By TOM WOERNER
Of The Record Staff
A Triton High School senior officially signed paperwork Wednesday clearing the way for the next step in his athletic journey, as he prepares to play football for St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh.
Earlier this week, in the Triton High School library, alongside his family members, friends, coaches and other school staff members, De’Marius Staton put pen to paper on his four-year scholarship.
Although De’Marius’ high school education will end when he walks across a white and blue stage in June, he knows there is a lot of work ahead.
“I have to get bigger, faster and stronger,” De’Marius said.
De’Marius has played football since fifth grade. He will primarily be a defensive player for St. Augustine’s, likely playing defensive end or outside linebacker.
While much of his focus will be on the gridiron, he knows the classroom will be an important part of his college experience.
“I am going to take advantage of this opportunity and get my degree because I know football isn’t going to last forever,” De’Marius said.
He plans to major in business administration at the university, while minoring in physical education.
Triton football head coach Ben Penny called Wednesday a historic day for the high school. It marked the first national letter of intent signing in 18 years.
“This is a good day for Triton High School,” Penny said.
The coach said De’Marius set a tone early on in high school.
“When we saw him as a freshman, we could already see his leadership skills on the field,” Penny said. “He set the tone for the program.”
He said De’Marius improved the entire team.
“He has had a lot to do with the success we have had in the last few years and he is going to be hard to replace,” Penny said. “We are proud of what he did for the team and for himself.”
The Triton Hawks football team's defensive standout De'Marius Staton, center, signed a four-year scholarship to play football at St. Augustine's University Wednesday. Shown here, also seated, are mom and aunt Ebony Staton and Kimberly Brown. Standing, from left to right, are Triton High School Interim Principal Ryan McNeill, Triton coach Derek Mangum, athletic director Wendy Simmons, Triton head coach Ben Penny and trainer Kelli Powell.
Daily Record Photo/Tom Woerner