Science Hill got blindsided again, and this time took a direct hit to both the football and basketball programs.
Tre’vann Fields, a junior who was coming into his own as a wide receiver on the football team, withdrew from Science Hill on Friday and reportedly will attend Virginia Episcopal. Fields will have to complete enrollment at the Lynchburg, Va., school before he would become ineligible at Science Hill.
Science Hill crushed Sullivan Central 55-7 on Friday night. Fields did not play, and head coach Stacy Carter said the departure and timing were shocking.
“It was totally out of the blue,” said Carter. “We heard he was pursuing some stuff, but it was a shocker. It’s the craziest thing. We want to make sure kids enjoy the high school thing. There’s nothing like high school athletics. We forget that sometimes.”
The move is not about football. It’s about basketball, where Fields is considered a college prospect at some level. He was a big part of Science Hill’s run to the Class AAA state semifinals in basketball in March.
Fields’ family apparently believes the move will improve his college stock.
“It’s disappointing,” said Hilltoppers’ head basketball coach Ken Cutlip. “We lose a member of the community who grew up through the system. It’s frustrating for all involved. I don’t think you can knock people for doing what is best for them, but a lot of times these kids get bad advice.”
It’s the third time Science Hill’s basketball program has been hit in the last couple of years. Shannon Hale and Jaylen Allen bolted for North Carolina’s Christ School in 2011.
Fields will follow somewhat in their footsteps. He will be coached by Curtis Staples, who at one time was the NCAA’s all-time leader in 3-point goals after a standout career at the University of Virginia.
“These kids see others do it,” said Cutlip. “They are convinced it will help them. But I know for a fact it is not better in all situations.”
Science Hill athletic director Keith Turner said Fields would have been fine staying at Science Hill.
“Where can you get a better education than Science Hill?” said Turner. “And from a basketball standpoint, it’s one of the top schools in the state.
“What bothers me the most is this: If you are a player, (college coaches) will find you.”
Cutlip agreed with Turner, saying, “If a kid is good enough, I don’t care if they come from Hampton, University High, Science Hill or Dobyns-Bennett. They will be found.”
The timing of Fields’ decision may seem a little odd, leaving the football team as it seems to be blossoming toward possibly having one of the best seasons in school history. However, Turner said he heard Fields was given a deadline by Virginia Episcopal, which reportedly had a recent opening because another player didn’t show up for school.
Carter said he wishes Fields the best.
“I will miss him,” said Carter. “I had a good relationship with him. I thought he was getting to where he really needed to be, and was improving every game.”
Fortunately for Science Hill, depth is a strength.
“I think we are very fortunate we do have other players who can step in,” said Carter.