Back in February, DeMatha witnessed some of their football players and lacrosse players sign off to the schools they will be attending next year. Two months later a set of young and talent DeMatha track runners experienced a day that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Seniors, Darryl Haraway (Florida State), Deon Haraway (Hampton), Justin Hamilton (North Carolina A&T), Drew Talley (Morehouse), and Tyler Fields (Xavier) signed their letters of intent which symbols a beginning to another chapter in their lives. Each one of these athletes has worked hard to get to this point and all that hard work has finally paid off.
“It was something new for me so I was excited,” Joe Graham said describing his feelings about signing. “I watched others sign and I never thought one day it would be me,” Graham said. Justin Hamilton commented, “I feel good. I don’t have to deal with a lot of pressure on what school I want to attend.”
North Carolina A&T signee Justin Hamilton ran a 48.07 in the 400 meters in this year’s University of Kentucky High School Invitational. Justin was named First-Team All-Gazette in the Prince Georges County Gazette and All-Metro in the Washington Post. During the 2015 indoor track season, Justin was a part of the 4×400 relay team that finished first in the Last Track to Philly Invitational.
Hamilton also helped DeMatha place first in the 4×200 relay of the Last Track to Philly Invitational. That relay team featured guys like Darryl Haraway, Anthony McFarland, and Darryl Marshall Jr. On February 7, Justin finished first in the 500 meters of the Private Schools Invitational and finished with a time of 66.20.
Choosing a college can be really hard for most athletes. Schools can be convincing with all the letters they send and the college visits. But for first year track runner Kenneth Chigbue, his decision to go to Howard was an easy one. “I chose Howard because it was close to home and my dad went there,” Chigbue said. In his first year on the track team, Kenneth put his name in DeMatha track history as he holds the 10th best time in the 100m event dating back to 2004.
Joe Graham who will be going to Mount St. Mary’s next fall said the reason he chose that school was because, “It was a Division 1 school and it will give me the opportunity to continue what I’m doing here at DeMatha.”
The good thing about signing day is seeing family come watch this special moment but it is even greater when friends take time out of their day to experience this day as well. “There was a lot of excitement and I was really happy to see a lot of my friends come to support me,” Kenneth Chigbue said.
This group of track runners is a talented group that has anchored DeMatha’s track team for the last few years and made them one of the best in the area. Darryl Haraway Jr. is probably going to go down in DeMatha history as one of the best track runners. He has received national attention during his time at DeMatha. Not only that, he was named First-Team All-Mets for indoor track this year and in March he was named Maryland Performer of the Week after running a 10.40 in the 100m to defeat college athletes in the Raleigh Relays.
Haraway is one of the top sprinters in the country and before deciding to be a Seminole; Haraway had offers from schools like Auburn, Missouri, South Carolina, and others. In 2014, he posted a 10.46 in the 100 meters, and a 21.90 in the 200 meters. During this year’s indoor track season, Darryl placed 1st in 55 meter dash of the Virginia Tech HS Invitational.
Besides Kenneth, the other track runners have helped DeMatha win three consecutive WCAC Championships (2012, 2013, and 2014). But for Joe Graham, the championship they won his freshmen year was the most memorable one. “The championship we won my freshmen year at WCAC was my favorite moment,” Joe stated. “When they announced us, it felt like a brotherhood coming together.”
Most know DeMatha as producing great athletes, but they do more than that. They install the tools students need to succeed in life. “DeMatha has given me the strength to push even harder and give me the strength to know I can do anything I want with my life,” Graham said.
Justin Hamilton is not sure what the future has in store for him but he has many goals he is trying to shoot for when he leaves DeMatha. He wants to run the 400M on the North Carolina A&T track team. In addition to that he wants to improve on his skills so hopefully he can run in the Olympics for the Men’s Track Team and win a gold medal for his country.
Another set of DeMatha athletes have signed off to the next chapter of their lives and the way things look good things are on the horizon.
Ryan McFadden is the President of Inside The Locker Room and the sports writer for the DeMatha Stagline. Ryan is a advent DC sports fan and covers mostly high school sports for Inside The Locker Room. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @RMcFadden15
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