has 1,862 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns through 11 games, breaking Lakeland’s career rushing record. His big season also earned him Conference Player of The Year honors.

“It felt amazing to leave a mark at my school,” Milteer said. “My teammates also made it special for me. I couldn’t have done it without them. They pushed me to get better every week.”

“He’s one of the humblest kids I’ve ever been around,” Knight said of his running back. “He won’t say much, but he’s always thankful for his offensive line and sets a good example for our young guys to follow.”

Two more seniors were selected to the first-team offense: Chase Bell and Garrett Whitley. All-purpose threat Alajuwun Langston received second-team honors, along with senior offensive lineman Riley Richardson. Sophomore quarterback Tyquan Holloman wrapped up the second-team offense for the Cavs.

“This feels awesome,” Whitley said. “Many of my brothers, including myself, have been working hard nonstop since the Poquoson loss last year. It gave us the motivation to work hard during the offseason, which paid off this year.”

Sophomores Jayree Hardy and Tyriq Rawlings were selected to the first-team defense. Junior Deandre Faulk was the third player to make the first-team defense for the Cavs. Kory Lawerence was named to the second team. Honorable mentions were awarded to senior Demetrius McKinney and sophomore Ricardo Ray.

After going 3-9 last year, Knight and his coaching staff  have helped bring the team three more wins so far this season. The improvement in his team helped earn Knight the voted Conference 27 Coach of The Year honor.

He credits his players and coaching staff for putting him in position to receive the award.

Knight has deep ties to Lakeland, as he grew up in the community and is also a graduate of LHS and played football there.

“Coach Knight is really great to play for,” Milteer said. “He keeps us hype and gives us a reason every week to go out and fight and win.”