It took Josh Slay a few moments to gain his composure when he saw his Twitter feed.
The Douglas County linebacker was selected to the prestigious Rising Seniors All-Star game.
He will join teammate Mataio Soli for the late December all-star game feature some of the state’s top junior players.
“I was sort of in shock,” Slay said. “I had to calm down for a moment. The first thing I did was call my grandparents. I’ve already bought them tickets to the game.”
Slay makes the sixth Douglas County player in the last two years to be selected the game. Last December, Tiger seniors Braelen Oliver (linebacker), Charles Gadie (cornerback), Uriah West (running back) and Lawrence Lagrone (lineman) played in the game as coach Johnny White was on the staff.
“This is great for Josh,” White said. “He is going to do real well in this game. He is starting to move up on the offer board. He will be getting an offer real soon.”
Slay, who is 6-foot, 190 pounds will likely play strong safety on the next level. White says he remains him of former NFL standout Pat Tillman.
“He has been a godsend for us,” White said. “He is learning and will only get better. I know he is going to really take off this spring.”
This is Slay’s first season on the varsity after sitting out last year with a knee injury.
“He is really just getting the rust off,” White said.
Entering the Tigers bye week, Slay has 73 tackles, including nine tackles for loss. He also has five sacks for the Tigers, who are 7-1 overall and 5-1 in Region 5-AAAAAA.
He also has 4.0 grade-point average in the challenging International Baccalaureate program at the school.
Slay credits playing alone side Oliver as part of the reason he is having a solid season. Oliver has committed to Minnesota.
“Braelen is like a big brother to me,” Slay said. “I was a little rusty and now I’m trying to get back into it. I feel liked I’ve picked up the defense and understand what the coaches want us to do.”
In all, there have been eight players with ties to the county that have been invited to the weeklong activities that conclude with an all-star game. Former players include Josiah Coatney (Chapel Hill, 2012), Mikell Lands-Davis (Alexander, 2013) and Douglas County residents Sam Dobbs (Landmark Christian, 2013) and Steve Bedosky (Landmark Christian, 2014).
Beside getting to practice in front of recruiting analyst during the week, players will get instructions in SAT/ACT preparation, financial literacy, and drug free sports awareness and other off-the-field issues.