Three Salem Spartan football players will be teammates again in college as rising seniors Jayden and Jorden McDonald and Zavione Wood committed to the University of Louisiana-Monroe over the weekend.

Louisiana-Monroe is a member of the Sunbelt Conference, competing in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision(FBS). The Warhawks are coached by Matt Viator, who is 19-29 in four seasons, including a 5-7 record in 2019.

“They’re getting three outstanding football players,” said Salem coach Don Holter. “They work hard, they have the intangibles and they know how to play.”


Wood is a runningback and linebacker for the Spartans. In 2019 he rushed for 841 yards on 92 carries and scored 12 touchdowns. He also had 208 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

On defense Zavione was second on the team with 94 total tackles, leading the team with 13 tackles for losses. He had three interceptions. In the winter Zavione placed fourth in the state in the long jump with a leap of 20’11” for the Salem High indoor track team.

Twins Jayden and Jorden McDonald are cornerbacks and receivers. Jorden had seven catches for 169 yards and two TDs last year while Jayden had seven catches for 89 yards and one score.

On defense, Jayden had 37 tackles and led the team with five interceptions and 11 pass deflections. He also had four tackles for losses. Jorden had 33 tackles, two picks and eight deflections with three tackles for losses.

Jayden McDonald was an All-State and All-Region 4D first team defensive back for Salem in 2019 while Jorden was Honorable Mention All-Region 4D. Wood was first team All-Region at linebacker.

The three Spartans will have to wait until March for their senior high schools seasons with the VHSL’s announcement this week that high football won’t have games until March 1, 2021.

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