2007 Class: Kempsville Fields Top Talents

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Head coach Jeff McGowan boasts at least four potential 1A prospects for the 2007 class, and it’s one of the reasons why he’s so excited about the 2006 season. Kempsville missed out on a playoff berth after losing a coin toss, but the players, led by these four excellent talents, don’t plan on leaving their playoff hopes to chance again.

“I’m telling you these kids are real excited,” McGowan said. “What happened at the end of the season with the coin flip and us not making the playoffs, they were pretty bummed out about it but we have a lot of kids coming back and this is going to be my first full cycle with these kids. They know what I expect and I’m excited to see what they do.”

Kempsville will be led by wide receiver Lester Bell. Smith, a 6-2, 195-pound wide receiver, has really developed over the course of his high school career and could have a breakout year statistically next season.

“Definitely Jay Smith just stepped his game up,” McGowan said. “He’s a big time receiver for us and usually we don’t throw the ball a whole lot. We had a young man by the name of Tajh Taylor come in and throw for about 1,000 yards. Him and Jay created some really good chemistry and Jay was pretty much his go-to guy.”

Smith only plays on offense for now, but he brings a physical and athletic brand of football to the wide receiver position.

“He’s physical,” McGowan said. “You see him downfield blocking and he doesn’t take any plays off. On his highlight tape, you’ll see Simmons break a 80-yard run and Jay’s down there with him and putting db’s on their back. He has good speed too. He runs a 4.51. He really enjoys when people come up to the line and try to press him, because there aren’t a whole lot of dbs that are going to be able to do that.

“Jay’s always started for us. He started as a freshman. He’s still just a young kid. He’s only 16. He’s just kept getting bigger and we got him out there running track and that’s really helped his speed. Now he’s getting offers.”

Work ethich and working with a former Virginia Beach standout have helped Smith’s game.

“As far as coming off the line, he’s quick off the line,” McGowan said of Smith. “He runs great routes. C.J. Fayton from the University of Tennessee would come up here every summer and work with Jay on