MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Wednesday evening this past fall’s Fever Star Athletes of the Week gathered at 12 E Delano as they were honored at WSFA’s annual Fever Star Athlete of the Year party. In the end, as the party name suggests, only one was chosen as the Fever Star Athlete of the Year.
Eric Shaw of Reeltown High School kicked off the Fever Star Athlete of the Week winners back in August, and he’s ending it as the 2019 Fever Star Athlete of the Year.
“Eric’s meant a lot to this program in all levels. His work, and what he’s done on the field as well as off the field in the classroom. He’s just been a great example for our program," said Reeltown High School head coach Matt Johnson. “He’s a Reeltown guy, he’s been here his entire life, and the work he puts in along with his God-given talent is what has made him the player that he is.”
Johnson had more to say about his star two-way player in Shaw. Of the senior South Carolina signee, Johnson said Shaw’s a “phenomenal leader,” one who leads by example and someone who overcame adversity his junior season to get to this point.
“He had a season-ending injury his junior year that stopped him halfway through the year, had to battle back from that, ended up running track his junior year and ended up winning some state championships,” said Johnson. "So the road that he took may not have been the road he wanted starting out, but he got back around, got back on track, and worked his tail off, and ended up being a phenomenal player for us and the rest is history.”
Shaw returned to the gridiron his senior season wreaking havoc, and led the Rebels to a 13-2 record and a berth in the AHSAA Class 2A Championship game. While Reeltown wasn’t able to grab the W, Shaw himself had a standout game, returning a kickoff for a touchdown and, although it didn’t count, making a spectacular catch 40 yards down the field while being tethered by three Fyffe High School defenders.
Shaw played both sides of the ball for this season for the Rebels, starring on the offensive side at tight end and on the defensive side at linebacker. He had 31 receptions for 538 yards, five touchdowns and four two-point conversions on offense. At linebacker, he totaled 132 tackles, 77 solo, and 16 tackles for loss. He forced six fumbles, recovered three, and had three interceptions.
Johnson said they moved Shaw to inside linebacker this season but he played outside linebacker in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, where he registered a sack and forced fumble.
“He played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game as an outside linebacker, which was interesting because he’s going against the best there and a two-way player from little old Reeltown you’re interested to see how he’s gone do with those guys and had a great game,” Johnson said of his star athlete.
Shaw signed with South Carolina as a tight end/flex and Johnson thinks Shaw has the potential to make an immediate impact in Columbia.
"His length, his hand size and his ceiling for getting better is just tremendous, so I think if he has a great offseason, puts on a little bit of weight and has a good workout, I think he’ll see some playing time pretty quick,” said Johnson.