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Seahorses capture state football championship

Christchurch School players, coaches, fans, friends and family members celebrate the Seahorses Division II Independent School Athletic Association state title.

The Christchurch School (CCS) Seahorses won the state championship on November 18 by fighting for each other and finishing. Those were Coach Ed Homer’s keys to victory for two weeks and he reminded the players of that at halftime on the field of the Norfolk Christian Ambassadors in the Division II independent school football championship game.

Christchurch School senior players celebrate the victory.

When the season began, the Seahorses lost game one on the road in a muddy, rain-soaked field at The Covenant School. When CCS entered the semifinals ranked fourth, their thought was that they might get to return to Covenant for the championship game if they could just find a way to get past the number one-ranked Blue Ridge Barons. As luck would have it, the Ambassadors blew out Covenant in the semifinal game at Covenant, and Christchurch entered November 18 finals in Norfolk as underdogs once again.

When Norfolk Christian sophomore running back Lamareon James returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, no one at the game was surprised, especially the Christchurch players and coaches. “We saw enough film, and heard enough stories to know that he was dangerous,” said Christchurch coach Ed Homer. “We told the kids that no team in the state finals would lack firepower, so get ready for them to pop a couple of big plays. Just play our game and it will work out.” 

The other young weapon the Ambassadors used against the Seahorses was sophomore Alvonte Lawton at quarterback. Lawton finished the day with 10 completed passes for 166 yards, and 62 yards rushing, including a rushing touchdown.

Lesson learned. Christchurch did not kick to James again. Freshman kicker Jack Barker (Accomack) successfully squibbed the ball to the opposite side and kept it on the ground, allowing the Ambassadors good field position, but without a scoring threat on special teams. This proved to be a big advantage for Christchurch. 

The Seahorses won the day with a consistent and physical offensive ground game sprinkled with some pinpoint passing by senior quarterback Steven Stilianos (Gloucester), and some break-away jets by senior receiver Jaylyn Kreimes (Sharps). Stilianos completed 12 of 15 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. This may seem to have been the problem for the Ambassadors, but Stilianos running over their linebackers was more devastating. The 6’5”, 230-pound athlete moving at full speed through the middle of the line was the bigger problem for Norfolk’s defense.  Stilianos finished the day with 101 yards rushing on 14 carries. The video below is a tribute to Coach Homer and the graduating class of 2018.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 11.29.2017

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