When North Carolina pledge Tre Shaw looks back on his high school career, he'll be able to view with pride that he was a part of a senior class that helped Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove win its first state championship. For the time being, though, he continues to walk around with the usual unsatisfied chip on his shoulder.
"I feel like we should have won a couple of years ago," Shaw said. "I feel like we left a lot on the table that we could have got done this year and last year. I believe that we should have done a lot more for our school."
In particular, Shaw, a 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback, is referencing this season's two blemishes, including an early season, one-point loss to county rival Decatur (Ga.) Southwest Dekalb.
However, there wasn't anything close about Friday's win. Cedar Grove turned a three-possession halftime lead into a 30-19 victory over Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian.
"It felt like a regular game," Shaw said. "We just had the mindset of going into the game and do what we do best. If we do that, we would make our school proud and our community proud."
Shaw impacted all 15 of Cedar Grove's games this season. Typically, that impact wasn't reflected in the score sheet. But, during Friday's GHSAA Class AAA title game he found the end zone twice.
"I just try to stick with the game plan and do what I do best -- scoring, making tackles, and being a team player," Shaw said.
First, Shaw, who's known more for his hard-hitting defensive play, opened the scoring by taking a screen pass 32 yards for a touchdown.
"Nobody came out with me," Shaw said. "We were seeing that they weren't bumping anybody out with me -- or any other team [they've previously played] -- and we just took advantage of that. I saw an opening lane and I just took it."
Just before halftime, Shaw returned an interception 34 yards for a score.
"I was supposed to have the curl/flat area; I was at the nickel spot," Shaw said. "And I had looked towards the flat and I saw a little receiver go out towards the flat and I'm supposed to go to that last. I looked back to the right and the ball was coming. I just attacked the ball and took it to the house."
Shaw finished with a game-high five receptions for 71 yards.
Throughout the weekend, UNC coaches were among those congratulating Shaw.
"I just got off the phone with Coach [Charlton] Warren a couple of minutes ago," Shaw said. "He was just telling me, 'Congratulations.' Coach [Larry] Fedora also called me. All the coaches were excited for me. I believe they were more excited than I was."
With his senior football season officially complete, Shaw has his eyes on his UNC career. He'll report to campus on Jan. 8 and enroll in the spring semester. The thought of living in a college dorm in under a month has hit him quite yet.
"I'm still trying to take it all in," Shaw said. "I really don't feel like anything has changed, yet."
Although he's heard the horror stories about Blue Dawn and spring practice, Shaw is prepared for the challenge the next few months will bring.
"I'm kind of ready for it," Shaw said. "I don't believe it's going to be any different from my high school workouts, because my high school seems to prepare you for everything."
According to Shaw, he will start off at cornerback, but the staff expects him to eventually play nickel back, also.
"They said that I remind them of M.J. [Stewart]," Shaw said.
Shaw plans to major in either communications or business at UNC.