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Prep Football Preview: Ezeagwus Eagles’ latest twin tandem
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BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
The Colonial Forge football program has had success in part because some of its best players have come in pairs.
Twins Blake and Eric Frohnapfel helped lead the Eagles to back-to-back Northwest Region, Division 6 playoff appearances in 2009 and ’10.
There have also been Pete and Trey Reed, Dallas and Donald Driver and Daniel and David Williams.
This season, it’s juniors Daniel and David Ezeagwu.
The transfers from Peoria, Ariz., are key reasons why the Eagles (4–0, 3–0 Commonwealth District) are unbeaten heading into tonight’s home showdown with North Stafford (4–0, 3–0).
“If you get a set of twins that can’t play it wouldn’t be an advantage,” Colonial Forge coach Bill Brown said. “We’re lucky to have twins that play to the level that they play.
“I’d like to send a message out around the country that if any good twins want to come to Colonial Forge and keep the tradition going, we’ll be glad to take them.”
Brown was certainly glad to take the Ezeagwu brothers.
They arrived at Colonial Forge early last season, but not soon enough to become major factors right away.
They had to adjust to their new surroundings. They didn’t know anyone, and the Eagles had bonded through offseason weightlifting sessions, a passing league and preseason practice.
Daniel, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound wide receiver and safety, said he envisioned walking into practice and earning a starting spot right away. He grew a bit frustrated when that didn’t materialize. He later understood why.
“It’s a big difference this year,” Daniel said. “I was mad last year, just coming on the scene, thinking ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to start.’ But I didn’t know the team. We weren’t prepared. We didn’t know any of these guys. But now we’ve gotten real close. We’re all brothers. And that’s what you need for every team.”
Brown said Daniel’s size and athleticism makes him a prototypical major college prospect. He said Daniel’s talent level is akin to the several Fredericksburg-area players who have already received scholarship offers. Daniel has been visited by coaches from Virginia, Virginia Tech and Old Dominion.
“I will be in total shock if Daniel isn’t offered at the end of this spring,” Brown said. “Based on all the kids I’ve had over the years, I’ll be really surprised if he’s not offered. He’s one of those kids that jump out at you when you watch the film.”
While Daniel is known for his skill, David works closer to the trenches. He’s a starting outside linebacker for an Eagles’ defense that has surrendered just 22 points all season (5.5 per game).
Brown said David “is a big, physical athlete, who runs well and gets off blocks.”
David was a defensive end in Arizona. Brown said when he, his brother and cousin Odera Okani arrived last year, it was difficult getting them acclimated.
“At the start, it was kind of hard going from defensive end to linebacker,” David said. “I was the new kid, so it all took some time. But by the end of the year I got to start three games.”
That trickled into the offseason. The brothers as well as Okani (a rotational defensive lineman) were able to settle in and become a major part of the Eagles’ plans.
Daniel and David were adopted by Okani’s parents. They all moved to Virginia when Okani’s father accepted a job in Washington. The three also competed with Colonial Forge’s track and field team last season, along with Okani’s sister, Amanda, now a freshman at Virginia Military Institute.
“It’s really cool because not everybody has three brothers or cousins or sisters who are all athletic and around the same age that you can talk to and enjoy life with,” Okani said. “We all have the same friends, we eat lunch together, and we do the same things over the weekend. We’re brothers.”
Tonight, the trio hopes to offer some resistance to North Stafford. The Wolverines return 18 starters from last year’s state semifinal team. Daniel said all week, even Colonial Forge’s student body has doubted the Eagles can compete.
“People don’t really know what we’re capable of,” Daniel said. “We’re a good group of brothers and I think we can shock some people. I have no doubt in my mind we can go out there and win that game.”
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526