Player Spotlight: Justin Shade

A great tradition continues as former Alabama stand out Sam Shade teaches his son, Justin Shade, to be the very best he can be. Justin said, "My dad has always taught me to give a great effort in everything I do, every time, and the rest will handle itself."

Sam Shade played at the University of Alabama from 1991 to 1994. He was a member of the 1992 National Championship team and was named a permanent captain his senior year. He was later drafted in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL Draft.

Today, Shade sits in the stands and watches his son play for Briarwood Christian School. And play he does.

This past week Briarwood took on Shelby County High School where Justin Shade shined his brightest. He had 10 tackles, in which two were tackles for loss.

Head coach for Briarwood, Fred Yancey, stated the following: "He was all over the field that night. Shutting down a very good offensive team."

Justin knows his game and plays it well.

This week we choose Justin Shade as "Spotlight Player of the Week." Congratulations Justin for a great Friday night football game.

Name: Justin Shade
High School: Briarwood Christian School
Class: 12th
Position: Middle Linebacker
Ht: 5-9
Wt: 222 lbs.
Forty: 4.5
Bench Max: 320 lbs.
Squat Max: 535 lbs.
Power Clean: 320 lbs.

Schools of Interest: Clemson, Auburn, LA Tech and Air Force

What do you do to prepare yourself to be the very best person you can be?:
"I spend a lot of time praying to God. I am a strong believer in my faith, and I really trust in God to provide. I really depend on Him."

What do you do to prepare yourself to be the very best you can be in the class room?:
"I try to work hard and do all my homework. My dad always says: 'Give a great effort every time, and the rest will handle itself.' "

How do you most want to be remembered one day?:
"I want to be known as a guy who did it the right way. Every game he gave it all and did everything he needed to do in the classroom."

What is your greatest dream?:
"My dream has always been to play college football. Also to be an Engineer in college and to do well."

Your favorite food?: "Spaghetti."

Your favorite movie?: "Friday Night Lights."

What would you like to be doing 10 years from now?:
"If football doesn't work out, I would like to have a job doing what I love to do."

Why is FINISHING so important?:
"If you can't finish you really can't do much. You can start well, but if you don't finish what you start, it's pretty much a failure."

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Share a time in your life when the going was tough, but you kept going.:
"We were playing the state championship game, and we were down at half time. We just came together as a team and fought back as hard as we could and gave them a great game."

Who has been the great influence in your life and why?:
"My dad, Sam Shade. He has been through a lot of stuff I have been through playing football. He really helps me with that. He helps guide me through the process. He has been guiding me ever since I was a little kid. He has taught me to do my best in everything that I do."

What does it truly take to be a CHAMPION?:
"First it takes a passion for what you are doing and a will to not be stopped no matter what gets in your way. To just keep pushing. You have got to be able to preserve under adversity."

How does football prepare you for life?:
"You go through some things in football that really helps you grow up as a man. You may go through a losing season, but the next week you got to forget about that and press on and think about what is going on next."

Justin Shade is a tremendous young man. He has a passion for God, for the game, and for life. He has a goal of what he is working toward and keeps a strong focus. He also has a strong determination to not let anything get in his way or stop him from reaching his goal.

We wish you good luck this football season. We look forward to hearing great things from you.

Briarwood will host John Carroll this week in a region match-up. Follow for high school football coverage.

Shea Lowery is the Director of Quinn's Ranch Children's Home.
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