11/06/09 — Opinion -- Small, effective players enjoy good seasons

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Opinion -- Small, effective players enjoy good seasons

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 6, 2009 1:49 PM

When measured in size, four area high school football players don't come close to striking fear in the hearts of opponents.

Measure those same four athletes in determination and sheer will to succeed and they're suddenly gridiron giants. Small in stature but big on effort, these four young men compromise my inaugural All-Area Little Man Team:

David Gurganus, QB, Princeton: The transfer quarterback has found a home in the Bulldogs' spread offense. At 5-foot-7 and 158 pounds, Gurganus is the state's second-leading passer with nearly 3,000 yards and 28 touchdown passes in 10 games.

The senior has tossed three or more touchdown passes on five occasions, and thrown for over 300 yards in four outings.

Lamar Best, RB, Eastern Wayne: Arguably no player in the area means more to his respective team than Best. The 5-foot-5 sparkplug has lined up at tailback, quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back for the Warriors this season.

Best has compiled over 700 yards of offense this season and six touchdowns, while rarely coming off the field. His combination of speed and ankle-breaking moves in the open field make him a nightmare for defenders.

Javonni Robinson, RB, Southern Wayne: Listed at 5-foot-3 and 136 pounds, Robinson runs with elusive speed and has shown a willingness to run through tacklers.

Robinson has rushed for over 500 yards this season to go with five touchdowns. The senior racked up 148 yards and a score in helping Southern Wayne knock off North Lenoir for its first win of the year. He added 129 yards and TD in a victory at Eastern Wayne.

Corteiz Sprangle, QB, Goldsboro: The Cougars' five consecutive wins are directly linked to Sprangle's maturation as a quarterback. The first-year varsity starter hasn't thrown an interception since mid-September and has recorded five touchdown passes in his last five games.

Sprangle (5-foot-7) was picked off five times in Goldsboro's first four games, while a normally sound running game struggled. Since then, the Cougars' ground attack has found its legs and their junior quarterback continues to grow in confidence.