James, North impress in opener
By Brian Pitts
North Davie’s football team smothered visiting Starmount 20-0 on Feb. 25, and the ringleaders were Coy James and Landon King.
King and James both had a rushing touchdown, and James threw a TD to King as the Wildcats rolled in the opening acts of a four-game season.
James, an eighth grader, is the real deal at quarterback/safety. He’s a mind-blowing talent in baseball. He’s one of those rare talents who can basically do everything on the diamond or gridiron.
He put up 100 rushing/passing yards and made an interception on defense.
“Coy is an amazing football player,” coach Timmy Allen said. “He’s the best player I’ve ever been around at that age. He’s around 6-feet, 170 pounds. His football IQ is so high and he’ll lay the boom on offense and defense. (On defense) we call him our Eraser. He’s all over the field. When he finishes a run, he punishes people that try to tackle him.”
And then: “At quarterback, he can sling it. I have to tell him to take some off sometimes because he’s throwing missiles at our guys running little slants and drag routes and they’re taking them off the chest. He makes coaching a lot easier.”
King, whose TD scamper was 82 yards, is legit at running back.
“Man, he’s good,” Allen said. “When he scored on that 82-yard run, he ran through a face mask, broke two tackles and housed it down the sideline. It was beautiful.”
A lot more than two players helped produce a marvelous performance. Linebacker Ryley Shermer, the younger brother of Mason Shermer of Davie’s varsity, and linebacker/receiver Carson Queen are not slouches.
“Ryley is a good player,” he said. “Carson was a bright spot. He didn’t play football last year. He played real tough. He’s another linebacker I’ve been looking for. He’s a good athlete. He’s a really good receiver. The high school is going to get some ballers.”
That North faced an imposing running back made the shutout all the more impressive.
“Starmount is a big, physical team,” he said. “They have a bruiser running back. He came downhill a bunch, and Coy and those boys met him in the hole.”
• Allen has surrounded himself with tremendous assistant coaches. Tyree Massey is back with the running backs for the fifth year. Drew Kakouras and Michael Hunter are former War Eagles who are new on the staff.
Massey, who is from Bunnlevel, was a 5-11, 240-pound running back with 4.7 speed at Winston-Salem State in 2014-15. As a senior, he pounded out 867 yards, averaged 4.6 per carry and scored eight TDs.
“Tyree was a stud at Winston-Salem State,” Allen said. “He’s as good as gold.”
Kakouras was a tight end for Davie during the Doug Illing coaching era. Hunter was a football/wrestling athlete who helped Davie win state championships on the mat.
“I’m lucky. I’m blessed with coaches,” Allen said. “Drew is sharp. He knows his Xs and Os. He’s teaching me so much, so it’s a blessing to have Drew.”
• This is Allen’s second year in his second stint as head coach. This is his fourth year overall at the helm. He guided North to a 5-2 record in 2019.