Vote for the News & Observer high school football player of the week (4.16.21)

Langston Wertz Jr., Jay Edwards
·4 min read

Here are this week’s nominees for the News & Observer high school football player of the week.

Vote as often as you like, until Friday, when the poll will close around noon.

Anthony DeBerardino, Apex Friendship Football: The 6-foot-1, 210-pound middle linebacker had 10 tackles, including two tackles for loss to lead Apex Friendship to a 31-21 win at Garner to cap a perfect 7-0 regular season April 9.

DeBerardino, an Air Force Academy commit, is also a 5-star, long-snapping recruit.

DeBerardino has 59 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and two fumble recoveries for Apex Friendship this season.

Jacorrey Bible, Rolesville Football: The 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior linebacker had 13 tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack to lead Rolesville to a 35-14 win at Corinth Holders to cap a perfect 6-0 regular season April 8.

Bible has 43 tackles, 12 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles for Rolesville (6-0).

Jaydon Brooks, Princeton Football: The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior running back had 291 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries to help lead Princeton to a 58-27 win at previously unbeaten Rosewood to finish off a perfect 7-0 regular season April 9.

Brooks also had two kickoff returns for 91 yards and a touchdown in the same game.

Brooks has rushed for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns for Princeton this season.

Jayden Burchfield, Leesville Road Football: The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior quarterback went 12-for-19 for 197 yards passing, while also rushing for 48 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries to lead the Pride to a 39-21 victory at Holly Springs April 9.

Burchfield is 67-of-125 for 979 yards passing and 10 touchdowns, while also rushing for 353 yards and nine more scores for Leesville Road (5-2) this season.

Mikey DiPasquale, Wake Forest Football: The 5-foot-11, 187-pound sophomore running back had 18 carries for 243 yards and four touchdown runs to lead Wake Forest to a 48-35 win at Heritage April 9.

DiPasquale, who scored on runs of 2, 28, 70 and 80 yards, also had three catches for 52 yards in the same game.

Wake Forest is 6-1 this season.

Mayson Finley, Cary Football: The 5-foot-11, 220-pound senior linebacker had 20 tackles, including two tackles for loss in a 21-17 win at Athens Drive, April 8.

Finley has 50 tackles, including three tackles for loss, for Cary (3-3) this season.

Chad Kearns, Middle Creek Football: The 6-foot-4, 195-pound junior quarterback went 15-for-19 for 204 yards and two touchdown passes, while also rushing for two more scores to lead Middle Creek to a 27-12 win over Fuquay Varina April 9.

Kearns is 87-for-134 for 1,390 yards passing and 13 touchdowns throws, while also rushing for six touchdowns for Middle Creek (6-1) this season.

Lenix Martinez, Cleveland Football: The 5-foot-8, 160-pound outside linebacker had 3 tackles and an interception to help Cleveland to a 44-0 win at South Johnston, April 9, to cap a perfect 7-0 regular season.

Martinez returned his interception to the 10-yard line to set up a touchdown.

The Cleveland defense, which has three shutouts this season, held South Johnston to 90 yards of total offense in the game.

Martinez has 44 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss, two sacks and one interception for Cleveland this season.

Zion Myers, Sanderson Football: The 5-foot-10, 205-pound sophomore running back had 244 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries to lead Sanderson to a 34-16 win over Southeast Raleigh, April 8.

Myers also had two catches for 10 yards in the same game.

Myers has 689 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns for Sanderson (3-3) this season.

Karim Swain, Southeast Raleigh Football: The 5-foot-11, 183-pound junior running back had 224 yards and a touchdown and a two-point conversion on 27 carries in a 34-16 loss at Sanderson, April 8.

Southeast Raleigh finishes 2-5 this season.

** Information published today includes statistics through April 10.

Want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school players with outstanding performances. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week column, send email to Jay Edwards at

If you can’t see the poll on mobile, click here