Broncos Blacknall, Travis win for Eastern side in All-Star game

Published 10:21 am Friday, July 19, 2013

Coach Darren Parker, left, JaVonte Blacknall with his parents, Joyce and John DeLotch at the All-Stars game in Hampton.

Coach Darren Parker, left, JaVonte Blacknall with his parents, Joyce and John DeLotch at the All-Stars game in Hampton.

HAMPTON—The high school football playing days of JaVonte Blacknall and Travis Brown are over, but they left it all on the field in the East versus West game in Hampton.

“They played at a high level, just like during the season,” said Franklin High School Coach Darren Parker of the two Franklin stars, who played at the Virginia High School League All-Star Game in Hampton.

Blacknall, 19, made big plays on special teams and defense as a middle linebacker.

“JaVonte played very well and hard,” Parker said. “He had some hits that were definitely recognized by the crowd and his teammates, but he is pretty much known for making big hits.”

Brown, 18, on offense, had 6 carries and ran for one touchdown.

“He played aggressive. He played hard the whole game,” said Parker. “He enjoyed the game. I’m proud of him. I’m proud of them both, and I’m proud of our whole coaching staff.”

In the game, the Eastern side, the team Blacknall and Brown were on, ended up routing the West 35-16. The game is comprised of all-state players from A, AA and AAA divisions.

Now the two young men will go off to college to play football. Blacknall will attend Hampton University, while Brown is going to Norfolk State University.

“They are both looking forward to the college experience,” Parker said. “What they do know is that academics are number one. Football will follow that.”

Like anyone who dons the pads and helmets under the big Friday night lights, Parker said the two would like to play football professionally.

“They understand that if that happens, great. But the main thing they are concentrated on is a backup plan, and football may be their backup plan,” he said. “They are looking forward to going on to college, moving on with their lives.

“It is great if you get to go to the NFL, but you have to look at the reality in that few reach that level. So they are working on another plan to make sure that if football doesn’t work, they will have something. Academics are number one.”

Parker said he’d like to thank the fans for coming out and supporting them in Hampton, and that he was gearing up for Broncos football this fall.

“I’m looking forward to another state championship run. Looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd. The kids are getting ready for school.

“They are getting ready to take care of their academics. And football, they will take care of that too. I’d like to thank the fans, for all their support given in the past, and support in the future.”

Of Blacknall and Brown, who are the ninth and 10th players to play in this game from Franklin High School under Parker, the coach said he was blessed to see them play.

“It was a pleasure coaching them. They are two young men that are definitely going to do well,” Parker said. “The represented Franklin well. God is always great.”