High School Sports

Four Central players sign on to play football at the next level

Introducing four football players who would sign athletic scholarships on Wednesday, Central High coach Woodrow Lowe said that he and his coaching staff have three expectations of their players.

The attending athletes quoted Lowe in unison as he ticked the words off on his fingers.

"Discipline, sacrifice and hard work," they said.

It is these three characteristics, he said, that helped the players -- offensive linemen Cameron Fraser and Jeremiah Payne, running back Deon Hall and defensive tackle Derek King -- move on to the next level.

"This is a reward and also another challenge," Lowe said. "In our development, not only as athletes but as human beings, you suffer sometimes and you sacrifice sometimes. It's about how you respond."

These four, among others, responded well.

Fraser, who only began playing football as a sophomore in high school, signed a letter of intent to continue his athletic career at the University of Louisville. Payne will move on to St. Augustine's University along with King. Hall will play at Benedict College.

Fraser only committed to the Cardinals last week after months of being committed to South Florida.

After a long and stressful process, though, the 6-foot-5 lineman said he made the right choice.

"It's good to have all the pressure lifted, and I feel like I made the right decision," Fraser said.

Fraser graded out at 84 percent on his blocks for Central in 2012, helping to pave the way for an impressive running game that got the Red Devils to the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

Lowe said last week that he saw Fraser as a left tackle at the next level and expected him to be able to compete for playing time.

Fraser said he's willing to do whatever the coaches ask him at the next level.

"I'm going to come in and go to work," he said. "We'll see what happens when I get there."

Hall, who rushed for 758 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012, echoed Fraser's words.

"It's exciting," he said. "I'm happy to be playing at the next level, and I'm going to do what I need to do to succeed."

King notched 67 tackles for the Red Devils on the defensive side of the ball in 2012.

Lowe didn't sugarcoat the difficulty his players would face in the future, but he said that he hoped he and his coaches, along with their parents, had given them the direction to succeed.

"I hope they take away the work ethic," he said. "If they can maintain that, they can succeed at the next level."