By Tom Hoggard | Outer Banks Voice on November 21, 2019
I must admit to being somewhat skeptical of Currituck High School’s early season football success. Even with a 5-2 record as of mid-October, I wasn’t convinced that the Knights were for real.
That all changed on October 18. That night, against the Eagles of Northeastern, Jayden Calloway, Traveon Powell, Christian Spencer and Kentrial Harvey, among others, were flying around the field making big plays and forcing the Eagles to sweat over what would eventually be a Northeastern victory by a final score of 14-7. A week later, the Knights defeated Hertford County 45-27, and ultimately removed all doubts about the quality of this club. The secret was out, Currituck County football is for real and now all of Northeastern NC knew it.
The Knights finished the season on a high note, easily dispensing of both Bertie and First Flight. Currituck’s 8-3 record this season bested last year’s 7-4 and also marked the first time in 23 years that the school produced back-to-back winning seasons. Those also marked the first two seasons under Paul Bossi as head coach. It’s safe to say that the Bossi era is starting off with a bang.
Bossi is a familiar face in the Barco community, having been employed by the high school since 2002. It wasn’t until 2018, however, that he was given the title of head football coach as he had worked as wrestling coach up to that point while also serving as an assistant on the previous football coaching staff.
Having won 12 wrestling titles in his 14 years at the helm of that program, success is nothing new to Bossi. But for a football program that has struggled to produce consistent winners, it sure is a sight for sore eyes. In addition to his experience as a wrestling coach, he also has an extensive powerlifting background.
Having held countless state, national, and world records, some of which still stand today, Bossi is a workout warrior who insists that his players get the most out of their bodies. Having implemented a year-round lifting program for the football players, he attributes much of the improved results to better conditioning. That strength and conditioning regimen has also contributed to the Knights defense having allowed more than 27 points just once this season.
That stout defense is led by seniors Alex Dupree (38.5 tackles, 4 sacks), Dashawn White (49.5 tackles), Jacob Dawson (8 sacks, 7 fumble recoveries), Kentrial Harvey (68.5 tackles, 14 sacks), Shawn Maynard (3 forced fumbles), Trent Walker (3 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss), Christian Spencer ( 7 pass break-ups, 2 INT) and two-way lineman Jalen Owens (3 sacks, 5 tackles for loss).
Offensively, senior Quarterback Jayden Calloway leads the way with nearly 2,500 all-purpose yards and 33 total touchdowns. Calloway operates behind an offensive line consisting of Jalen Owens (58 pancakes), Gregory Nichols (45 pancakes), Colin Jennings (88 pancakes) and others.
Junior running back Traveon Powell has amassed over 1,200 yards rushing to go with 10 touchdowns on a whopping 8 yards per carry. Trent Walker and Christian Spencer operate as double threats who can carry the football or catch it out of the backfield.
With so many impactful seniors on both sides of the ball, who knows what next year’s team will look like? In the meantime, though, we can all enjoy this year’s version of the Currituck Knights. Having hosted and beaten St. Paul’s last week in the opening round of the NCHSAA playoffs, Currituck will be back in action this Friday night, Nov. 22, as it travels to South Granville.
Tom Hoggard is sports director/media consultant at East Carolina Radio. He hosts the Outer Banks Sports Report on 98.1 The Score Monday through Friday from 7 to 9 a.m.