High School: Bellingham’s Elder caps high school football career at Gillette…with a scholarship

As a high school quarterback in Massachusetts, the ultimate goal is to finish your career on the field at Gillette Stadium holding a trophy.

Gavin Elder did a ton for the Bellingham Blackhawks football program, but he wasn’t able to cross that off his list. On Saturday afternoon, he did get to officially finish his high school football career at Gillette, just not in the way he envisioned.

Elder received the Gold Athletics Scholarship at the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Clinic luncheon. Surrounded by some of the best and brightest minds in football locally, Elder finished off his football career before turning to lacrosse next week.

Mark Chatalian had a few nice words to say about Elder before he received the award.

“Gavin’s a National Honor Society student and an active member in the community, he’s a well mannered young man,” he said in front of hundreds of coaches and some of Elder’s family. “He’s easily approachable. As I watched him interact over the years with his teammates in the locker room, he was exceptional…as John Quincy Adams once said: “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you re a leader.”

Chatalian then introduced Elder who took the stage to a round of applause.

“I just want to say a quick thank you to my family and coaches and Gold Athletics for giving me this opportunity,” Elder said in a short, concise speech. “Especially Coach Haddad, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Following the presentation, Elder was asked what it meant to him to actually end his career at Gillette, albeit in a stranger-than-expected way. In true Elder fashion, he quickly changed the subject and deflected any attention.

“It’s awesome to go out like this, all thanks to Coach Haddad,” he said. “Me and him go way back and he’s done so much for me, things I’ll never forget. I couldn’t have asked for anything more in a coach.”

Elder will be strapping on the helmet and picking up his lacrosse stick next Monday, but his college football career at Saint A’s is just months away. He’ll be trying to lead the Blackhawks to the postseason with an eye towards camp and a whole new beginning, a challenge he’s ready to tackle.

“I’ll be playing lacrosse mostly to have fun and stay in shape, but I’ll still be lifting and working on my skills for football after practices. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m just going to have to be disciplined.”

Discipline is the reason Elder was able to finish his career at Gillette after all.