The old adage goes, "its not how you start, but how you finish" and that would be the mantra for the Spartanburg Vikings season this year. Losing some tough games early in the season surprised many people but an injury to their top player, running back Tavien Feaster, was part of the slow start. Once Feaster healed up and after a key loss to rivals Byrnes the Vikings would roll to Columbia and win another state championship. We caught up with Feaster as he talked about what it feels like to bring the championship back to Spartanburg and their storied program.
"It's amazing! It has been a decade ago when the school won the last title and we brought it back so its special."
We saw Feaster and the Vikings early on in the season against Union County and we told him almost immediately we knew something was wrong with him as later on it would come out that he was battling a nagging injury during the first part of the season. He talked about it and when things changed for he and his Vikings teammates.
"God works in mysterious ways. I kept my faith, got back healthy, and was able to help my team. While I was out the world got to meet an absolute beast, Cedarius Rookard. Rook is an animal, he does it all, he led a stacked defense and he was doing everything possible to win."
In fact, Rookard said it was a statement that Feaster made following their loss against Byrnes that helped turn the Vikings season around.
"It was pretty bad, I dislocated my shoulder and it was in a lot of pain but I took a couple of weeks off and I started back and things only got better from there."
Following that Byrnes game when Feaster told his team, "we're not going to lose anymore games!" the Vikes would go on to win every game en route to the AAAA Division 2 state championship.
"Coach Miller said he needed his best players to step up and lead so I had to help lead the way for our team."
Feaster was finally healthy and he played like a man on a mission it seemed every week. He piled up the numbers we'd grown accustomed to seeing and also showed some new dimensions to his game as well.
"I got better at running through tackles and trusting my blockers this season."
Part of that process was Feaster adding 13 pounds of muscle to his frame and still maintaining that blazing speed that currently has him rated the #2 back in the nation according to Scout.com. That ability to run with power now very well should make him a contender for the #1 spot in our opinion. Being so highly rated Feaster is one of the nation's most wanted prospects and he talked about recruiting with us.
We asked Feaster if he planned to take some visits and try to narrow things down this summer heading into his senior season next year and possibly commit early or if wanted to simply enjoy the entire process and wait until National Signing Day 2016?
"I don't know what I'm doing next. Hopefully that's coming too, narrowing it down. I just don't know yet it depends on if its close or not."
With so many offers on the table from some of the nation's top programs already do any of the offers in particular still make the 2016 standout go "wow!"?
"Honestly, all of them. I'm just blessed to have an opportunity to get a free education and play football on the next level."
Apparently schools that haven't already made their interest known will have a lot of ground to make up too.
"If they haven't contacted me that means they're really not interested in me."
Feaster's speed is a known commodity and he utilizes it not only on the football field but on the track as well as he is the defending state champion in the 100 and 200 meters.
"I just want to defend my title, win the 4x100 relay, and team championship. I'd also like to break the state records in both the 100 and 200."
To do the latter Feaster says he feels he's capable of running "10.3 seconds in the 100 meters and 20.6 seconds in the 200 meters. I really want to put my name in the record books."
The 2016 running back talked about what it will take for his Vikings to try and repeat again next season on the gridiron as they will return a good bit of their team along with fellow record breaking quarterback Austin Scott under center.
"It's going to take discipline and doing the little things right. And just not getting complacent."
When talking with Feaster we've watched him grow not only on the field but as a young man who has added confidence in all aspects as he gives one of the better interviews we have each time we get a chance to speak with him. Being the center of attention he is constantly being bombarded via social media with diehard fans trying to make their case for their respective college teams. We asked him if he's already grown tired of the attention or if he enjoys it?
"It's cool seeing everyone trying to get me to come to their respective schools."
We'll continue to track Tavien Feaster's recruitment as he continues to add awards, championships, and offers to his resume so keep it right here with SCPrepNation.com!
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