Royal Profiles: Meet the Leaders of PGHS' Varsity Football Team

October 26, 2022
BrittonRoyal Profile: Jalen Britton
Captain, Prince George High School Varsity Football Team
By: Bridget Johnson
With dreams of playing in the NFL, senior offensive and defensive lineman and co-captain Jalen Britton keeps his eye on his end goal.

Britton comes from a military family. They had moved several times before settling in Prince George in his sophomore year of high school.

 “It feels good to be back,” Britton said. “It’s great to stay in a place longer than a year and build lasting friendships.”

Britton started playing football in his sophomore year of high school. Not long after he began playing, he was faced with recurring knee injuries, eventually leading to surgery.

“Injuries have been my biggest challenge, and I’ve had to miss several games to heal up,” Britton explained. “But I believe I’ve come back stronger because of [my injuries].”

In his junior year, he was able to play on varsity and began to hone his craft.

“Coach G took the chance on me my junior year and really invested in me,” Britton recalled. “He never let me quit on myself.”

PGHS Head Football Coach Scott Girolmo shared that Britton is dedicated to reaching his goals. “Jalen spends a lot of time studying the nuances of his position groups and really intently critiques his own performance,” Girolmo remarked. “He is always trying to find the next one percent improvement he can make to get better.”
Britton is also respected amongst his peers, who voted him in as co-captain. 

“Jalen is an undisputed alpha amongst the team,” Coach Girolmo said. “He doesn’t speak a lot, but when he does, his teammates listen.”

The senior’s primary motivation is his family and, more specifically, being an example of hard work for his younger brothers. 

Britton has had his heart set on the NFL since he was a kid, and that dream only became elevated, having had family members who played in the National Football League. 

“I would love to make it to the NFL,” Britton said. “And show my little brothers that as long as you believe it, you can do it. You can get anything you want if you work hard for it.”
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Shaw On FieldRoyal Profile: Shawn Shaw
Captain, Prince George High School Varsity Football Team
By: Bridget Johnson
Heralded as the most dedicated member of the Prince George football team, senior quarterback and co-captain Shawn Shaw brings his all to every game.
A native of Prince George, Shaw has been playing football since his sophomore year of high school. However, he didn't fully dedicate himself to football until the off-season between his junior and senior years.
"I didn't consider myself a good football player my sophomore and junior year," Shaw explained. "But that all changed last year when I went to the senior banquet. It really opened my eyes to how quickly high school goes by," Shaw recalled. "I decided I was going to give my all so I could get all that I could out of this season."
Shaw attended every off-season practice from January to June and, in the process, completely transformed himself into a starting football player. 
"Shawn completely immersed himself in the off-season: mind and body," PGHS Head Football Coach Scott Girolamo said. "He transformed his body composition, musculature, and vastly improved his overall movement vocabulary. It was incredible."
The coaching staff shared that Shaw is often the first player at practice and the last to leave. His hard work doesn't only show itself on the football field but at school and work. Shaw puts in many hours at a local business and can often be seen working the morning after a football game.
So what drives Shaw to work tirelessly as a football player?
"I love the game of football," Shaw remarked. "No matter the losses, knowing we only have a couple of games left makes me want to be better."
Shaw's leadership as a captain has been integral to creating unity in the team.
"His example of hard work, charity, resilience, and dedication is tremendously impactful to the team," Coach Girolmo explained.
The senior credits his family for being his ultimate motivation.
"I want to make my family proud," Shaw said. "They look at me and want me to be better than them, and that's what I want."
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TateRoyal Profile: Ty'Leeq Tate
Captain, Prince George High School Varsity Football Team
By: Bridget Johnson
Steadfastly playing underneath the Friday Night Lights you’ll find Ty’leeq Tate, a senior wide receiver and linebacker for Prince George High School's varsity football team. Serving as the team's co-captain, his leadership and overall positivity have made waves on and off the field.
Tate moved to Prince George from Hopewell during his sophomore year of high school. After taking a five-year hiatus from football, his spark of love for the sport was reignited after a trip to Texas. 
“The summer before my sophomore year, I visited Texas and saw the passion that they had for football. It was incredible,” Tate said. “It made me want to play again.” 
Not long after he started playing again, the pandemic began and brought on a new set of challenges. “COVID took away the full experience of playing a season of football,” Tate remarked. 
The mounting challenges strengthened his resolve to maintain optimism.
“We are still facing adversity,” Tate shared. “This team alone has been through a lot. But I always say that every week, you’re 0-0, a brand new start.”
Tate, the oldest of four children, is no stranger to leadership. He is an avid supporter of his younger siblings. 
“Every day, [my siblings] come to me. I help them out and love them so much. I don’t let them see me get down,” Tate expressed. “Everything I do is for my siblings and my Mom. I want them to have more opportunities than I had as a kid.” 
The senior also credits the community for being instrumental in helping the morale of the team. 
“PG is a very supportive community,” Tate said. “I respect everyone in the community that comes out no matter the outcome.”
Tate is known amongst his peers and the coaching staff for his resolve and leadership. “He is relentlessly positive and optimistic,” PGHS Head Football Coach Scott Girolmo shared. “In times of adversity, he has the incredible ability to refocus his team on hope. He’s uplifting.”
After high school, Tate plans on playing football at the next level. “I’m so grateful for this team and coaching staff,” Tate said. “My dream of playing at the next level is starting to come true. I just got an offer from a prep school.”
What’s his advice to the next generation of PG football players? 
“Keep going and keep grinding, take it one game at a time. Football goes by fast in high school, enjoy it!”