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Lancaster High School football standout Dustin Belk realized a dream Wednesday morning in the LHS conference room.
Belk, a 6-1, 290-pounder, will continue his education and football career at North Greenville University in Tigerville.
“This is something I always wanted to do,” said Belk, a four-year member of the Bruins’ team and a three-year offensive line starter. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the North Greenville football program.
“The guys at North Greenville are really close,” he said. “I think it will be a good school for me. There’s good structure to it and they treat you like family.
“They give you the best chance to succeed,” he said. “The coaches push you to be your best. They believe football is a privilege. It’s faith, family, academics, football and social life.”
Belk, who played center, guard, tackle and handled the LHS long snapping duties in his career, was a second-team selection on The Lancaster News all-county offense in his senior campaign.
“Dustin is a consistent player and he’s versatile in that he can play several positions in the offensive line,” LHS coach Bennie McMurray said. “He will do fine at the next level.”
The Crusaders, 9-3 this season with eight straight wins including a 42-16 victory over Campbellsville (Ky.) in the national Christian Collegiate Athletic Conference Victory Bowl, are moving to the South Atlantic Conference with the 2011 season.
“I’m happy for Dustin,” McMurray said. “When kids can leave using their God-given talent, it’s a blessing. I’m happy he’s going to get that opportunity. He’s earned his due and now it’s time to reap the rewards.”
Belk, No. 6 in the LHS Class of 2011 with a 3.9 grade point average, also excelled in class.
“Dustin is an outstanding student and a well-behaved young man,” LHS principal Dr. Joe Keenan said. “He’s a perfect combination of a student-athlete. Dustin has excelled in the classroom and on the field.
“I expect him to continue to do well in class and on the field.”
Lancaster High offensive line coach Joe Watson, a North Greenville graduate and former player, said Belk will do well in Tigerville.
“Dustin has a strong work ethic,” Watson said. “He will continue to work hard like he did here, which made this opportunity happen for him.”