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FFE Player of the Week: Elamin Shareef, William Byrd

The senior tallied six touchdowns and 250 yards in a win over Patrick County.
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 11:29 PM EDT
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - 250 yards and six touchdowns is a stat line worthy of recognition, any time, anywhere.

But for William Byrd running back Elamin Shareef, his performance in the Terriers’ win over Patrick County carried a deeper meaning.

“It was really an honor to wear number 33, that’s what kind of gave me the motivation to put up such big numbers,” the senior said.

Number 33, in honor of Army Specialist Clarence Adams, who died serving in Iraq in 2004.

Adams was a teammate of Byrd coach Brad Lutz, who has honored him by naming a player to don his number each year ever since.

“And this year it seemed fitting that, on the night we played in honor of Clarence, that our running back, Elamin, wear it,” said Lutz. “He has a lot of the same characteristics and qualities that Clarence had: a powerful running back, a humble athlete with an unmatched work ethic and character.”

“It was a big eye-opener to show me that I’m really doing the right things because number 33 means a lot to Coach and, as someone who’s lost a former teammate, I know exactly what it feels like,” said Shareef.

The tailback played for Roanoke Catholic the past two seasons, competing in the same backfield as the late Kawuan Ray, who died suddenly in December.

“Kawuan was one of my best friends, and to lose him was really hard on me because, even though we were only together for two years, it was just really hard,” said Shareef. “He made me the person who I am today.”

Shareef’s performance in Week 4 paid homage to both men who were taken too soon.

“The way Elamin performed and in the fashion he did it, we made a great decision in who wore that jersey and we paid a great tribute to my former teammate,” said Lutz.

And much like Lutz has with Adams, Shareef made sure that his friend’s number would live on with a tattoo honoring Ray.

“He wore number 8 for Catholic,” said Shareef, showing off his ink. “He was one of my best friends, so this is just a way of remembrance, so I don’t ever forget him.”

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