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Hardeeville youth football star headed to all-star game

  • Photo courtesy JCST Dre’Von Dopson, 9, a third-grader at Hardeeville Elementary, was selected to participate in the national Diamond Spring All American Games in Virginia Beach, Va. May 26-29.

Hardeeville has an All-American youth football star.

Dre’Von Dopson, 9, a third-grader at Hardeeville Elementary School, was invited to participate in the Diamond Spring All American Games event in Virginia Beach, Va., May 26-29.

Dopson, a quarterback, will compete against third-graders from throughout the country. The game is set for May 28 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.

The Diamond Sports Group said more than 350 third- to eighth-graders will compete. It hails the games as the top “exposure event in the country.”

Each age group will feature two 35-player rosters.

On its website, Diamond Sports Group says it is “the recognized leader in Youth All American Games that expose the unknown athlete and sheds more light on the known athlete.”

At 4-foot-8, 98 pounds, Dopson attracted attention with highlight reel plays, which can be seen on YouTube. One video, posted by Footballville Nation, is titled “Kid Can’t Be Tackled.”

The video shows Dopson, who recently played for Hardeeville Canes Small Fry team coached by Brian Trudell, juking and outrunning opponents.

Andre Dopson, Dre’Von’s father, said he’s proud of his son.

“He deserves to be recognized,” Dopson said.

But Dopson hopes his son’s success will also inspire the community. Dopson is also co-commissioner of the Hardeeville Canes.

He said Dre’Von’s skills proves that there are talented kids in Hardeeville and he hopes more parents get their children involved with the Canes’ program.

“The proof is in the pudding,” said Dopson, also the father of Ridgeland-Hardeeville High’s Davontay Dopson, who has signed to play football at Newberry College.

Dopson said last season the Canes had about 60 players for its four teams. Ideally, they’d have 80-100 players.

Dopson played youth football in Hardeeville as a child and he has great pride in the Canes. He sees Dre’Von’s accomplishments as a way to tout all the talent in Hardeeville.

“I look at it as something great for the program,” he said.

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