Massaponax at Stafford football

Stafford quarterback Jalen Smith looks for a receiver as teammate Lovell Armstaed watches for the Massaponax rush at Stafford on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.

It’s typically a hard sell for an all-state quarterback to join a private school football program entering its first year of existence.

But Stafford rising senior Jalen Smith announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he’s transferred to Life Christian Academy in Chester.

Smith was named first-team all-state by Class 5 coaches last fall after he helped lead the Indians to the Region 5D championship and a trip to the state semifinals.

Smith is expected to play quarterback, defensive back and possibly slot receiver for LCA, head coach Charles Scott said.

“He’s definitely going to be one of our leaders,” Scott said. “He’s a tremendous athlete. I think he’s a Division I quarterback. Some of the schools like him as a receiver and some like him as a DB. But he can definitely play at the D-I level as a quarterback. He’s going to have a chance to develop in our system as a dual-threat.”

Scott said LCA has seven potential FBS or FCS wide receivers, so Smith (5-foot-11, 172 pounds) will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills as a passer.

Scott connected with Smith through the signal-caller’s younger brother, who plays on the coach’s Central Virginia Hurricanes youth team. Scott said several other Fredericksburg area youth are in the Hurricanes’ pipeline and are planning to join LCA in the future.

LCA will compete in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association at the Division III level for its inaugural season.

Stafford coach Mo Hampton and his staff are tasked with developing a replacement for Smith. Hampton said Smith took every “significant” snap for the Indians last fall. Hampton said there is no returning varsity player on the Indians who played a down at quarterback in 2017 and he’s yet to determine replacement candidates.

RAMS SNAG ARMSTEAD

Former Stafford standout running back Lovell Armstead orally committed to Rhode Island last week.

Armstead played his senior season with the Indians and was a first-team All-Area selection at running back. He was an All-Area return man for Chancellor as a junior.

Armstead reclassified earlier this year and will play his final high school season for Avalon School, a private school in Gaithersburg, Md. He’ll enter Rhode Island as a class of 2019 recruit.

TRIBE SEEK SARRATT

Colonial Forge rising senior football standout Josh Sarratt picked up a scholarship offer from William & Mary in the past week. Sarratt was named Free Lance-Star player of the year in 2017 after a standout season at defensive back and wide receiver.

Since the end of last season, Sarratt has picked up offers from North Carolina, Howard and Towson in addition to the Tribe.

LOCALS PITCH IN

Courtland graduate Kassie Demps was named Most Valuable Player for the Red team in its 3-2 victory over Blue in the Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star girls soccer game this past weekend at University of Lynchburg. Colonial Forge grad Audra Curtin provided an assist for the Red.

In the boys game, the Blue team defeated the Red 3-0 behind three unanswered goals in the second half. Johnathan Owens (Massaponax) scored a goal on a header, while Chris Escobar-Reyes (Chancellor) had an assist. Mike Webb (Chancellor) served as a coach for the Blue team.

JACKETS SEEKING COACHES

James Monroe is seeking coaches for its boys and girls soccer programs. Shamus Gordon stepped down from the boys team at the end of this past season after leading the Yellow Jackets to the Class 3 state quarterfinals. Andrew McClung was the Yellow Jackets’ girls soccer coach.

JONES SNAGS OFFER

North Stafford rising senior tight end Jeremiah “JJ” Jones picked up a scholarship offer from Morgan State earlier this week. It’s the second FCS offer for Jones, who also holds one from Norfolk State.

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Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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