Blue-Gold notebook: 240-pound RB Whitted eyes large role for Gold

NEWARK — At 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, Najee Whitted is a little bigger than your average high school running back.

So he’s had to listen to people tell him for years that he should be a lineman instead.

“I heard that a lot,” said the recent Caesar Rodney High grad. “They were going to put me at linebacker before but I told them I didn’t want to do it.

“I just prove them wrong. I like when people doubt me and then they see that I’m better than what they think I am.”

Whitted’s abilities not only earned him all-Henlopen Northen Division second-team honors at fullback but a scholarship to NCAA Division II Shepherd (W. Va.) University.

Gold players go through warmup drills as they prepare for Saturday’s 62nd Blue-Gold football game at Delaware Stadium. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

They’ve also earned Whitted a spot in the 62nd annual Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game, which will be played on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Delaware Stadium. The contest benefits programs for Delawareans with intellectual disABILITIES.

Whitted first started playing football in seventh grade when his family moved to Delaware from Staten Island, N.Y.

The youngster admits that moving from a big city to a relatively rural area was a big adjustment at first.

Najee Whitted’s abilities not only earned him all-Henlopen Northern Division second-team honors at fullback but a scholarship to NCAA Division II Shepherd (W. Va.) University. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

“It’s a lot different,” said Whitted. “In New York there’s a lot going on. Everybody’s outside, there’s a lot of buildings. Here it’s just quiet and everybody’s cool and calm.”

But Whitted is proud to be representing the Riders in the Blue-Gold game. He’s joined by CR lineman Kenneth Shahan, who was a last-minute replacement to the Gold roster this week.

“I’m glad to have somebody else from my school here,” Whitted said at Media Day on Sunday. “I’ve called him like seven times already. I thought I was going to be the only one. Now Kenny’s coming, I feel a little better. He’s just happy that he could be a part of it.”

Clark representing, too

The first Blue-Gold game Greg Clark saw was last year’s.

The Milford High lineman was there to see former teammate Michael Holstein play.

“I remember sitting there in the stands watching the game, like, ‘Wow, I really wish I could do that,’” said Clark.

And, sure enough, here Clark is, getting ready to play for the Gold in Saturday’s game.

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound offensive guard earned his spot after taking first-team all-Henlopen South honors as a senior. He’ll continue his career at Wesley College in the fall.

The Buccaneers went 9-2 this past season but lost to Wilmington Friends, 8-7, in the first round of the DIAA Division II state tournament.

Clark said he’d love to finish his high school career with a victory.

“Every day I wish we could have done that much more to secure a win,” he said. “That’s probably something I’m looking forward to all week — just giving my all, every practice for that Saturday game.”

Extra points

Both squads are slated to scrimmage today at 5 p.m. The Gold will scrimmage at Milford with the Blue scrimmaging at Tower Hill. … There’s at least one high school football all-star game older than the Blue-Gold. The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas was founded in 1937 and promotes Shriners hospitals. Players from North and South Carolina square off in the contest in December. … The Blue-Gold All-Star banquet will be held Friday evening at Dover’s Modern Maturity Center. … Blue head coach John Reed of Caravel will be joined in the game by son, Jacob, who is a lineman for the Blue. And Reed’s daughter, Hailey, was a cheerleader in the Blue-Gold game last year.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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