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'Dex' the Hall!

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Anthony Poindexter named to VHSL Hall of Fame

By Mike Forster

 

He led Jefferson Forest to its first State football championship.

He was the first JF graduate to play in the NFL.

Now, Anthony Poindexter will become the first JF alum to be enshrined in the Virginia High School League's Hall of Fame.

Poindexter will be inducted along with six other stellar athletes, coaches and contributors on October 14.  As he lives in Charlottesville, Poindexter won't have to travel far to attend the ceremony at the Charlottesville DoubleTree Hotel.

He may live in Charlottesville, where he's UVa's safeties coach, but Poindexter's heart still belongs to JF.

And despite a career at UVa where he was an All-American and a stint in the NFL that included playing for the Super Bowl (XXXV) champion Baltimore Ravens, he is as pleasant as a parson and as humble as a hermit.

"It's an honor," Poindexter said.  "When you start out, you don't think of halls of fame.  It's an honor just to have my name mentioned [as part of one].

"I was a little country boy from Waterlick Road," Poindexter said.  "Some hard work, a little luck and God's blessing helped me get where I am."

The son of John and Lois Poindexter, Anthony grew up watching older brother John, Jr. excel at Jefferson Forest.

In fact, John was the Cavs' senior quarterback when JF made it as far as the State finals.  Anthony was a sophomore that year, playing in the defensive backfield.

For his junior and senior campaigns, Poindexter took over the reins at quarterback.  He led the Cavs to the State championship game and to the joy of a pair of State titles.  He also made the First Team of the All-State football squad.

In his spare time, Poindexter was also a standout basketball (three-year starter) and baseball player (four-year starter and First Team All-State) on some outstanding JF teams.

Ryan Gilleland, a teammate of Poindexter on those teams at JF and his roomate at UVa, seemed elated at the news.  "Sports was our life growing up: football, baseball, basketball, whiffle ball, street hockey, you name it," noted Gilleland.  "We were outside playing something almost every day."

Speaking from the heart, Gilleland stated, "I am proud that Anthony has never forgotten where he came from.  Forest is home, his parents still live here and when we talk, he always wants to know how JF sports are doing.  

"Needless to say, he is a great role model for the youth of Forest, the kids at Jefferson Forest and the players he is coaching at the University of Virginia."

Jefferson Forest principal Tony Francis concurred.  "We're extremely proud.  The best thing is he's such a great ambassador," Francis said.  "To have him represent us as the first one in is special."

While Poindexter will be the first inductee from Jefferson Forest, he will join Bedford County's other honoree.  Long-time Liberty High baseball coach Jim Cutler was inducted into the VHSL hall in 2001.

"I didn't know I was the first JF guy," said Poindexter of his VHSL honor.  "It's nice to represent a school and a community that I love."

 

Berry also honored

Chip Berry, athletic director at E.C. Glass High School is also a member of the VHSL HOF Class of '13.

Berry coached boys soccer at Glass from 1981 to 2008, logging over 300 wins and nabbing 12 district titles.

During his 34 years at E.C. Glass, Berry coached 59 high school teams, including basketball, volleyball and soccer at different stages and in different positions.

"I've been fortunate to be at one school for 35 years," Berry said.  "I've gotten to work with some excellent people.

"You go to work and do the best job you can.  It's very satisfying to have your colleagues recognize you."