High schools

High school notebook: Knightdale’s Johnson wins NCHSAA POY

May 6, 2014 

Marquavious Johnson of Knightdale helped win seven N.C. High School Athletic Association state track and field team titles, won three individual state track titles, helped set a state record in the 4x400 relay, played on the Knights’ basketball team and is one of the state’s best high school football players.

He added the NCHSAA’s highest honor for an athlete on Thursday when he was named as the male player of the year. West Carteret’s Blake Dodge, one of the nation’s top track and field athletes, won the girls award.

“Winning the award was a surprise,” Johnson said. “I didn’t know about it until right before they announced it. My coach (track coach Chris Miller) asked me to go with him to the meeting. I didn’t know anything about the award.”

Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 166-pound East Carolina football recruit, has won nine state titles as an individual or on relay teams and is expected to add more during the NCHSAA championships on May 17. Johnson is the reigning 400 meters champion and the Knights won the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 relays last year.

Johnson earned 14 varsity letters at Knightdale. He helped lead the Knights to a school-record 12-2 finish in football with 18 rushing touchdowns, 11 touchdown passes and three touchdown receptions.

He was a basketball point guard during the winter, but also competed in indoor track, adding his second 500 meters state championship.

His career has amazed him. He planned to play only basketball as a ninth-grader, but agreed to play football because his brother Marcell was playing. Both decided to run track that spring.

“I never imagined anything like this,” he said. “It shows that sometimes hard work pays off. I have been blessed. I have to give glory to God.”

Dodge holds the NCHSAA 3A record in the 800 and 1,600 meter runs and has won 14 individual state championships in cross country and track and field. She is the three-time most valuable performer in 3A outdoor track and is expected to contend for a fourth on May 16.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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