Posted: 2:30 am Friday, December 10th, 2010
By Jeff Greer
The Florida Today newspaper of Brevard County reported late Thursday that Cocoa running back Chevelle Buie will sit out of Saturday’s Class 2A championship game against Glades Central.
Buie was suspended from school last Thursday, forcing him to miss Cocoa’s 17-15 state semifinal win over Madison County the following day. It was unclear until this Thursday if the talented Division I-level prospect’s suspension would carry over into championship weekend in Orlando.
“I love the kid, but we’ve got a team, we’ve got rules and regulations,” Cocoa coach John Wilkinson told the Florida Today. “But he’s gonna be a great teammate to his team and he’s gonna be there with us.”
This is a huge break for Glades Central leading into the weekend. Buie ran for 1,327 yards and 15 touchdowns and had 239 receiving yards and four touchdown catches this season. He had 235 total yards (208 rushing, 27 receiving) and two touchdowns in Cocoa’s 27-13 win over Glades Central in last year’s state championship game. And he’s obviously been a huge reason why Cocoa (13-0) has amassed 37 consecutive wins.
Glades Central (12-1) had been preparing all week for Buie. If Glades Central practice had trending topics like Twitter, Chevelle Buie would’ve made the list. In fact, one coach even noticed a slight resemblance between one Raider and Buie. That’s how much the running back was on the minds of the Raiders.
On Tuesday, coach Jessie Hester said his team would focus heavily on tackling and pursuit drills all week.
“The kids have to make sure they get there,” Hester said, “and once we get there, we have to make sure we tackle.”
When asked before Thursday night’s news if he’d heard whether or not Buie would play, Glades Central linebacker Don’Kevious Johnson simply said, “We want him to play.”
Florida Today says that sophomores Antwan Lee and Tarean Folston and senior Devonte Jones will replace Buie. Lee had 59 yards in the state semifinal against Madison County. Jones had 96 in the regional final and Folston had 78 in the regional semifinal. But Buie was Cocoa’s guy.
“He made a mistake, but what 18-year-old doesn’t make mistakes?” Buie’s mother, Denise Hubbard, told Florida Today. “And I feel he shouldn’t be punished so severely . . . it takes a team to get there, but he’s been a large part of their success.”