North Carolina's Quinton Coples (90) celebrates the Tar Heels 31-13 victory over Boston College on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)

By The Viking Press

Former Kinston High School standout Quinton Coples became the first athlete in Lenoir County history to be drafted by an NFL team when the New York Jets drafted him with the 16th pick of the first round on Thursday, April 26.

Coples, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound defensive end from the University of North Carolina, played for the Vikings through his junior year before transferring to Hargrave Military Academy for his senior season.

Coples was a two-sport star for the Vikings, excelling at both basketball and football. As a senior for the Tar Heels, Coples tallied 55 tackles and 7.5 sacks to help Carolina to a 7-6 finish and an appearance in the Independence Bowl.