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Golden opportunity

For several years, Connellsville defensive back Aaron Meade was a steady contributor for the Connellsville football team.

His consistency paid off, as Meade earned a scholarship to play football at Clarion University.

"It feels good, because now, all the pressure is off, as far as getting into school," Meade said. "In my senior year, I trained harder because I wanted to play football in college."

Meade (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) is expected to be used as defensive back by the Golden Eagles.

As a senior at Connellsville, Meade, 19, garnered second-team All-Foothills Conference honors.

He also a key member of the school's track team, competing in the triple jump and the 100- and 400-meter dashes. This season, Meade earned a Golden Falcon Award for scoring at least 50 points for the track team.

Now, he plans to use his athletic ability as a way to get a good education.

"I'm looking forward to going to school," Meade said. "I like the campus. I want to be a chiropractor, and sports is something that will help me go on."

Being a chiropractor will require at least six years of college education. Meade plans on spending three years at Clarion and another three at Duquesne University.

Tommy Dolde, who coached Meade during his playing days at Connellsville, said that Meade has what it takes to be a success on and off the field.

"Aaron Meade is a product of the program that we instituted," Dolde said. "Athletics is an extension of academic curriculum. Aaron is a kid that wants to go to college and get a good education. And that makes me feel good, because we were able to get him thinking about his education and about his future. I feel good about him going to Clarion.

"He has good family resources. His mother and his grandfather have raised him to respect his coaches and to respect academics."

In addition to Clarion, which competes in the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), Temple and Grove City also showed interest in Meade.

According to Dolde, Meade is making the most his opportunities.

"We gave him a direction, and that's what we wanted to do as a coaching staff," Dolde said. "This kid is a success story. He has taken things that have been provided for him and put them to good use."

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