Daniel Neal has been a leader for the Northside Eagles football team since he entered the program. Neal, a 3-year starter, battled injuries during his sophomore and junior seasons, but has remained healthy so far this season.

“He's made plays for us at receiver, running back and special teams -- you name it, he can do it,” says head football coach Kevin Kinsler. “If you asked him to line up at guard and pull and kick, he'd do that, too.”

Neal says he loves football because of the physicality, and he says his leadership is based on the love he has for his brothers in blue.

“I lead more by example,” explains Neal. “I do what I have to do. I don't really say anything to anybody. We have a family bond here and we're not breaking it up for nothing. I feel like that's what got us through the season.”

Neal carries a 3.2 GPA, something else Coach Kinsler says helps motivate and inspire his teammates.

And the senior also adds this season has taught him a lot about perseverance and he hopes to take things another step forward a title game experience come Friday night.

“That Northside character makes you want to keep fighting and not leave your brothers behind,” says Neal.

Neal and his teammates enter the semifinals for a chance to play for a state championship against Dacula on the road Friday night.