Shawnee running back Chris LaPierre appears to have it all. This year he set the single-season state record for most touchdowns (44) and points (272). LaPierre also has been part of consecutive South Jersey Group 3 title teams, including this year's 12-0 unit that ended No. 1 in South Jersey by The Inquirer.
He has a lacrosse scholarship to Virginia, although LaPierre hasn't totally ruled out one day giving football a try.
And to top it off, LaPierre has one of the coolest nicknames around. His friends refer to him as "Shocker. "
Legend has it that the moniker was earned at the age of 5 when LaPierre was playing midget football and administered a crunching hit on an unsuspecting ball carrier. Thus the nickname, which has stuck like Velcro.
In addition to the nickname, and all the other accolades, LaPierre has added another item to his football collection - he is The Inquirer's South Jersey Offensive Player of the Year.
And that is no shocker.
This season LaPierre rushed for 1,647 yards and 42 touchdowns on 231 carries. He also caught 11 passes for 310 yards and two scores. There were also four two-point conversions.
LaPierre was also an accomplished safety and punter, but it was carrying the ball that brought so much attention, both from the nine-man fronts he often faced and the public. Even the casual fan knew about LaPierre.
He finished his career with 4,722 yards rushing and scored 84 touchdowns and 519 points.
The number that really resonates is 19 - Shawnee's current win streak. The Renegades won their final seven games in 2007 to capture the South Jersey Group 3 title and then successfully defended their crown with a 28-7 sectional final win over Hammonton.
"I just loved playing football for Shawnee," LaPierre said.
At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, LaPierre had the ability to run around or over defenses.
Still, nobody could have forecast such success during the formative stages of his football career.
LaPierre was stuck in the trenches as a center and middle guard during his first three seasons of midget football. His father decided one day that his son should try carrying the ball.
"My dad thought I would have more fun," LaPierre said, laughing at the memory.
Still, there was one more obstacle. It seems his midget coach at the time didn't think that LaPierre would amount to much as a running back, but gave him a few carries just to appease him.
And since he began carrying the ball on an 80-pound team, LaPierre has yet to let go.
Shawnee's Tim Gushue, who coaches LaPierre in both football and lacrosse, says how special it's been to be with LaPierre during his high school career.
The only times Gushue had to use discipline on LaPierre was when he had to tell him to cool it a little in practice.
"He would go so hard all the time that I'd have to tell him to take it easy," Gushue said. "He never took any plays off, even in practice. "
Reminded of that, LaPierre laughs.
"I'm very competitive and it doesn't matter if it's in a game or not," he said.
Now the football games are over at Shawnee, but LaPierre's accomplishments won't be soon forgotten. That's because he has left a legacy that is even more impressive than his longtime nickname.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.