War Eagle Football: Maddux, Hudson big weapons at wide receiver
By Brian Pitts
The No. 1 receiver the past three years is wearing a Charlotte 49ers uniform these days. Jack Reynolds was an all-timer for the War Eagles.
But don’t fret. Davie has tantalizing weapons out wide.
Seniors Za’Haree Maddox and Zymere Hudson already have moments etched in Davie lore. Maddox has a knack for clutch catches, and Hudson reeled in the two-point game-winner in overtime to stun West Forsyth 36-35 in the breathtaking season finale last April.
The mild-mannered Hudson (22 catches in 2019 and 10 catches in spring 2021) bided his time in the shadows as a sophomore/junior.
He has fully blossomed. He has generated a buzz. He is the man now.
Offensive coordinator Matt Gould said: “He has made incredible catch after incredible catch. DBs are in perfect position and he catches it over them and they get frustrated. Yeah, we’re expecting huge things out of Zymere. He’s very similar to Alex (Summers): They just show up. They’re always in a good mood, smiling and never getting too high or too low. I mean he makes big catches and he’ll just throw the ball back and get ready for the next play.”
Head coach Tim Devericks: “He’s dedicated himself. He’s been there every day. He’s put on strength and he’s made some plays where people just throw their hands up.”
Defensive coordinator Blaine Nicholson: “Zymere is close to impossible to guard in practice. He’s got some of the strongest hands and he’s a big target (at 6-1). It looks like Zymere has grown a foot. He’s stepped his game up so far that I can not wait to see somebody try to guard him.”
The supremely athletic Maddox is a basketball star who has been a significant part of the offense for two years (46 catches as a sophomore, 25 catches as a junior, eight varsity TDs).
Ask Reagan and West Forsyth. In a 49-40 win at Reagan, he juked the whole defense on a fourth-quarter, 73-yard scoring play. In the riveting one-point win over West, he had a 42-yard catch-and-run score that helped tie the game with 4:10 remaining in regulation. With Davie’s back against the wall in OT, he made a diving 9-yard catch on fourth down to set the stage for Hudson’s clincher.
“He’s lightning in a bottle that gives our offense another weapon,” Devericks said. “He’s also a tremendous competitor.”
Davie has high hopes for Brodie Smith, who was a varsity backup running back as a sophomore. He had brilliant flashes, breaking a 65-yard TD run against West and averaging 6.7 yards per carry as Tate Carney’s understudy. He is cross-training at RB/WR.
Gould: “We’re expecting a lot of Brodie in the passing game. As he showed last year, he can definitely play running back as well. He put his head back and had that great run against West Forsyth. He made an incredible catch in the Reagan game. We’re going to try to get Brodie the ball in the ways we got Jack the ball. He’s ready to step up and fill a bigger role for sure.”
Markel Summers is a sophomore with considerable ability. Like Smith, he gets reps at running back and receiver.
Gould: “Man, he looks good, like a natural running back. But we’re also going to try to get him the ball out in space and maybe throw him the ball some at receiver.”
Nicholson: “The defense might say: ‘OK, let’s try to double-cover (Hudson).’ No chance. You’ve got Brodie in the slot over here with lightning quickness and moves. You can’t get your hands on him. Oh, wait, you’ve got Markel everywhere on the field. He’s split out, he’s in the backfield. Oh, wait, we’ve not even talked about the player of the year, Tate Carney, in the backfield.”
Juniors Aidan Froelich and Bryan Argueta are interesting players who helped the JV roll up 46 points a game while running the table (5-0).
“Aidan was one of our leading receivers on JV, and he’s going to step into one of those spots,” Gould said. “Bryan is super fast. He had a kick return for a touchdown on JV. He gives us a deep threat to open up some other stuff.”
Senior Cooper Smith and junior Bryce Bailey are in the mix.
Gould: “Cooper can fill in at those outside receiver spots. He’s Mr. Reliable. He shows up everyday, knows what to do and is always in the right spots.”
Devericks: “Cooper hasn’t played a lot of football, but talk about a hard worker.”