09/13/04 — Graduate glance

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Graduate glance

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 13, 2004 1:55 PM

ELIZABETH CITY -- A handful of Goldsboro High School graduates are taking advantage of a chance to shine at Elizabeth City State this season.

The Vikings (0-3), who operate out of the pro-set offense, have Cougar graduates Terrell Bunch (fullback), Cameron Bryant (right tackle) and Ronnie McClary (left guard) in the starting offense.

Bunch is a junior coming off of a neck injury last year, while Bryant and McClary are both listed as sophomores.

"He's (Bunch) coming off of a neck injury last year neck and doing a great job," said Elizabeth City State assistant and former Goldsboro coach Elvin James. "Cameron (Bryant) is one of the biggest surprises of the season."

Goldsboro's Jimmy Stevens (nose guard) has been out of football for three years and is also starting as a freshman. Stevens, listed at 6-foot-3, 290 pounds, was enrolled at a junior college in New York before joining the Vikings.

Freshman Stanley Bryant is getting a lot of playing time as a blocking tight end in Elizabeth City State's two-tight end sets.

"We see him as a big-time player over the next several years," James Said.

Fellow freshman Raphael McNair is getting some playing time at offensive tackle.

James believes the Vikings' struggles in the early going are mostly due to mental mistakes. Elizabeth City State's roster has just 13 seniors on an 88-man roster. The Vikes dropped their third straight to open the season on Saturday, falling to Fayetteville State 17-0 in the Down East Classic.

"We've got to eliminate the mental errors on our special teams especially," James said. "It's getting us in the hole. "We've got a lot of young kids playing for us. The mental mistakes we are trying to rectify."

Spring Creek graduate Ben Loch is no longer on the Viking roster.

Presley, Quintanilla solid for Catawba

SALISBURY -- Charles B. Aycock graduate Thomas Presley and North Duplin graduate Juan Quintanilla have had solid starts to the 2004 football season for Catawba College.

Presley turned in an interception and returned it 47 yards in the Indians 49-21 win over Fayetteville State on Aug. 28. Quintanilla has four total tackles (three solo, one assist) with one pass break-up in the first two games.

The Indians are 3-0 to start the season.

Lee making waves in Citadel backfield

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Montrell Lee, a freshman running back from Greene Central, has caught the eye of The Citadel coaches as the Bulldogs concluded 2004 preseason camp. Lee has become a big part of a veteran backfield that is deep with talent and upperclassmen.

"I knew coming into camp that our offensive strong point was our running game," stated John Zernhelt, The Citadel's 22nd head football coach. "And knowing that fact, Montrell has still made a big impact. I bet if you ask any coach out here who has made the most impact, they would say Montrell."

Lee, a native of Snow Hill, rushed for over 4,100 yards in three seasons at Greene Central -- 1,956 of which came during his senior year. As a senior, Lee scored 28 touchdowns and carried the ball only 255 times for an average of 7.7 yards per carry.

"Montrell is the kind of player every coach wants because he continues to impress you every day in camp," Zernhelt added. "He will add a lot to our stable of backs with his leg strength, quick feet and sudden burst up field."

Hurricane Frances delayed the Bulldogs' opener last Saturday against Charleston Southern. The Citadel now open on Saturday at Appalachian State.

The Citadel Sports Information