By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(March 10, 2014) – Dominion High School senior Justin Lyles has verbally committed to continue his football career at Christopher Newport University beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“It is a great relief to be committed to college,” said the 6-foot-1 Lyles. “The whole college process is very stressful, and I’m just glad to know where I will be spending the next four years.”
Lyles noted the impressive campus in Newport News really attracted him to the mid-sized Virginia State school.
“They have a good academic reputation. They are a big up-and-coming school,” Lyles said. “Their football program has a winning tradition with a great coaching staff.”
The football program at Christopher Newport – led by head coach Matt Kelchner who is the only head coach in CNU history – finished 8-2 as the Division III Captains posted a 5-2 record in the USA South Conference.
CNU – including Tuscarora graduates John Johnson and Drew Davidson – ended their season on a four game win streak coming in third place in the conference.
“I will help to build upon their already successful program,” said Lyles who will play running back for the Captains. “I will add more competition to their halfback position with my running and catching abilities that accompanies my blocking ability.”
In 2013, Lyles had the opportunity to showcase his football skills during the VHSL 4A state playoffs as the Dominion Titans won the school’s first ever playoff game against King George High School in the first round of the state playoffs. The Titans – under head coach Karl Buckwalter – also finished with the best record in school history at 7-5.
Lyles noted playing football at Dominion were some of the best years of his young life and said he will never forget his high school years.
“I have made many memories that I won’t ever forgot,” Lyles reminisced. “In my four years we went through everything a team could, the struggles of an 0-10 season, and the success of winning a playoff game. Playing for coach Buckwalter the last four years was an honor.”
Born in Newton, Massachusetts, Lyles loved watching football ever since he was a little kid and simply watching the game made him want to play it.
“I started playing when I was in eighth grade, and I’ve loved it ever since I started. Like many former football players have said there is really nothing like this game, and I think the same thing,” Lyles said. “There is nothing quite like playing football. My passion derives from my love for the game. I have invested much of my time playing football, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I didn’t have a passion for it.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!