Alexander makes all-state first team

Published 10:54 am Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Raymond Alexander has entered the select group of Central High School football players to have been named to the all-state first team, recently receiving the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Group 1A honor as a defensive end.

“It’s not that easy to get,” Chargers Head Coach Will Thomas said of the first team title. “Of course, you’ve got to make first team all-conference, first team all-region just to even be looked at.”

Alexander stood out even though he was in a field that included players from teams that had advanced further in the postseason.

Central’s 2016 run came to an end in the second round of the VHSL Region 1A East playoffs, finishing the year with an 8-3 record.

Thomas estimated that 10 Chargers have made the all-state first team in his nine years as coach and later added, “I’m sure it’s probably less than 10.”

The coach said the honor was “well-deserved, well-earned.”

For the season, Alexander registered more than 90 tackles, including more than 20 tackles for loss, and four blocked kicks.

Central Defensive Coordinator Wallace Owen gave high praise to the two-time team captain.

“An opposing coach commented that ‘when crafting a game plan for Lunenburg, you had to plan for dealing with Alexander,’” Owen said. “However, the thing that is most gratifying to me is that Raymond was pretty much a model athlete throughout his career. He was not only a great player but also a great kid in terms of character, responsibility, dependability and attitude. His combination of athleticism and character are seldom seen in today’s world. It has been a pleasure to coach him.”

Chargers junior Keenan Anunay made the all-state second team as a defensive back.

“He was a positive addition to our team this year,” Thomas said after noting that Anunay compiled six interceptions and more than 50 tackles.

“The cornerback position has been a problem area for us the last few years,” Owen said. “and the addition of Keenan, along with the much-improved play of Tylik Thomas, made what had been a liability into a strength.”