John P. Stevens High School’s Devon Fowlkes, Metuchen High School’s Will Hronich and Edison High School’s Noah Stansbury all enjoyed successful football careers at their respective schools.
As a reward for their efforts, all three players were nominated for the 41st Annual Phil Simms North-South All-Star Football Classic on June 24 at Kean University in Union.
The Middlesex County seniors played for the South all-star squad team in its 24-23 defeat to the North team at Alumni Stadium. With its loss, the South now leads the series, 20-19-2.
In 2018, Fowlkes posted 757 total yards and four touchdowns as a runner and receiver. In 2017, Hronich, a quarterback, finished third in Middlesex County in passing yards with 1,013. And this past fall, Stansbury, also a skill position player, recorded 279 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.
Fowlkes shined during what was a difficult season for J.P. Stevens, as the Hawks finished just 4-6. The senior said he still enjoyed the experience and got a lot out of it.
“Having been through a lot of adversity, being able to get this honor is really cool,” Fowlkes said of playing in the all-star game. “It taught me no matter how much adversity you face, if you continue to push you’ll achieve success.”
The senior will continue his career at Division 3 Salisbury University next fall. He will play wide receiver at the Maryland school, but he actually said he’s just as excited for school as he is for football.
Fowlkes was a National Honor Society member at J.P. Stevens. He will major in finance.
“I’ve always been a math kid,” Fowlkes said. “It was one of the only subjects where I felt like I wanted to learn more.”
Hronich was a three year starter at quarterback for Metuchen. He enjoyed that big junior year, but he struggled more as a senior. In 2018, Hronich threw more interceptions than touchdowns for the 0-9 Bulldogs.
But that was largely a result of the playmaking quarterback doing all he could to give the tired, undermanned Bulldogs a chance. The team barely had enough players to fill an offensive and defensive lineup last fall.
At the all-star game on June 24, Hronich discussed how he was still proud of his career. He had every reason to be.
“Getting here represents my career well,” he said. “I wish I could have done better in some aspects, but I worked hard every day.”
Hronich, who was also a baseball player at Metuchen, will play baseball for Division 3 King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. next year. He plans on playing third base.
“Baseball is my first sport,” he said. “I put more time into it.”
Stansbury, who was also a defensive back for Edison, helped the Eagles go 8-3 and reach the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 sectional playoff semifinals in 2018. They lost to North Brunswick Township High School, 30-21, in the semifinals.
Stansbury capped that season on June 24 by making two tackles in the defensive backfield. The senior is committed to play Division 1 collegiate football at the University of New Hampshire in 2019.
“Thank you to all the UNH coaches for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” Stansbury tweeted on Dec. 10, 2018.