Eastern Wayne’s Desmond Vaughn

Eastern Wayne’s Desmond Vaughn (1) evades a tackle by a Goldsboro player from a game last season.

One of Wayne County’s upcoming players, who has yet to take a senior year snap, is already garnering postseason invites.

Eastern Wayne High School quarterback Desmond Vaughn has been invited to play in the Hawaii Tiki Bowl in Honolulu in January.

“I was in fourth period, and I got a text, and it asked my name, and I told them Desmond, and 10 minutes later they told me I got invited to the all-star game in Hawaii,” Vaughn said. “At first, I thought it had to be fake, but I clicked on the link, and I saw it was real.

“It looks like fun. I’ve never been to Hawaii before.”

Vaughn threw for 2,269 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first season as a starting quarterback. He led Eastern Wayne to an appearance in the 3-A State Playoffs.

Going into his senior season, Vaughn said he wants to improve his accuracy and his passer rating.

With a full season of football under his belt, Vaughn said he has grown a lot and is ready to lead the Warriors.

“I think I played OK last year, but I could’ve played a lot better,” Vaughn said. “At the start of the season I wasn’t comfortable, and I was scared because I was just coming up from JV, but it got easier, I want to put more trophies in the case and win a state championship, and I want to have a winning record.”

The Hawaii Tiki Bowl is open to high school seniors from across the county.

Tiki Bowl’s recruiting staff selects players. The staff invited athletes whom they feel have a chance to play college football.

Many college coaches and recruiters attend the event, and it costs $3,000 for round trip airfare, hotel, transportation and food. Vaughn said he would start a GoFundMe page to raise money for the trip.

“I’m going to do as much as I can to get there,” Vaughn said. “Football means a lot to me. I just love it.”

Vaughn is set on playing football in college, but he is undecided where. The bowl game will allow Vaughn to play in front of recruiters and also explore Hawaii.