Colin Payne of Exeter has been selected to the nationwide Class 5A basketball team

Asked to reflect on his school years at Exeter, Colin Payne did not for a second describe his experience.

“Very, very up and down,” he said. “It was a 1000% roller coaster ride with playing time, injuries. … Sometimes it was hard. I just wanted to endure it because I knew it was worth it in the end. ”

Payne was right, especially after he was named Saturday’s third boys basketball team Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Class 5A.

The senior with a score of 6-1 led the Eagles (13-15) to the semifinals of the Berks Conference and to their first place in the PIAA tournament since 1999. He averaged 18.4 points per game – third in the county – 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 interceptions.

“It’s great,” Payne said. “For me, there was no goal of making an All-State, but it means a lot. I was just worried about the season and the team. “

Payne had a three-year start in basketball coach Matt Ashcroft, suffered some injuries early in his career and scored 879 points. An excellent shooter, he has made 102 3-pointers in his career, including 54 last season.

He was the driving force behind Exeter’s rebound in the 3-14 season in the 2020-21 season.

“The most important thing for Colin was confidence,” Ashcroft said. “He’s always been one of the most qualified guys I’ve coached. In his sophomore year he was a shooter in a knockdown. Then in his junior year he became a more deployed scorer. This year you saw the damage he did to the foul line. 3 was only part of his arsenal.

“He continued to develop weaknesses in his game until he had them.”

Payne scored his career-high 33 points against Red Lyon in December and scored 28 points three times against Twin Valley, Palmyra and Berks Catholic. He had 21 in Exeter’s win over Milton Hershey 62-49 in the first match of Class 5A of District 3, which qualified the Eagles for the states.

As defender of the Exeter football team Colin Payne passed 2381 yards and made 23 touchdowns last fall. (READS EAGLE)

Exeter also reached the PIAA football playoffs with Payne as a defender last fall. He completed 59.8% of his passes to 2,381 yards and 23 touchdowns and was named to the second team of the 1st section of the Berks Football League.

He made three landings in the Eagles ’win over Governor Mifflin 31-28 in the final of Class 3A of District 5A for their first district title.

Not bad for a freshman.

“His loyalty speaks for itself,” said Exeter football coach Matt Bauer. “He could go to almost any other school in the county and start two or three years. He waited his turn. He is just such a child.

“He spent three full years on the Scout team, challenging the defense of the university. Even last year he continued to make his way into the circle to play for the Scout team. He earned the respect of his peers. This is a very special thing. “

Payne couldn’t decide if he wanted to play football or basketball in college, so he decided to play both at Alvernia and under coach Mike Miller in basketball and coach Steve Azzanesi in football.

“Everyone except my parents (Charlie and Jamie) told me I was crazy,” Payne said. “I usually just listen to them. They are great role models for me.

“I love both sports too much to give up one or the other. I just didn’t want to give them up. I wanted to see how far I could go with them. ”

Payne also plays for Exeter’s baseball team, which on Thursday defeated previously undefeated Gov. Mifflin 16-10, finished second in Division I of the Berks League and can play a home game of the first round in the 3rd class of District 5A playoffs.

Payne put the key RBI single in a 3-2 win over Wilson earlier this week and went 2 to 4 with the RBI and scored three times for Mifflin.

“He is the backbone of all three of these teams,” Bower said. “He is a born leader. He has the charisma to motivate his teammates. He is also an extremely talented and wonderful multi-faceted child. He was just happy to train. “

Despite some difficult times when he was younger, Payne really enjoyed the last year, although it is not over yet.

“It was weird,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do great things at Exeter. I didn’t think winning the district football championship or making my way to the states in basketball was in the range of that.

“I am very, very happy with the way my senior year is going. I couldn’t wish for anything better. “

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