“Surratt to Surratt for another score,” the public address announcer said over the roar of the crowd.Before they ever heard it in an actual game, Chazz and Sage Surratt had already played out the scenarios in their backyard and on the playground too many times to count.Little did the Surratt brothers know that their dreams would become a reality, as East Lincoln High athletes Chazz, a sophomore, and Sage, a freshman, are already playing starring roles for the Mustangs' football and basketball teams.Chazz, 16, already is a two-time all-state performer with East’s football team, accounting for 4,214 yards total offense and 58 touchdowns this season as the Mustangs’ starting quarterback. He also leads East Lincoln's boys basketball team in scoring for the second year in a row, at 21.6 points per game.Meanwhile, 15-year-old Sage has been equally as impressive in his first high school season. A starter at wide receiver, he had 55 catches for 843 yards and 11 TDs during football season, and is No. 2 in scoring on the Mustangs’ basketball team at 20 points per game. “I remember the first time I threw a touchdown pass to my brother,” during East Lincoln’s 2013 season opener against East Gaston, Chazz Surratt said.“When I heard them say ‘Surratt to Surratt,’ it gave me chills. We’ve been waiting for the Surratt to Surratt touchdown for a long time. It’s something we will never forget. I still smile inside every time I hear it.”Sage gets a similar feeling.“We’ve been saying it for years now,” he said. “We always believed it would happen, but to hear it for real is hard to describe. It never gets old.”After hearing their names called on a regular basis on the football field for an East Lincoln team that made it to the 2A state quarterfinals, the Mustangs’ dynamic duo is getting their names called at a dizzying pace this winter for East Lincoln's basketball team.The Mustangs were a perfect 12-0 after the first week of January, averaging 82 points per game and outscoring opponents by 26 points per contest.While Chazz Surratt leads the team at 21.6 points per game, the 6-foot-3 point guard does a lot more than just score – he’ also averaging 6.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.5 steals per game.The older Surratt has had big game after big game, including 31 points against Hopewell and a 26-point, eight-rebound, five-assist effort to clinch the East Winter Jam tournament title with a 90-66 win over Mooresville, earning the tournament's most valuable player award. Sage, a 6-foot shooting guard, has displayed a similar all-around game, averaging 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals to his scoring average. He has also piled up big-time performances, including 26 points against North Lincoln in his first high school game and 29 against Bandys.Both do it a different way, as Chazz is most likely to bull his way to the rim, while Sage is a silky smooth player with an uncommon mid-range jumper, according to East Lincoln assistant coach Chip Ashley.But the Surratt connection – which has been going strong for more than a decade, since they first started playing organized sports at age 5 – is as good as ever.“We do everything together and know everything about each other,” Chazz Surratt said. “On the basketball court, we always know where each other is going to be. When I get the ball, he knows to just go and I will get him the ball. We like to go fast, we like to run.”Both Chazz and Sage Surratt are also quick to point to their families, meaning both their immediate and East Lincoln family.Chazz and Sage got a lot of their knowledge and drive from their father, Kevin, who played college football at Winston-Salem State. Meanwhile, their mother, Brandi, who played high school basketball at West Forsyth High, always keeps them grounded no matter what they accomplish.Their half-brother, Ethan Kincaid, who just finished a solid basketball career at Wingate, also had a big impact on their games.“Our dad has been a huge part of our success because he is always pushing us to get better, to work harder,” Sage Surratt said. “Mom is always there to set us straight, put us in our place.”East Lincoln head basketball coach Neil Hodges says both players are mature beyond their years.“They are both great players, and you saw that from the start,” Hodges said. “But they are even better people. They are very bright, great students (both have 4.6-plus grade-point averages) and everything is ‘yes sir,’ ‘no sir.’ What they do off the court is just as impressive.”Meanwhile, Chazz and Sage also say their basketball family – Hodges, Ashley and the rest of the staff, to a deep and balanced team that goes at least 10 players deep – has been a big part of their success. From senior co-captains Charlie Hills and Mason Leach, to classmate Domonique Smith, to juniors Connor Ashley and Christian Tyson-Bryant, and sophomores Hayden Duggins and Desmond Griffith, the Mustangs get contributions from all over the court.While the Surratts have had a lot of success, they believe this is just the beginning.Chazz is being heavily recruited on the football field, with a number of top-level Division I teams – Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, N.C. State and Notre Dame among them – hot on his trail, with basketball interest sure to follow. Meanwhile, for Sage, his recruiting process is coming soon.While some high school players would get big heads because of their accomplishments and attention, Chazz and Sage are focused on what they haven’t done.“I really don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything yet,” Chazz Surratt said. “There’s always somebody better out there. So, I have to keep working as hard as I can. I’ve still got a lot I want to do.”“I’m always trying to keep up with my brother and be just as good as or better than him,” Sage Surratt. “That’s always a huge challenge, so I never have to look far for motivation.”
Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014
Surratt to Surratt connection scoring big for Mustangs
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer for Lake Norman News. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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