Sumner Stingrays: District Champions in Year One
In most cases, it usually takes a few years for a new high school football program to find legitimate success. However, that isn’t the case in Riverview where the Sumner Stingrays have been playing nothing like a new football program. Alonzo Ashwood and his staff have done an excellent job of developing the program by immediately establishing a winning culture. The brand new facilities and shiny equipment always helps draw in athletes. That winning culture is what keeps them around and allows them to develop. In year one with no seniors on the roster, the Stingrays went 7-1 against a mixed schedule. Their only loss was to Durant in a varsity game.
Coming into year two, The FHSAA placed Sumner in class 6A District 12 for their first full varsity season. And last week, they clinched that district championship with a huge 14-10 upset of previously unbeaten Braden River last week. Sumner is 7-2 overall and completed their first district schedule with a 5-0 record. They are averaging 36.7 points per game while only giving up 12 points per game. Their two losses were to Durant (22-6) and Plant (23-15). Sumner will make a seven and a half mile trip to Riverview (2-6) tonight for their regular-season finale. Here are some of Sumner’s statistical leaders and the players to keep an eye on tonight.
2024 QB Greg Smith – 6’3” 178 lbs
The sophomore quarterback is doing a lot of great things for his team this season. Through the air, he has completed 61 out of 173 passing attempts for 993 yards and 10 touchdowns. On the ground, he has carried the ball 80 times for 412 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is the Stingrays’ leading rusher. He has great size for a young QB. He displays a powerful arm and is a physical runner. Defenses have a hard time bringing him down. It will be exciting to continue to watch him develop over the next couple of years. The Sumner offense could become lethal as he improves his completion percentage and comfort in the pocket. The sky is the limit for Smith as long as he works hard and stays focused. I don’t foresee an issue there. Remember his name!
2023 LB/RB Keoni Denny – 6’1” 215 lbs
This is a foot-ball-player. I love the energy this young man brings to the field. It’s infectious even just from watching his film. He has a tremendous motor and an incredible nose for the football. He is physical and tackles very well. He is super impressive. Statistically, he has 41 total tackles, 25 solo, 10 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 4 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, 2 returned for a touchdown. On offense, he has 262 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on 42 carries (6.2 ypc).
2023 RB/SS Kylen Webb – 6’1” 185 lbs
In eight games, Webb has 320 yards and 7 touchdowns on 42 touches. He is averaging an impressive 7.5 yards per carry. He also has a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown. On defense, he has contributed 16 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Webb brings a lot to the table. He has good speed and quickness with a solid frame. He is a physical player who shows great awareness in all facets of the game. His vision and ability to change direction allow him to create opportunities for big plays.
2025 WR/FS Tyler Williams – 6’1” 170 lbs
Sumner’s leading receiver is a freshman. Their quarterback is a sophomore. If these two can establish a strong rapport and work ethic, this connection will be big-time. Williams only has 10 receptions, but they have resulted in 281 yards and 3 touchdowns. The last two games have been his best, especially in the de facto district championship last week. He made a few massive plays against Braden River that helped make the win possible.
2023 LB Alvondre Lewis – 5’10” 200 lbs
Lewis is Sumner’s leading tackler with 69 total tackles, 37 solo, 12 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 recovery. He plays the position really well. He also has an excellent motor and is a very physical player. Defensive coordinator George Selvie is doing an amazing job with these guys. You can see them playing with the same ferocity that made him such an incredible defensive player at the highest level.
Berkeley Prep RB Xavier Townsend steals the show on national television
Xavier Townsend made Berkeley Prep’s appearance on ESNPU his own personal highlight reel on Friday night. As the game was playing out, his name started showing up all over Twitter and recruiting forums from colleges across the country. In our preview for this game last week, we clearly showed confidence in our local guys. They made us proud, especially Townsend. Against Newman, he carried the football 15 times for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns. He averaged 16.3 yards per carry. He tacked on 4 receptions for 96 yards and 1 touchdown for a total of 340 total yards and 5 touchdowns. On defense, he had a big interception and broke up a couple more of Manning’s passes. He also had 69 yards in returns.