CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If the prep football careers of South All-Star teammates Brandon Spurlock and Zach Wamsley were a quest, you could surely say they passed the test.
Wayne's Spurlock and Wahama's Wamsley, accomplished small-school running backs, each led his team to a state championship last December, raising not only their own reputations, but also the pedigrees of their respective programs.
The squat-but-speedy Spurlock (5-foot-7, 185 pounds) ran for 2,003 yards and 28 touchdowns last year as Wayne captured its second straight Class AA title, blanking Keyser 35-0 at the Super Six in Wheeling.
Meanwhile, the bullish Wamsley (6-0, 215) rushed for 1,253 yards and 24 TDs as a fullback and played ferociously at linebacker last season as Wahama claimed its first Class A crown, edging Madonna 43-42 in an overtime thriller at Island Stadium.
Each was rewarded for his efforts by being named captain of his respective all-state squad - Spurlock for the Class AA first-team offense and Wamsley for the Class A first-team defense.
Even with all his accomplishments, which included finishing third in the voting for the Kennedy Award as the state's top player, Spurlock said the opportunity to appear in the annual North-South game served as his motivation this week.
He wants to show that there's talent outside of Class AAA rosters.
"Oh yeah, that's mainly the reason why I wanted to be here,'' Spurlock said, "is to prove that. We're all young men out here playing the same game. We love the same game. It's just to prove you're out here with the best players, and I'm glad to be part of it.''
Wamsley feels like he's carrying the banner for a lot of talented Class A players who aren't part of the North-South experience.
"Definitely,'' he said. "I'm out here representing Wahama and I'm also representing single-A players to show that we can compete. Just because we don't have as many people in the school as Cabell Midland and Hurricane and all those other schools doesn't mean that we don't have as good of athletes. Just because we're single-A, we can compete.''