Shelton Aims For Gridiron Greatness

Ana Toronto, Staff Writer

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Scoring high on the ACT and getting good grades are in the front of the minds of most juniors. Elijah Shelton, however, has to focus on more than just academics. There is a life changing opportunity riding on the success of his junior year. This rising pressure and expectations that high school athletes experience can sometimes be too much if not managed well.

Shelton has always been naturally talented in every single sport he has tried. He started to play football when he was seven and has lettered all three years. Not only does he train full time for football but he plays varsity basketball and has also lettered all three years.

“Now that I’ll be a senior I have to be the leader.” Shelton said. “The coaches demand me to be consistent on a varsity level which is one of the biggest pressures.”

Just this year Shelton joined the tennis team and has started to work his way up the latter. On top of his team sports, Shelton likes to play golf with his friends. Being this busy might make it seem like Shelton would have no time for a social life or academic, he has managed to get one of the highest GPA and ACT on his team through his all-around determination.

“I would describe my brother as athletic, funny and very independent,” Shelton’s sister Gabby Shelton said. “My favorite part about watching him is seeing his excitement and his big smile from contributing to a big play. I have watched him since he was young and it makes me proud to say he is my brother.

Out of the two varsity sports he plays, football is the one for which Shelton has gotten the most attention. Even in his junior year, he has gotten offers from Utah State University and Southern Utah University. People have always told him that he was more talented in football than basketball, but he never wanted to believe it because of his love for basketball. He plans on pursuing football because he wanted to stick with the sport that gets him further.  Shelton’s sees himself playing for the NFL or a Canadian league.

“It’s fun to see colleges recognizing him and to know he can continue doing what he loves through college.” Gabby Shelton said.

There are a lot of pressures and expectations that come with it College recruiting. Shelton now has to watch everything he does. Social media has a lot of influence on colleges. Many recruiters will find players through social media. Some scholarships have been taken away in the past because of the inappropriate use of social media accounts. There are many pressures of posting on social media when an athlete receives offers or accomplishes a goal. These posts can be for showing people that putting in hard work does pay off. Social media can be positive and negative.

“Now I’m more careful about what I say on social media.” Shelton said.

This upcoming year is one of the biggest for Shelton and the way he performs and acts will determine his future. Colleges and coaches constantly watch him. This kind of pressure could break many students. Shelton has dedicated his life to sports and perfecting himself. Shelton has set his own expectations for himself very high. He drives himself to be the best in every sport.

 

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