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West Brunswick senior defensive back Phillip Gause has been selected to play in the North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star football game.
Despite playing through a shoulder injury for most of the season, Gause impressed area coaches, West Brunswick coach Jimmy Fletcher said. (Fletcher coached the East to a victory last year.)
“He did a much better of filling the alley,” Fletcher said. “That was great.
“And he covers a lot of ground. We got a lot of tape of him where he makes plays on the other side of the field. He does a good job of breaking on the ball. That’s a great asset for him. People saw those things.”
Gause signed a letter of intent Feb. 6 to play football at UNC Pembroke.
“I think he’s going to be a great player,” Fletcher said.
Gause’s career at West is a football highlight show of fumble recoveries, interceptions and jarring tackles. Last season, Gause made 50 tackles (42 alone). A highlight for him was a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown in the state playoffs.
The West Brunswick Special Teams Award went to Gause. Despite playing in pain for most of the season, he made nine tackles on kickoffs, four inside the 20. He made three tackles on punt coverage.
“You have to commend a kid for being able to step up and play like that—and play well enough to make the all-star game,” Fletcher said.
Gause played seven games in 2011, yet his 33 total tackles were second most on the team. He intercepted two passes and recovered two fumbles—returning one 95 yards for a touchdown.
UNCP, a Division II team, finished 6-4 in the 2012 season, its fourth winning season in the last five years. The program has been in existence since 2007.
Gause is 6 feet, 190 pounds (he lost six pounds playing basketball this winter).
“When he concentrates on football, he’s going to be a really good player,” Fletcher said.