Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bridgewater-Raynham's Shaw Prepares to Live Military & Football Dreams at Navy

Bridgewater-Raynham's Bryce Shaw in Annapolis with his family, checking out Roger Staubach's Heisman Trophy.
By Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports)

BRIDGEWATER - Next year, Bryce Shaw will finally achieve two dreams he held growing up.

The senior captain and middle linebacker for the Bridgewater-Raynham High School football team dreamed of being a Division 1 football player, but if he was unable to land an offer there, he said he seriously considered joining a branch the US armed forces after high school.

He no longer has to to choose, though, because this time next year he will be a Midshipman and linebacker at the US Naval Academy. Before that happens, however, he is excited to be able to finish out his football career at a local powerhouse.

“It really means everything, to be honest,” Shaw said of having one last year at B-R. “I’m out here able to get back after it for one last year. It feels so good to get the pads back on and I’m really excited for that.”

The bright side of having all of his recruiting out of the way is that Shaw does not have to worry about it this year. Instead, he can just relax and play football.

“That’s one of the best parts,” he said. “To have all that stuff done and over with, I can really just focus on what it’s going to take for us to excel as a team. I’m ready to get after it.”

Shaw received interest from several strong academic schools, including several Ivy League schools, Temple and he even received a camp invite from Stanford. Shaw was unable to make the 3,000 mile trip out to Palo Alto, California for that one, however.

Despite visits to places like Harvard and Boston College, Shaw decided to follow in the footsteps of his father Dave, who played at Navy in the 90s, and head to Annapolis.

“The recruiting was heavy at first,” he said. “I was visiting a lot of colleges, taking the time to figure out which one I liked, and where I thought I’d fit into the system the best. After I visited Navy, it felt like it was the right place. I told all the other schools that were looking at me that I found the right place.”

“They have a great tradition there, especially with the Army-Navy game and the level of football that they play,” he added. “I was trying to pick a school with high-level academics, but also one that had good football too.”

Shaw led B-R in tackles last year, but he is also a key running back in their power run game. He ran for over 500 yards last season, with eight rushing touchdowns. Regardless, Shaw considers himself a better defensive player and wanted to continue playing linebacker in college.

Due to military height/weight standards, the Div. 1 military schools (Army, Navy, Air Force) tend to have smaller, more athletic teams compared to their opponents. That said, the 6-foot-1, 208 pound Shaw will not have to change positions next season.

“They really want me to play inside there, since passing is everything in college football now, and the outside guys need to be more like free safeties,” he said. “They wanted a guy who could move and hit people in the middle. I think that’s why they’ve got me there.”

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