The Gridiron Blog brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school football.
Player of the Week: Undersized Purvis still wreaks havoc
BY JIM SWING
Over the past two seasons, Chancellor linebacker Chris Purvis has terrorized King George.
A year ago, in the first round of the Region I, Division 4 playoffs, Purvis intercepted Foxes quarterback Corey Henderson and returned the ball 68 yards for a touchdown, which eventually helped lead to a Chargers victory.
Last Friday night, Purvis did it again, this time intercepting Henderson twice—returning one for a 36-yard touchdown—in a 14–7 regular-season win over King George. The performance has earned Purvis Free Lance–Star Player of the Week honors, making him just the second defensive player to do so this season.
Purvis downplayed his continued dominance against King George as a coincidence, but Friday had a little extra meaning to it.
“It being the homecoming game senior year,” Purvis said, “we don’t want to lose that game.”
Purvis is undersized, even a weakside linebacker. At 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, Purvis is initially seen as a target on the playing field. But his speed and tackling make opposing quarterbacks think otherwise in games sooner rather than later.
“People tend to pick on him because he’s undersized,” Chancellor coach Bob Oliver said. “But he holds the job and he’s a pretty solid football player as far as doing what we ask him to on our defense.”
A four-year starter, Purvis began his career as a cornerback, which he played in middle school. Midway through his freshman year, coaches switched him to linebacker, where he’s been ever since.
Purvis still likes to consider himself a defensive back, disrupting pass attempts and causing havoc in the deeper down the field. But nearly four years after moving over to linebacker, Purvis is more relaxed than ever.
“I actually feel more comfortable playing linebacker,” Purvis said.
Off the field, Purvis is known as a quiet, respectful student who works hard.
“He’s not one that’s going to run up and down the hallways and boast or anything,” Oliver said. “But he goes about and does his job the right way.”
On the field, he’s a nuisance, irritating quarterbacks, scoring points and keeping opposing offense on the sidelines. His two interceptions and one touchdown come as no surprise to his coach.
“He’s a pretty good pass coverer and I guess his best asset is that he recognizes patterns and what we’re trying to do to them,” Oliver said. “And he’s always in the right place at the right time.”
Jim Swing: 540/374-5440
This season’s Free Lance–Star football players of the week:
Week 1: Javonte Latney, Massaponax RB
Week 2: Tyus White, Brooke Point WR
Week 3: Kwesie Dadzie, North Stafford RB
Week 4: Cody Goode, F’burg Christian LB
Week 5: DaeSean Hamilton, Mountain View WR
Week 6: Da’Shawn Harris, Stafford RB
Week 7: Sean Bates, James Monroe RB
Week 8: Chris Purvis, Chancellor LB