The 2016 high school football season is over. For two student-athlete’s choosing to play for their home-state Mountaineers, one final award is a nice parting gift on their way to the next level.
South Charleston’s Derrek Pitts and Fairmont Senior’s Darius Stills were named first-team All-Americans on West Virginia’s 2016 USA Today team for their outstanding athletic achievements during their senior seasons.
Pitts helped lead his team to the state quarterfinals while playing both offense and defense for South Charleston. He accounted for 1,169 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns, but had college coaches salivating at his unrivaled defensive skills. Pitts recorded 56 solo tackles, assisted on 34 others, and had nine tackles for loss; he intercepted two passes and recovered three fumbles as well. One of the most versatile Mountaineer recruits in recent memory, Pitts will definitely play on defense, but his exact position is still an unknown. He lined up at four different spots, including free safety, rush defensive end, outside linebacker and inside linebacker during his season season. His head coach at South Charleston, Donnie Mays, had this to say in a Charleston Gazette-Mail interview.
“The defensive side of the ball is where he’ll play in college,” said Mays, “because he’s exceptionally fast and understands. He has a great instinct to find the football and is a very versatile player.”
Stills, who was the anchor on Fairmont Senior’s defensive line that made it to the AA state championship, will look to make an immediate impact upon arriving in Morgantown. Stills racked up 85 tackles (24 for loss), nine sacks (15 QB hurries), and even batted down three passes his senior year. The 6’3″, 280 lb. Stills is a legacy commit following in his father Gary’s footsteps. After 26 career sacks while donning the Old Gold & Blue, the elder Stills played 10 NFL seasons. We’re not going to place those expectations on the younger Stills, but we are hoping for another gritty player for coach Tony Gibson’s defense.
With some major departures taking place on the defense, Pitts and Stills will have the opportunity to earn playing time right away. Senior defensive lineman Noble Nwachukwu and Christian Brown will both be moving on, as well as defensive backs Jarrod Harper, Maurice Fleming and Antonio Crawford. The future is bright for the Mountaineers’ football program, and two new West Virginians are leading the way in Derrek Pitts and Darius Stills.