BY CHAD DARE firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — DANVILLE — The decision had been made, but that didn’t matter.
Danville senior Trent Sherfield still had problems sleeping before his big day.
On Wednesday afternoon, Sherfield signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., on a full-ride football scholarship.
“I woke up excited about this day,’’ Sherfield said.
And his excitement was matched by more than 50 family members, friends, teammates and community members that packed into a room at the Mary Miller Complex on the campus of Danville Area Community College.
“A lot of people came out and showed me a lot of support,’’ he said. “That really means a lot to me and it’s a blessing.’’
It also reminded Sherfield that in a few short months that he will be relocating himself from Danville to Nashville.
“Everyone has new beginnings in their live and this one is mine,’’ he said. “When that day comes, it will be bad, but it’s the best for me.’’
Tedrone Sherfield, Trent’s mother, said that this day is an accumulation of what he’s been wanting to do since he started playing pee-wee football.
“He has been looking forward to this day for as long as I can remember,’’ she said. “I reminded him that he was a student first and when he decided to pursue this — he did it with passion.
“I’m excited for him and very proud of him. He’s officially leaving me.’’
And that is going to be tough for both mother and son, as they both talked about the strong bonds they have had for nearly 18 years.
“She is not only my mom, but she is also one of my best friends,’’ Trent said. “Both my mom and my grandma (Chana Worthington) kept me well-rounded in my life and they have done a great job of raising me into a man.’’
Tedrone said that’s why she expects Trent to do well at Vanderbilt and living in Nashville, but if he encounters a situation where he needs a friendly voice.
“He’s not too far away, it’s just five hours,’’ Tedrone said. “It’s far enough away where he can be his own man, but it’s still close enough that I can either go down there or he came come back home.’’
During the ceremony, several family members took the time to not only wish Trent well in life’s journey, but they also talked about how he represented Danville.
“When my uncle (Dabo Worthington) was talking, he said that we are going to make our own name,’’ Trent said. “I know that I have a lot of support going with me to Vanderbilt.’’
Trent is actually following in the footsteps of his uncles, Dabo and Ayron Worthington. Dabo went to Southern University on a baseball scholarship, while Ayron went to Wayne State on a basketball scholarship.
His signing on Wednesday is also fulfilling a commitment he made with Danville’s Christian Cunningham before they started at Danville High School. Both Sherfield and Cunningham talked about making a name for themselves. Sherfield is trying to accomplish it on the football field, while Cunningham is continuing to pursue a musical career.
“We are sticking to our words,’’ said Sherfield, who is a two-time Commercial-News all-area selection.
According to Vanderbilt’s official press release on its 22 signings from Wednesday, Sherfield is listed as wide receiver, where he played during his sophomore season with the Vikings. But the three-year defensive starter for Danville could also figured into the secondary for the Commodores.
“Trent is a very athletic kid, a guy that is truly gifted in his ball skills,’’ said Danville coach B.J. Luke “He’s one of those players that is really comfortable with the ball in his hands.
“As a quarterback, Trent did a great job for us as a junior and senior, making a ton of plays as a passer and running. On defense, he possesses the length to defend the vertical pass and has enough athletic ability to match up with inside receivers.
“Trent has meant a great deal to our program. He’s a solid guy and comes from a good family. He’s a winner on and off the field.”