It has been a long journey together for Dutch Fork’s Matt Colburn and Lane Ecton. The Silver Fox seniors have been playing football together since middle school, Colburn at running back, Ecton on defense. This week, they have their last football practices together as they prepare for Saturday’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
“It doesn’t happen to many people, 44 people out of however many are playing football in the state, so it’s a great honor, and great to be able to share it with my friend,” Ecton said.
“It’s an amazing honor that’s definitely topped off all the work that we both put in together, so it’s very gratifying,” said Colburn, who was named the 2014 Mr. Football this past weekend.
“It makes it that much more fun, and definitely it’s more fuel for the both of us to do our best and have fun with it at the same time. He’s hitting me, or I’m making a move on him, we go back and forth, and we get a big kick out of it,” he said.
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After graduation, the teammates head their separate ways. Colburn has committed to Louisville; Ecton is bound for Georgia Southern.
“He understands, we’ve been through the same process, the same pain, the same ups and downs.,” Ecton said.
Ecton and Colburn have played in three state championship games together, winning the state title in 2013.
“It’s been a blessing playing with Matt since middle school, so to get one last time to play with him, it’s great,” he said.
Coach Ben Freeman is happy to have the pair together, too.
“They work so well together, but they have mingled with their position groups some and they really get along with the other guys, too. They both have very dynamic personalities and are leaders, so that’s a big plus for us,” Freeman said.
“You can tell how well they’re coached. They’re both very sharp and driven in that respect. With both of them, they really are like coaches on the field, especially with Lane – you could just see that he is a field general, and he’s going to have a big impact on this team. And, Matt runs with reckless abandon and he was just an easy choice to make at that running back spot,” Freeman said. “We’re glad to have them both on our team.”