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Area Football stars are busy during early signing period

North Cross, Lord Botetourt and EC Glass stars moving to the next level

Roanoke – On the heels of a VISAA Division 2 State Championship, North Cross Raiders receiver Zae Baines is headed to Temple University. Baines’ career included 153 catches for more than 2600 yards and 41 touchdowns. He added 22 interceptions and 31 pass breakups in his career as a defensive back as well. The All-Conference selection and likely All-State honoree is looking forward to spending some quality time in Philadelphia.

“I didn’t wanna be too close to home and and then the coaching staff that was definitely though the biggest part the coaching staff the communication we had our relationship it was real so real yeah I’m ready like what’s this basketball season is over and I’ll be working every day just to get my body right and everything so I can come in in and help them right away,” Baines said.

Meanwhile, Lord Botetourt’s 14-1 state runner-up season in VHSL Class 3 football has produced a pair of high profile signees. Offensive lineman Gage Bassham has signed on at Liberty University.

“The coaching staff, the academics, the school, they just do it top notch- their facilities, everything. The best it could possibly be. It’s what I wanted to do, it’s where I wanted to be,” Bassham said.

Outside linebacker Isaiah Stephens will continue his career at Coastal Carolina University.

“I’m ecstatic, one. What made me pick them? It was family oriented, top to bottom. Head coach, the recruiting coordinator, the players came up to me,” he said. “[They] hugged me, talked to me, they actually spent time with me. It wasn’t about football, it was more getting to know me as a person,” Stephens said.

Lord Botetourt is coming off their first undefeated 10-0 regular season since John F. Kennedy was President, and their first 14 win season in school history.

E.C. Glass Offensive Lineman Holden Ayers is headed to the University of Richmond. The 6-3, 295 pound tackle helped lead the Hilltoppers to the Region 4D title game. And that big offensive front was a large part of an offense that averaged 414 yards per game. It also helped quarterback DreSean Kendrick take home the 1st and 10 Player of the Year honors at WSLS-10 Sports annual banquet.

Other area signees include Jefferson Forest star running back Keenan Cupit to the University of Central Florida, Magna Vista standout Louis Taylor to Liberty, and Hidden Valley’s Kelly Mitchell to James Madison.


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