Dreams come true for ColumbusPublished 7:28pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Jaquez Columbus began his high school football career with plenty of dreams, and so far they all seem to be turning into reality.
Shortly after the Pam Pack senior middle linebacker agreed to play football for Chowan next season he was informed that he was selected to play in the East-West All-Star football game on Wednesday, July 24 at 8 p.m. inside A.J. Simeon Stadium in High Point.
With the selection, Columbus joins running back Travis Daniels as the only other Washington player to participate in the East-West game during coach Sport Sawyer’s tenure as Pam Pack head coach.
“When I first started high school all I would dream about is East-West and college,” Columbus said. “It’s here now.”
And deservedly so, thanks to a dream senior season in which Columbus racked up school-record 146 tackles, while tallying seven sacks en route to being named a Washington Daily News All-Area first-team selection.
“Jaquez represents what we want in our program. He’s a guy that’s worked three years for us and did everything we asked of him in the offseason,” Washington defensive coordinator Jon Blank said. “He symbolizes what we want. He put in a lot of work to have a great senior year and he set records for our defense that have been standing for quite a while.”
Columbus’ success as senior tasted even sweater considering it came off the heels of a nightmare junior season in which he battled a torn meniscus.
“My junior year was the worst year I ever had,” Columbus said. “But I took it all in and kept it there and worked out, got my footwork better and got stronger and faster. It showed in the games on Friday nights.”
Sawyer said he was happy to see Columbus reap the rewards from his hard work.
“His junior year he was hampered by injury but he really exploded on the scene in his senior year,” Sawyer said. “It’s good seeing a player stick with it and fight through it.”
Columbus was chosen for the all-star game on the strength of the game film that was submitted to East head coach Randy Raper of Hunt High School.
“The coaches review hundreds of films, they review a ton of kids,” Blank said. “You have to be able to standout on film and have good stats for them to even consider you.”
The play of Columbus helped the Pam Pack have one of its finest seasons in years as Washington made it al the way to the third round of the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs for the first time since 1956.