Warriors Find Right Fit to Play Sports in College

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Kent Henry rewrote the record books in his time at quarterback for the Western Albemarle football team. And Nic Drapanas was on the receiving end of more than a few of Henry's touchdown passes for the Warriors.

Now the duo is planning to continue that connection in college, at Division III Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania.

Henry and Drapanas were among four Western Albemarle seniors honored on Wednesday for their plans to continue their athletic careers in college. Receiver Steven Hearn plans to attend Sewanee University in Tennessee in the fall, while Chase Stokes intends to play basketball at Washington and Lee in Lexington.

Henry was named Jefferson District offensive player of the year the past two seasons for the Warriors. A three-year starter, he finished his prep career as the area's all-time leader with 10,764 total yards (7,124 passing and 3,640 rushing) and 131 total touchdowns.

Henry said he passed up offers to walk on at Richmond and Montana State, and also considered Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, before picking the Diplomats. He plans to play quarterback at Franklin and Marshall.

"I'm pretty pumped," Henry said. "It's the best position in all of sports. So I'm excited to be able to continue to play it."

Henry announced his decision to attend Franklin and Marshall in late January. Drapanas admitted on Wednesday that he had never heard of the school until Henry's dad brought it to his attention.

He picked the Diplomats over Dickinson earlier this month.

"I tried not to let it make my decision, because it's going to be where I'm ending up four for years," Drapanas said of Henry's decision. "But it was easy with F&M being such a great place to be. It was exciting when I knew Kent was going there."

Despite missing basically his entire senior year with injury, Drapanas finished his career at Western with 1,760 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns on 111 catches.

"It's pretty neat. I never thought it would actually happen," Henry said of Drapanas joining him with the Diplomats. "We always kind of joked about it, but when he finally sent me that text that he was going to go to F&M, I basically lost it. It was awesome."

"From freshman year we've been running routes, he's been throwing me balls," said Drapanas. "So it's almost a sixth sense, where the ball's coming, where it's going to end up. And I think it's going to be great. If I end up playing receiver, and he ends up playing quarterback, I think we're going to have a lot of fun."

Henry was surrounded by many of his top receivers on Wednesday. Hearn caught 84 passes in his career at Western, for 1,408 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Now he's thankful for the opportunity to continue playing football at Sewanee -- which is nicknamed the "University of the South."

"I'm so blessed," he said. "I couldn't think of anything I want to do more than not having to give up football. And so I'm so excited to carry that to the next level, and maybe have an impact there. Words can't explain how happy I am to be able to do that."

Hearn said he was considering in-state ODAC programs like Hampden-Sydney and Randolph-Macon, but called the Tigers "the right fit."

"With a D-III school, it was one of the only schools that I knew that I would go there if I wasn't playing football," he explained. "Because the campus is stunning, the academics are amazing. It's actually the second-largest campus in the U.S., in terms of acreage, so there's unlimited stuff to do. And it's just a really cool place."

Stokes joined the Western football team for the first time as a senior in 2013, and caught 34 passes for 562 yards and nine touchdowns.

But Stokes said Wednesday that he had hoped for years to play college basketball. He picked Washington and Lee in December, in the middle of his senior season.

"A lot of relief came with that decision," Stokes said. "I finally knew where I wanted to go, and where I was going to be playing. I didn't have to think about that for the rest of the time. It definitely helped throughout the season. And as far as academically, that was also nice."

Stokes was named first-team All-Jefferson District and first-team all-region as a senior after averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game for the Warriors.

"From talking to the coach, and going over and hanging out with the guys, I'm going to have a lot of fun," he said of joining the Generals. "Meeting the guys was a lot of fun. And the style of play that they have is very close to the way I like to play. So I think I'll be a good fit."

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