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The Last Hurrah: Area High School Seniors Close Out Their Football Careers

Posted Saturday, December 07, 2013 by Mike Johnston


The last hurrah: Area high school seniors close out their football careers

The end of the 2013 high school football season also meant the end of organized football for many seniors. A precious few, such as Elmira’s Anton Brown and Luke Proudfoot, got to enjoy a run deep into the playoffs.

Brown and Proudfoot then capped off their high school careers in the Ernie Davis Exceptional Senior Football Classic. Brown and Proudfoot, along with Rob Johnson, of Elmira Notre Dame, competed for the last time Nov. 27 for the West squad.

For each of them, as well as Thomas A. Edison’s Tyler Trioccia and Joe Ducot, football has been part of their lives as well as their families’ for years. And while each will have athletics as part of their lives in the future, the reality of never playing organized football again has come upon them.

Season for the ages

Elmira put together a year that would have made Ernie Davis proud.

The Express won their first 10 games and claimed the Section 4 Class AA championship. They reached the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals before losing to Rochester Aquinas, the eventual state champion.

While Elmira running backs Jerry McPeak and Eli Thomas drew the most attention, seniors such as Luke Proudfoot and Anton Brown, both 17, made the kind of contributions winning teams need.

Proudfoot was a starting defensive end on a unit that allowed 20 points or more just twice in 11 games. Brown, at 5-foot-2 and 165 pounds, was an interior defensive lineman who also saw action at fullback.

“There’s a sense of pride (how) we went all out,” Brown said about the state semifinal. “It’s sad we didn’t come out on top. But I’m proud of my team.”

“I thought we could have won (the state semifinal). But with a 10-1 season and a state final four, I’m satisfied. People didn’t think we would get this far,” added Proudfoot, who started playing football in Elmira Small Fry, as did Brown.

Brown lives in Elmira with his grandparents, Olivia and Ezekiel Gibbs. They attended all his home games, and his grandmother remembers him playing in Small Fry.

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