Dickens signs with Livingstone
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 9, 2010 1:46 PM
After enduring a 1-10 senior season at Eastern Wayne, football standout Azaveous Dickens didn't shy away from a college program that was no stranger to losing.
He embraced it.
Instead of accepting offers from The Citadel or other more established programs, the former Warriors' linebacker is continuing his football career at Division II Livingstone College.
"Campbell, ECU, Elizabeth City State, Livingstone and some other schools came and talked to me after the season," said Dickens. "Livingstone actually offered me a scholarship on the first day. I went and visited the school, and the people were nice and they greeted me with respect. I fell in love with the campus."
The Blue Bears finished the 2009 season 0-10 and have won just three games since 2007. Those numbers didn't push Dickens away. They made him hungry to help start something new at Livingstone.
"I kind of felt when I got on the campus at Livingstone that the school was hungry for football wins, "said Dickens. "I know what that feels like as a senior to go 1-10. I felt the pain that I know they had as a senior. It made me a better player and a better person."
Former Goldsboro High School head coach Elvin James was named Livingstone's 33rd head coach in December. Dickens' father Dereck played for James at Goldsboro.
"It kind of connected me and a lot of people that played for coach James I kind of grew up under," said Dickens. "They said he was a good coach. He works you hard, but he's a very good coach."
Dickens began his high school career as a running back and corner back on the junior varsity squad before moving to the varsity team during his sophomore year. He switched to outside and middle linebacker for his junior and senior seasons, and expects to play strong safety and cornerback for the Blue Bears.
"I fell in love with the weight room my first year and I stayed with it," said Dickens. "I motivated myself that I was going to be the best I could be and be a captain for my teammates. My last year really helped me to see that even though my team went 1-10 that we always stayed together and we never gave up on each other.
"That motivated me to stay strong when I got to college and play ball."
Dickens earned All-Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference honors and was a second-team, News-Argus All-Area selection in 2009. He finished the year with 98 tackles.
"He has a great work ethic and determination," said Eastern Wayne head coach Guy Williams. "We went through a lot of struggles this year. But, he kept coming back every day and working hard and the commitment level that he had. Those are the things that are going to play in heavy to where he's going and what he needs to do."