Warriors place six on all-state teams
Published 8:55 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Nansemond River High School’s football team had six players make the Class 5 All-State teams.
The Warriors had one of their best seasons as a program in the fall of 2017. They finished with a 9-5 record, a Class 5 Region A title and a state tournament berth, all of which are school records.
Their season took an interesting turn. After losing three games in a row in the middle of the season, the Warriors quickly picked back up momentum to secure a first-round home playoff game. They decided to switch their whole offensive approach right before the playoffs, and it led to a memorable postseason run.
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Nansemond River entered region play as the No. 4 seed and ran the table to become one of the final four in the state. Their appearance in the state semifinal was the farthest a Suffolk football team had gone in the Virginia High School League playoffs.
Because of all the success the Warriors had throughout the season, it was only right that individual accolades followed.
The Warriors had three players make first team all-state — Gerard Stringer, Evan Lomax and Rashaad Williams. Stringer was a first-team linebacker, while Lomax was a first-team kicker and punter and Williams the first-team return specialist.
Stringer and Lomax each completed the first-team trifecta for their senior seasons. Both were first team all-district, all-region and all-state selections. Stringer was even the 5A Region Defensive Player of the Year. Williams, who is a junior, completed the trifecta as well. He was voted a first team punt/kick returner on every level. Both seniors will be moving on to NCAA Division-I programs. Lomax will play for Hampton University, and Stringer will attend East Carolina University.
Quijon Gordon and Josiah Autrey were voted second team all-state defense, Gordon at defensive back and Autrey at defensive line. Kevin Johnson was selected as a second-team running back. Johnson was a first team all-region selection at running back and was a second team all-district utility player. All three second team all-state members plan to return for the Warriors next season.
Nansemond River led Suffolk Public Schools with the most all-state selections. King’s Fork High School had two selections, and Lakeland High School had one. Each Suffolk public high school had at least one player on an all-state team, which speaks to how much talent there is as a whole in the area.