Auldon Edwards, one of the area's top high school athletes in recent years, has left Cummings High School to join a rival school.
Edwards, a rising senior, is on the Reidsville football team, which like Cummings plays in the Mid-State 2-A Conference. The schools are long-time rivals in football and boys' basketball.
Edwards, a standout receiver, joins a powerhouse Reidsville program, which has been state finals for the past three seasons. The Rams are the reigning Class 2-A state champions.
"He felt it was his time to move on," said Cummings quarterback Joshua Sheppard, who referred to Edwards as like a brother to him.
Cummings coach Derrick Jones said he won't dwell on the departure.
"They moved to Reidsville," Jones said. "It is what it is. Kids move. Kids get injured."
Edwards racked up 1,020 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last year on top of eight touchdowns as a sophomore.
"It's next man up," Sheppard said.
Edwards, listed at 6-foot-3, made a habit of outbattling defensive backs, often to come down with acrobatic catches.
"He was one of those guys that could attack the ball for me," Sheppard said.
Reidsville's roster lists Edwards as a receiver and defensive back.
In basketball, Edwards has been a versatile player, mostly on the wing. He averaged 17.7 points per game as a sophomore and then 20.9 points last season, when he was selected as the Mid-State 2-A Conference Player of the Year.
Jones said when he worked in the Jacksonville area there were often fluctuating rosters because of families moving in connection to Camp Lejeune. While this is a different situation, he said there are similar elements.
"Our school, we have a lot of transient students, in and out," Jones said. "It's nothing that we're not used to."
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