They've worn the same football uniform since sixth grade. But soon, Fluvanna County High School seniors Jovan Burton and Devin Goode will be lining up across from each other.
Both players recently reached decisions on where they'll play football in college. Burton will head to Hampden-Sydney as a running back, while Goode will play linebacker at another ODAC school, Emory and Henry.
Goode already knows when they'll play each other for the first time.
"Actually, he's homecoming for Emory and Henry," he said Wednesday after a ceremony celebrating the college decisions for both players. "So we'll be playing against each other, head-on-head."
"It'll be different," Burton said of playing Goode. "It'll be a lot different from playing in practices here, to actual games now. I know he's a great player and everything, so it's always great to compete against him, since I've been playing with him since around sixth grade. So I think that will be a good experience."
"I give him a hard time every day, because I tell him he should have gone to Emory and Henry," Goode said with a wide smile. "But I think it's just going to be more competition as we get older, because we're in the same grade. And I think we're always going to be friends, so it'll always be good."
Both players were recruited by several in-state ODAC programs, and both mentioned the opportunity to play early as a big reason why they chose their respective schools.
Goode was the Jefferson District defensive player of the year in 2012. He finished his senior season with 126 total tackles, including two sacks, plus four forced fumbles and two pass deflections.
He expects to play middle linebacker for the Wasps.
"As a little boy, you always dream about going to play college football, and just moving as far as you can with athletics," Goode said. "And to have the opportunity finally here, it just means a lot to me and my family."
Burton was an All-Jefferson District second team selection at running back last season, after running for 507 yards and six touchdowns on 109 carries. He mentioned the Tigers' lack of depth at running back as a big reason for joining the program.
"It means a lot," he said of the opportunity to play at Hampden-Sydney. "I've always wanted to do that, no matter where I'm going. I think I picked the right school. Where I can be comfortable, and really express my athletic abilities and contribute to whatever team I'm playing for."
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