Three former NJ high school football stars making a big impact, Part-1
By Corey Annan
A7FL’s growing popularity has attracted top former high school and college athletes, which has elevated the competition level to new heights. With the 2021 season fast approaching, here’s an introduction to a few of our young stars to keep an eye on this season.
Height/Weight: 5’9, 185 pounds
Position: Wide Receiver
Team: New Jersey BIC
Top Award: NJ HS Football Player of the Year
Ashante Worthy was renowned at New Jersey’s Freehold Borough High School for his electrifying, dual-threat play as a quarterback. Now he’s brought his exhilarating skills to a new position – wide receiver – with the A7FL.
Worthy was one of the greatest high school football players in New Jersey history. During his senior season, he broke the state rushing record with 2,860 yards while also passing for 2,106 yards. His total career statistics include a staggering 80 rushing touchdowns (plus 30 rushing and 4 receiving) along with 10,592 all-purpose yards, including passing, rushing, receiving, and kick returning.
Despite these ridiculous statistics, Worthy didn’t end up playing at a Division I school. In order to build up his academic credentials, after high school he attended Lackawanna College but didn’t appear in any games. He recently transferred within New Jersey to Division III Rowan University, where he hopes to regain his high school form.
In the interim, two of his friends, Jelan Crooms and Seth Batson, knew Ashante had the talent to become a star in the A7FL and given the opportunity quickly brought him on board the New Jersey BIC.
Worthy wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but he appreciates he’s been able to make a smooth transition to the no-helmets no-pads league. “My experience has been good; it really doesn’t feel too different than playing anywhere else,” said Worthy.
Despite the New Jersey BIC’s disappointing pandemic-shortened 2020 season (finishing with a 0-3), Worthy was a human highlight reel all season long. The move from quarterback to wide receiver seems to have been a complete success as Worthy’s athleticism was on full display throughout the tournament.
From his ability to make contested catches to his speed and agility in the open field, Worthy presents an extremely tough assignment for any defensive back in the A7FL. For a quarterback with such amazing high school statistics, the smooth move to wide receiver might be something of a surprise. But not for Worthy. “Before I moved to quarterback in high school, I had already played running back and slot my freshman and sophomore year,” he noted. “ So… I just got back to my regular position where I feel the most comfortable.”
Even with his team’s struggles last season, Worthy proved why he’s considered one of the most versatile players in the league. In the two games in which he played (out of 4 game season), his statistics looked like he was back in high school. Against the Hawks, he racked up 140 total yards, including both a receiving and 3-on-1 return touchdown. And against 2020 champs Patterson U, he had 198 return yards on seven attempts for two touchdowns, along with a receiving touchdown.
Worthy is confident that he can lead his squad to more wins in 2021. “Even though we finished the season [without a win], I still think we’re the best team,” Worthy said. “We can score the ball, we just have to stop the other teams from scoring and we’ll be alright.”
Make sure to tune in on April 11th for the start of the A7FL 2020 season, and follow us on social media platforms for more American 7s news and highlights.
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