.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Center's snap for Shannon

-A A +A
By Hammond Knight

BUFORD – Seeing senior Matthew Shannon start on the offensive line this fall will be nothing new for Buford Yellow Jackets’ football fans. Shannon has started each of the past three years.He just won’t be at his former tackle position. He’s moved to center in the middle of the BHS offensive attack.But don’t worry, Yellow Jackets’ faithful. You’ll still see the same consistency and effort you’ve seen since his sophomore season for the Jackets and then some.“Matthew worked hard in the weight room this summer,” Buford High offensive line coach Wes James said. “He’s our strongest lineman. He’s been in the program for four years and he’s a player who’s grown each year because he works hard to improve.”The move to center has worked well for Shannon.He’s performed well in the Jackets’ preseason scrimmages and has had no trouble relearning his role in the offense. The extra responsibilities of calling the huddle and being the leader on the offensive line are no challenge for Shannon.According to his coaches, whether he’s clearing the way for the fullback on a trap play, or dedicating himself to the weight room, leadership is Shannon’s strong point.“When we split up into practice groups, he’s always the first one in the group, the first one to get back from water breaks,” James said. “He leads by example. He’s a quiet guy, but he gets it done on the field.”Shannon is definitely a quiet guy.While being interviewed, he stood beside the field, glancing back as his teammates were warming up for practice. The look on his face suggested he was spending perfectly good practice time on trivial questions.What’s your favorite part of playing football?“Hitting people,” he said.How did you feel the first time you started in a game?“Nervous,” Shannon said.What are your goals this season? “Going to the playoffs,” he said.But then again, the best players don’t have to be vocal to show how good they are.They have other people to do it for them.“Matthew is a hard worker,” James said. “You never have to get on him, because he is going to go out there and bust his butt. I’ve really enjoyed coaching him.“As a three-year-starter, Buford football will miss him after next year.”Shannon will miss Buford High School football next year, too.Just ask him how he would feel if the last game of his senior season is his last game ever.“Upset,” Shannon said.