New Kent's Karley Allen talks about her big senior year

"I don't want to say it was expected of me, but I've grown up around people noticed for being outstanding in athletics," she said. "That pushed me to achieve."

Dedmon's charge to Bay Rivers and Daily Press Offensive Player of the Year in football began by him accounting for more than 190 yards and two touchdowns in little more than a half of the Lions' season-opening 20-17 win over eventual regional finalist Park View. The extent of his competitiveness became clear in the wake of an ankle sprain that sidelined him the second half of that game, then limited him to three touches in a loss against York.

The ankle still bothered him as he practiced for the next game against Poquoson. But he took to heart the words of his coach, Billy Jarvis, using them to burn the Islanders for 212 yards rushing and three touchdowns, as well as 101 yards and a TD on two pass completions in a 32-14 victory.

"Coach said that excuses are just a way to justify failure," Dedmon said. "I decided I was going to do whatever I had to help the team, because I felt horrible after the York game.

"Coming into the Poquoson game I told everyone, 'Don't even talk to me, because I've got to get my mind ready.' I was in the zone."

Except when really hurt or ill, he stayed in that zone the rest of the season, The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder missed virtually all of the Bruton game after taking a vicious but clean hit from Kapri Doucet, then was slowed the next week against Lafayette by the worst flu of his life.

He rebounded with 234 rushing yards and two touchdowns, along with 62 receiving yards — a 43-yard TD reception included — in a 28-10 win over Grafton.

"That Grafton game stands out because we were picked to lose and were being called soft and not physical," said Dedmon, who accounted for most of his more than 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in the Lions six wins during a second straight playoff run. "We came out ready to play hard and play to win."

Dedmon was just as tough during a basketball season in which he averaged 17.5 points as a first team all-district guard for the 16-8 regional playoff-bound Lions. An inadvertent elbow from a teammate damaged cartilage in his nose, prompting him to wear a mask.

"Fans were yelling, 'Take the mask off. You're not Superman,'" Dedmon said. "But playing against (cross-town rivals) Jamestown and Lafayette brought out the superhero in me."

A Jamestown player accidentally raked the mask off of Dedmon on a layup attempt. He made that basket anyway en route to a 25-point performance in a 64-57 win.

In the next game against Lafayette he took the mask off in the third quarter, having scored only four points and the Lions trailing 49-42. He would go on to score 23 of his 27 points thereafter, leading Warhill to a 78-71 victory.

During the spring it was on to track, where he specialized in the 100 and 200 meters. Too competitive to simply use the sport to keep in shape for football and hoops, Dedmon gave it his all and finished fifth at 200 and sixth at 100 in the AA state meet.

"It helped me get a lot faster, especially in the 40," said Dedmon, who recently ran a 4.43 and has five Division I football scholarship offers with more certainly on the way. "I didn't want to go out there and not compete.

"I don't want off time, because I love competing. Everyday my goal is to push myself to be great."

Mission accomplished for Dedmon and Allen, who are proof the three-sport high school athlete still thrives.

KARLEY ALLEN

SCHOOL: New Kent.

YEAR: Senior.

SPORTS: Volleyball, basketball and softball.

NOTEWORTHY: Bay Rivers District, Region I and Daily Press Volleyball Player of the Year. … Led New Kent to AA state tournament as a senior, establishing a new Virginia High School League career record with 2,925 spikes. … Will play in Virginia High School Coaches Association All-Stars Volleyball Game in July. … Had 19 rebounds in a basketball game for the Trojans this past season. … Batted nearly .370 for softball team, leading Trojans to Region I semifinals. … Will play volleyball on scholarship for University of Virginia-Wise.

DEVONTE DEDMON

SCHOOL: Warhill.

YEAR: Junior.

SPORTS: Football, basketball, track and field.

NOTEWORTHY: Bay Rivers District and Daily Press Offensive Player of the Year in football. … Rushed for 212 yards or better in four games in 2012 and 171 in another, with a best of 289 yards and four touchdowns against Tabb. … Averaged 17.5 points, earning first team all-district honors as a guard in basketball. … Scored points in three events in the AA state track meet, finishing sixth in the 100 and fifth in the 200. … Peninsula Sports Club High School Athlete of the Year.