BONAIRE - Alijah Burton is a standout lineman for the Houston County Bears. Competing in a sport he's played most of his life.
"I first started playing football since about the 7th grade and I loved it ever since", says Burton. "So I decided to keep going. I'm really hyped up about this team and I'm ready to go."
Burton is a senior for the Bears and an important leader on the field for first year head coach, Von Lassiter. And Burton is working hard to get the job done his final season in black and silver.
His coach, Von Lassiter is one of his biggest fans, "AJ's one of the best defensive linemen I've been around. He has a great first step. He uses his hands really well and has great leverage", says Lassiter. "He's a kid that never takes a play off. He never complains or fusses. He just goes about his business and works hard every day."
Burton adds, "I'm really just the silent type. I don't really talk much. I leave that to other guys on my team that like to scream a lot but I think my actions speak louder than my words so that's what I try to do every day."
In the classroom, AJ attacks the books like he does a pass rush. His favorite class is Chemistry and Burton knows the formula for his success is a balanced equation of both work and play.
"I know that education is the most important part about going to college", says Burton. "And fulfill my dream of studying sports management. I'm trying to make it anywhere I can so I am keeping my academics and GPA up so everything is important to me."
So on Friday nights, check out number 67 getting after quarterbacks on defense and protecting his own on offense, either way he never wants to leave the field.
"It's really nice when a college recruiter calls about AJ and asks will he qualify", replies Lassiter. "The answer is yes, every time. He has a great GPA and a great test score. Whoever he chooses to go and play for, it will be a great matchup for him and that school."