Trevor Willard owns two necklaces which never leave his sight.
One necklace is made with the digit “5,” which is Willard’s jersey number on Reagan’s football team. The other is a coin necklace, and the coin is dated 1808.
Willard found the coin while scuba diving in the ocean waters near Key West, Fla., several years ago. The coin comes from the East India Trading Co., a British entity that traded commodities worldwide during the 16th through 19th centuries.
“My mother gave those necklaces to me as a gift when I was a freshman,” said Willard, who has a 3.5 GPA. “I wear them all the time and I have never taken them off. They are my good luck charms.”
Willard, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound senior defensive end, finished last season with 109 tackles and recorded a school-record 21 sacks. Through four games, he has three sacks, as well as a team-high 27 tackles and nine quarterback hurries.
“Trevor is the staple of our defense,” Coach Josh McGee of Reagan said. “Because of his relentless nature, he makes a lot of tackles when he’s in pursuit. This year, he’s added 25 pounds of muscle, so now he’s more physical at the point of attack. We can always count on him to give his best effort on every play.”
Willard is a two-time All-Central Piedmont 4-A pick and he’s been voted defensive MVP for the Raiders the last two seasons.
“The next step for Trevor is to continue growing as a leader,” McGee said. “He’s finding ways to get everybody else to play up to his level.”
Willard has seven college scholarship offers offers — Army, N.C. A&T, N.C. Central, Southern Mississippi, Richmond, Holy Cross and Notre Dame College).
“It’s been slightly overwhelming,” he said. “I didn’t expect to get as much attention as I have. But I’m enjoying the experience. Coach (McGee) has done a lot to help me get ready for this. I’m going to keep my options open for all the opportunities that come my way.”
Willard has had to adjust to opponents coming up with game plans designed to neutralize him.
“It’s a challenge with teams trying to run away from me,” said Willard, who wants to pursue a career as a hedge fund manager. “I love being aggressive and getting after it.
“I just want to enjoy the rest of my time at Reagan, and some have fun while chasing that (state championship) ring. After that, I’m looking forward to having a productive college career.”
—Craig T. Greenlee