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Player Profile: Matthew McElveen

Matthew McElveen wants to accomplish something bigger this year in football than he ever has before.

The 17-year-old, who plays fullback and defensive safety for the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers, wants to win a state championship -- something that hasn't happened at the school for 20 years.

The late Dexter Poss was the last head coach to lead the Bucs to a football title, and that came in 1989.

"It's been a long, long time since we've won a football championship," said McElveen, the son of Chris and Faith McElveen of Crawfordville. "It would be real nice if we could win one this season, since I'm a senior."

McElveen said the team's first goal is to win the region championship and from there win the remaining games in the state playoffs.

He readily admitted he's going to do whatever it takes to help the Bucs attain that goal.

"I really hope we can take it to the next level -- win a region title and go on from there to win a state championship," he said.

McElveen has played on various football teams since he was in the fourth grade at Briarwood.

"I've always loved playing football," he said.

He must. He amassed more than 1,000 yards rushing last season and scored 17 touchdowns. It was his biggest season yet.

As for this season, McElveen believes he'll produce even more impressive statistics.

"I want us to have a really good season," he said. "I think this is the best team that we've had in a couple of years. We play as a team, and we've got a lot more depth than we've had in the past."

McElveen says those are key ingredients in forming a championship-caliber team.

"We need to continue to work hard in practices and to remember to play as a team," he said. "Everybody needs to remember that they have a job to do and that they are being counted on to do it."

In a recent scrimmage against John Milledge Academy of Milledgeville, McElveen was impressed with how well he and his teammates performed.

"We got a little worn out towards the end, but I thought we played well as a team," he said. "It showed us that we are ready to begin the season."

If everything continues to go as well as it has in recent weeks, then "we're definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with," pointed out the A-B student/athlete.

McElveen said he'd like to play college football after graduation.

"I don't know where yet, but that would be a lot of fun," he said.

Web posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009

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