Prep football: Davie’s Mayfield tough on crime, defenses
By Mike London
GREENSBORO ó At 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, Davie graduate James Mayfield is a tightly packed bundle of hustle and muscle.
Mayfield was rugged enough to score 8.4 points per game as a drastically undersized post man in the CPC ó one of the state’s best 4A basketball leagues
He brings that same competitive fire to the football field even though he only got one carry ó for 2 yards ó in the West’s 6-0 loss in Wednesday’s East-West All-Star Game at Jamieson Stadium.
Mayfield aspires to become a state trooper when his playing days end.
“I hate crime in the streets ó it’s disgusting,” Mayfield said. “I can see myself protecting people and the state.”
West head coach Scott Cloninger was looking for a few good men when the West roster was chosen. Mayfield got a glowing endorsement from Davie head coach Doug Illing.
“We talk to coaches in picking this team,” Cloninger said. “You want great athletes, but you worry about the egos. Mayfield is a guy from a winning program who knows how to win. He has no ego. Plays for the love of the game.”
Mayfield was a varsity linebacker/running back as a Davie sophomore, and that season ended with a 40-19 loss against Independence.
“The big eye-opener for me was when we played Independence in the third round of the playoffs that year,” Mayfield said. “I found out that night how hard I needed to work if I was going to play against the best.”
Mayfield became Davie’s primary back his junior season and enjoyed a monster year. West Rowan is always tough to run on, but Mayfield plowed the Falcons for 189 yards in 22 carries.
He rushed for a career-best 212 yards in a big win against rival West Forsyth and accounted for nine TDs in a three-week stretch against Page, West Forsyth and Mount Tabor.
“At first I missed linebacker because at linebacker I always could deliver the blow,” Mayfield said. “But then I realized I could also deliver that blow as a running back.”
Mayfield finished his junior year for the pass-oriented War Eagles with 244 carries for 1,476 yards and 18 touchdowns.
His senior season was less impressive, mostly because of a shoulder injury suffered against West Rowan in Davie’s second game. That setback cost him four games and limited him in others.
His senior memory was breaking a touchdown late in the fourth quarter of Davie’s improbable comeback from a 27-0 deficit to beat Page in overtime. For the season, he rushed 150 times for 796 yards and 10 TDs.
Mayfield had an offer on the table from Division I Akron before his senior season started, but he says that offer was withdrawn by the Zips after they landed a transfer from Ohio State.
Now Mayfield’s next stop is Coalinga, Calif., near Fresno, about 3,000 miles from his home in Cooleemee. He’s headed to West Hills Community College to major in criminal justice.
“One of the coaches at West Hills knows our area and called Coach Illing about me,” Mayfield explained. “It’s a long way to go, but it’s a free ride to play football and get an education.”
Mayfield pointed out that East All-Star Charles Crank, a former Richmond County offensive lineman, is headed to West Hills. The program, a traditional winner, has several more players from the Tar Heel State dotting its roster.
Mayfield leaves July 31 for California. He plans to start football practice on Aug. 2 and start fighting crime in 2014.