The Milford Buccaneers football team finished with a 6-4 record last season. Getting back on the winning track after five consecutive losing seasons. One of the major reasons behind it was the play of seniors Shawn Snowden and Tyler Norwood. Their play enabled Milford to be dominant up front at times, with Snowden also a vertical threat down the field as well. In his senior season at Milford, Norwood excelled at offensive tackle, showing huge improvement as the season went on. Both players are intent on continuing their football careers at the next level and their choice is Salisbury University.
Snowden will be majoring in exercise science while at Salisbury, with an eye towards physical therapy “I thing that Salisbury was the best for me, academically, athletically and socially. The campus is not too far away and it isn’t too close either,” Snowden stated.
Looking back at his football career, Snowden brought up this past season’s game at Delmar. Milford went into the game knowing that they needed a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive. Things did not turn well for Milford as they did little right the first half and were lucky to head to the locker room with only a 13-0 deficit. “Being able to come back in a game like that, in their house, was fantastic.” Snowden said. “Last season was great, having a winning record after all those years of losing.”
Snowden has also been selected as the Milford representative for this year’s Blue Gold game, also participating in the DFRC buddy program. While there have not been any formal activities yet, Snowden has had the chance to meet his buddy Justin Haggety. “He’s probably one of the nicest persons that I have ever met. He’s very outgoing and just one of the guys really,” Snowden commented. “It’s not just about playing a football game, it’s a lot more than that.” With his family there for him all the time, Snowden has been grateful for all there love and support.“They were always my biggest supporters and always there for me.”
Speaking with Strickland about Snowden, the Milford coach explained that the extra effort he put in made Milford a deeper team last season. “There was no doubt having Shaun play both offense and defense was huge for us,” Strickland stated. “This gave us another anchor at the defensive end position, it made our defense a strength all season.”
When talking about the challenges that lay ahead for both players, Strickland did not hesitate. “It is about the weight room. Getting in there, getting bigger faster and stronger,” commented Strickland. “That’s the nature of the beast at that level, it’s about upping your game in every area.”
Norwood was impressed with the feel of Salisbury from the start and even with some other schools pursuing him, the choice for him was easy. “I liked the coaching staff a lot and when I went to there I felt like I fit as soon as I stepped on campus,” Norwood said. “Plus having the chance to go there with my good friend Shaun just made it that much more appealing.” Majoring in conflict and dispute resolution, Norwood will have an eye towards law enforcement in the future.
The Delmar game is also at the top of Norwood’s Milford memory list. “Being down like we were and just come back and complete the comeback like we did was the greatest feeling I have had here on a football field while at Milford.”
Norwood offered a tip of the cap to Strickland for helping him up his game in his senior season. “Right from the start when he got here, he believed in me 100 percent. He helped me get a lot better and see how much more I could do if I applied myself,” Norwood said. While Strickland may have motivated Norwood at practice, it has been his family that has provided a great deal of support. “Ever since I started playing football, they have always been there for me. Every game, every practice, every weight room, they took me there no questions ask. Six in the morning, in the evening, they were always there for me.”
His favorite part of playing at Milford were the fans. Norwood loved the support they showed. “Even when we weren’t winning games, they supported us. That shows you that they care about you,” he said. Strickland had a pretty good idea of his potential even before he met him. “Watching him on tape before I got here he really stood out, I would have loved to have had just one more season with him.” Strickland said. “He is very dedicated and committed. He was one of the first people I met in the weight room and he was there rain or shine.”
When speculating about their play at the next level, Strickland believes they are a good fit for the offense that Salisbury runs. “These are exactly the type of players that Salisbury needs up front, I look forward to them both doing well there.”