08/29/13 — Family tradition: Avent III sees playing time against Southern Wayne

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Family tradition: Avent III sees playing time against Southern Wayne

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 29, 2013 1:49 PM

It was only a handful of plays in a game that was well beyond decided.

Still, James Kenan head coach Ken Avent Jr. swelled with pride when he sent his freshman backup quarterback -- Ken Avent III -- into the game against Southern Wayne on Friday night.

Avent III played two additional series and officially ushered in the third generation of the Avent family on the Duplin County football scene.

"It's exciting to see him get out there and get a few snaps with the varsity," Ken Avent Jr. said "He's just a freshman so he will be on the JV team primarily, but he is our backup right now on the varsity because the guy we thought was going to be the backup transfered right before the season."

Avent III is following in the footsteps of two well-respected football minds.

Ken Sr. is a coaching legend at North Duplin in Calypso who not only won games, but helped change the landscape of prep sports in eastern North Carolina through his prominent role with the N.C. High School Athletic Association.

Ken Jr. grew up on the sidelines, became a very good player and eventually moved into coaching just like his father. Needless to say, with three football-crazed guys around, conversation at family dinners almost always turns to the gridiron.

The Avents are preparing for archrival Wallace-Rose Hill this week. When the Tigers and Bulldogs get together the stadium fills up, college scouts take notice and the intensity amps up a notch.

"It's going to be a good test for us like always," Avent Jr. said. "It won't mean as much in the standings as it has in the past when we were usually playing for the (Tri-County 1-A) conference championship, but the fans will still be out in force and it will present our team with a good measuring stick for where we are at this point in the season."

James Kenan won last year's meeting 21-20 in a thriller that came down to the final play.

"(Wallace-Rose Hill) will expose any weakness that we have for sure," Avent Jr. said. "I think by the end of the season both teams will be better than we are now. Who knows, we might even meet in the playoffs somewhere down the road."