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FSU-bound Stovalllights up defendersfor pass-happy Hinds

[10/24/01]Chauncey Stovall stood on the sidelines Oct. 13 and watched the Florida State Seminoles get manhandled by Miami.

He could have just as easily been in Louisville on Oct. 16 watching Southern Mississippi.

Stovall, a standout receiver on a long list of Hinds Community College standout receivers, originally had the Golden Eagles and West Virginia on his “short list” of prospective colleges.

“They were on me a lot early,” said Stovall of the Golden Eagles. “As the season progressed, Florida State was on me.

“I always wanted to be a Seminole growing up, so when they started writing, I got it in my head to keep doing better and I could be a Seminole.”

Those schools’ loss is shaping up to be FSU’s gain.

He planned to sit out a year and retake the ACT test, but after a visit to Hinds, Stovall enrolled in Raymond.

He leads the team in receptions (36), yards (607) and touchdowns (7).

“He broke about every school record we had,” said Billy Livings, who coached Stovall for three years at Vero Beach (Fla.) High School. “He was a special player.”

Stovall had his best game of the season in a 28-7 win over Co-Lin one week ago, catching seven passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

Great games are nothing new to Stovall. He played wide receiver and running back in high school while shattering nine school records and leading the team to three postseason appearances.

“He broke about every school record we had,” Livings said.

“He was a special athlete.”

Livings said since Stovall left, his team has not had a big-play threat.

“It was fun for us to have him,” Livings said. “There aren’t any more Chauncey Stovalls around this area.”

Stovall starred in the Florida-California All-Star Classic against future teammate and Florida State starting quarterback Chris Rix.

In 2000, Stovall led Hinds to the state championship, but the Eagles have fallen on hard times this season.

Hinds was mired in a four-game losing streak before the Co-Lin win and are still in danger of having the first losing season in coach Gene Murphy’s tenure at the Raymond school.

Stovall said after the game against Co-Lin that he thought it was his duty to put the rest of the team on his shoulders.

With two games left, the Eagles are playing for pride and an opportunity to ruin others’ playoff hopes.

Hinds will travel to first-place Jones on Saturday, then play host to Southwest on Nov. 1 in the final game of the season.

“He’s the best to play in this league in a long while,” said Jones coach Parker Dykes, who coached current Florida State starting wideout Javon Walker.

After this season, Stovall will join an elite group of Hinds receivers that moved on to Division I-A schools, which includes James Williams (Marshall), Kevin Prentiss (Mississippi State) and Bunkie Perkins (Memphis).

“My mother always told me in high school not to get the big head,” Stovall said. “I’ve always kept a level head and kept things straight. It’s good that I’m going there, but I don’t act like I’m better than anyone else.”

Livings said it did not surprise him that Stovall is going to Florida State and he will be a force to be reckoned with for years.

“We’ve always said he has Sunday afternoon potential,” Livings said of an NFL career. “He does whatever needs to be done.”