CAPITOL HEIGHTS – High school football players throughout Prince George’s County had their talents recognized at a banquet on May 19. Last Thursday, nearly 100 people packed Dave and Buster’s in Capitol Heights for the inaugural Elite 22 Class of 2018, an event that honored rising senior high school players. The Prince George’s County Football […]
CAPITOL HEIGHTS – High school football players throughout Prince George’s County had their talents recognized at a banquet on May 19.
Last Thursday, nearly 100 people packed Dave and Buster’s in Capitol Heights for the inaugural Elite 22 Class of 2018, an event that honored rising senior high school players.
The Prince George’s County Football Association, who voted for the county’s top 22 offensive and defensive players, launched the event as a way to highlight high school football talent within the county. However, the idea for the event came from an unlikely source.
“We went to the Baltimore Touchdown Club and we really liked how they honored their kids,” said Suitland High School Football Coach Ed Shields. “We thought we should do something similar in (Prince George’s).”
Shields has coached in the county since 1988 and has seen many talented players go off and have successful college and professional careers. Now, he and his colleagues want to use the Elite 22 not only to praise the talent among the high school football players, but to also increase exposure from college coaches.
The event drew college coaches from around the state, including keynote speaker and Towson University Head Coach Rob Ambrose.
“We sit in this room to celebrate you, for all the things you have done on and off the field,” Ambrose said.
Jamree Kromah received an award from the coaches association and reflected on his 2017-18 season with mixed feelings. The 6-foot-2 Charles H. Flowers defensive lineman missed the first four games of the season, but came back and finished the season strong. Kromah and the Jaguars’ defense shut out Parkdale, Laurel and Eleanor Roosevelt to end the season.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Kromah said. “I’m not just a defensive lineman. I kind of like a DB (defensive back).”
Several colleges are recruiting Kromah and he has narrowed down his choices to Rutgers, Navy and Army. He plans on making his final decision at the end of this summer.
DuVal defensive tackle Davon Hill also took home hardware on Thursday. He talked about his maturation process as a student-athlete last season.
“My highlight of the year on the field was just stepping up, getting sacks and getting tackles for my team and just becoming a better player,” Hill said. “In school, I became someone I had never been before by picking up my grades and just becoming a better student.”
Hill said his attention to detail has brought on interest from James Madison University, Kent State University and Campbell University.
DuVal running back David Dupree said the team’s new coach and offensive system energized the offense, which helped earn him his Elite 22 status. The 5-foot-10 running back torched opposing defenses as he scored 15 total touchdowns and combined for nearly 1,700 rushing and receiving yards last season. Next year, he’s setting his sights even higher.
“I’m good at blocking and catching, but I want to work more on those two things,” Dupree said. “I want to get 2,000 yards next year.”
Top colleges have noted Dupree’s talent, with the University of Maryland, the University of Pittsburgh and Michigan State University all showing interest.
“I like Michigan State. They talk to me a lot,” Dupree said.
Bowie offensive lineman Christian Hayes hopes to carry the momentum of winning his Elite 22 award into the 2017-2018 season.
“We feel like we’re going to be one of the top schools in PG next year,” Hayes said.
Hayes has received six offers from colleges, including Marshall University, Old Dominion University and Howard University.
The entire team included: Quarterback Dajuan Rollins (Oxon Hill), runningbacks John Oliver (Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr.) and Dupree, wide receivers Daniel George (Oxon Hill) and Raymond Boone (Eleanor Roosevelt), tight end Donte Anthony (Potomac), offensive linemen Noah Hayes (Oxon Hill), Jahbari Gray (Wise), Malik Bellamy (Wise), Dante Proctor (Frederick Douglass) and Hayes, defensive linemen Derrick Miller (Oxon Hill), Davon Hill (DuVal) and Kromah, linebackers William Luckey (Potomac), Chris Rhodes (Wise) and Jalund Johnson (Gwynn Park), and defensive backs Anthony Lytton (Wise), Demetri Morsell (Wise), Jonnie Pittman (Potomac) and Antonio Robinson (Potomac).