By Doug chapin
Seated in the stands Friday night at LaBrae High’s football game was Davidson College’s latest basketball recruit.
One day after watching the Vikings lose 34-14 to Warren JFK, LaBrae’s former quarterback, Peyton Aldridge, announced his commitment to attend Davidson, a member of the Southern Conference located in Davidson, N.C.
“I made my official visit in June,” said Aldridge, a 6-foot-7, 200-pounder who projects as a small forward or power forward at the college level. “The campus is beautiful down there, the facilities are nice and the coaches and players seemed a good fit for me.
“I wanted to go to a place with high academics, that’s why you go to college, for the academics.”
Aldridge had been a three-year starter at quarterback for the Vikings but chose not to play his senior season to concentrate on basketball.
“Friday night, I went to my first game and it’s a little different than being on the sidelines,” he said. “I miss it a little bit but I feel like I made the right choice.”
Davidson, which reached the Elite 8 in 2008 and is coached by the veteran Bob McKillop, made its scholarship offer to Aldridge in the summer after his sophomore year at LaBrae.
“At the beginning of my sophomore year I got my first offer,” Aldridge said. “Davidson came along in the AAU season after my sophomore year.
“They saw me play [AAU] then called and offered me a scholarship,” he said. “Coach McKillop is a great coach, he’s been doing it a long time and he’s had many winning teams. He’s been very successful and the style he runs I will enjoy playing.
“They have a talented team and it will be fun to go to a successful program and be able to compete. That’s all you can ask.”
Aldridge, who also seriously considered offers from Creighton, Akron, William & Mary and Kent State, led LaBrae to the state Final Four in Division III last year while being named All-State first team. He is looking forward to his senior season in basketball.
“I’ve definitely been thinking about it. We are excited after going to state last year,” Aldridge said. “We lost a lot of players but we’ve got some talented guys and we’re looking forward to the season.
“Our team goal is go get back to state and try to compete for the title. I’m looking forward to having a great season with the guys and I’ll do my best to help us accomplish our goals.”