Kennedy Award winner Ethan Payne bound for Marshall

(Citynet Statewide Sportsline interview with Ethan Payne)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — 2019 Kennedy Award winner Ethan Payne is headed west on I-64 to Marshall University. The rising senior running back and defensive back verbally committed to join the Herd Sunday afternoon.

“Marshall has always been at the top of my list,” Payne said. “It is close to home and they really made me feel welcome.”

Payne broke the 41-year-old record for points scored in a regular season (276 points). He rushed for 2,845 yards and 49 touchdowns in twelve games, leading the Dots to an 11-1 record and a spot in the Class AA quarterfinals. Despite some eye-popping stats, Payne says he is never surprised when he sees a postgame stat sheet.

“To be honest, I count my yards in my head throughout the game. If I want to get a 300-yard game, I’ll say, ‘Hey coach, I need 60 yards to cap off 300.”

Ethan’s younger brother Toby, a rising junior, also holds a scholarship offer from Marshall.

“I wouldn’t mind playing with my brother at Marshall. But it is his life and his decision. I’m not going to pressure him into it.”

Poca has resumed offseason workouts after a long delay due to the pandemic. They are scheduled to open the regular season pn September 4 at Chapmanville.

“It has been tough. You are used to seeing those faces everyday, going to practice and working out. It is just not the same working out without them or not working out for an long period of time. It was good to be back this summer.”

The Dots have posted a 20-3 record in the last two seasons and should be one of the favorites to compete for the Class AA state championship this fall.

“State title or nothing. That’s our goal this year. If we come in with anything short of a state championship, we did not reach our goal.”

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