ELIZABETHTOWN — The football pipeline between East Bladen High and Louisburg College started by Farrell and Larrell Murchison a few years ago is being continued with a trio of Eagles.
On Monday, Xavia McDowell, Lahkeyd Lesane and Davonta McIver — surrounded by family and friends — each committed to play for the Hurricanes this fall.
“I think this will be a good fit for all three of them,” said East Bladen football coach Robby Priest. “It’s an advantage to go together like that, and I hope they will push each other on and off the field.”
Louisburg College plays out of Div. I of the National Junior College Athletic Association. This past season, the Hurricanes went 7-0 in the regular season and outscored their opponents by a 347-97 margin.
McDowell, Lesane and McIver are all being looked at for the Canes’ defensive line, but Lesane is also a candidate for the offensive line. The trio combined for more than 110 tackles and 4.5 sacks for the Eagles in their senior season. In addition, McDowell was the lead blocker for East Bladen running back Xavier Wooten, who rushed for nearly 1,900 yards and 29 touchdowns; McDowell also rushed for 464 yards and four touchdowns from his fullback spot.
“You never know what hard work can bring you; and you never know what young kids will become,” said East Bladen principal Jason Wray. “But these three young men are blessed football players.”
The trio, who helped lead the Eagles to a Three Rivers Conference co-championship and 12-2 overall record in 2017, echoed each others’ words, saying it would take “a lot of hard work” to realize success at Louisburg College. They also said they were used to that with Priest’s program.
Lesane said he’s looking forward to getting to Louisburg.
“I can’t wait to experience the college atmosphere,” he said.
McDowell, who said he plans to major in sports medicine/management/training, added that he’s looking forward to getting a good education in addition to playing football.
“I plan to work hard to get playing time and to do well in the classroom,” he said.
McIver, who hasbn’t yet decided on a major, said he’s looking forward to being able to crack the Hurricanes’ lineup.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out there (on the field),” he said.
Priest said the Louisburg College pipeline will be good for all three of his players.
“It worked out well for Larrell and Farrell …” he added. “And I trust Coach (Trevor) Highfield and his staff.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.