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Football standout comes from family of athletes

 

By Alex Welch
Assistant Editor 

    When an athlete has three older siblings all playing college sports on scholarships, the pressure to live up to their expectations can be troublesome at times. That’s not the case for Miles Vaughn, the starting running back for New Creation Christian Academy (NCCA).

  Vaughn, a high school junior, transferred to NCCA after averaging around 100 yards rushing per game last season at Union Grove High School. Now playing in a new offense, Vaughn has lofty expectations for 2013.

New Creation Christian Academy running back Miles Vaughn cuts back after receiving a handoff in practice. Vaughn rushed for 275 yards on 32 carries in his first game of the season. The junior has already received interest from several college programs.                                              Photo by Alex Welch

  “I’ll hopefully run for over 200 yards a game,” said Vaughn. “We’re looking pretty good. I’m looking to help our team to make a state championship.”

  He easily passed his 200-yard goal Friday night in his first game of the year, rushing for 275 yards on 32 carries against Loganville Christian Academy Vaughn’s longest run of the night came on a 75-yard touchdown run to put the NCCA Crusaders up 14-0. It was ultimately a losing effort, as Loganville Christian came out on top 21-14, but Vaughn’s strong showing bodes well for the team’s season going forward.

  NCCA head coach Jonathan Brown said he’s glad to have Vaughn on his roster this season. He plans to give his new running back as many touches as possible.

  “I told him when he came here, ‘If I can get you the ball 30 times a game, I will,’” Brown said. “You get him in space, you can’t tackle him. We try to get him the ball on the edge as much as we can. He’s got great lateral movement. When he gets in the hole, he doesn’t slow down, he speeds up.”

  The Crusaders only have 24 players on the roster, so most of the team plays offense and defense. Vaughn starts at cornerback to go along with his backfield duties. Brown said he will have to make sure Vaughn gets some time off the field.

  While Vaughn is a highlight reel on his high school team, his family is accustomed to standout athletes. His sister, Brianna, runs track for the University of Central Florida. She attended the University of Georgia last year as a freshman and she reached the SEC finals in the 100 and 200-meter events.

  Vaughn’s older brothers both play on athletic scholarship. Tyler is a freshman defensive end on Wofford College’s football team, and Jordan is a junior at DePaul University, where he runs the 100 and 200-meter events as well.

  The athleticism doesn’t stop there, though. Vaughn’s father, Tony, played football in Europe, and his grandfather, Ralph, played for the Washington Redskins. Making a college team might be the minimum for a member of the Vaughn family.

  “We put a lot of time and effort into what they were doing as younger kids,” said Tony. “They didn’t spend a lot of time just outside playing. They were in AAU track meets and events across the nation. It’s proven to be a wonderful thing.”

  Four gifted athletes in one family can create somewhat of a sibling rivalry. Tony said there is some pressure on his youngest son, but he might be the best athlete of the bunch.

  “I try my best not to put so much pressure on Miles, but his brothers and sisters put pressure on him too. But believe it or not, he’s the most talented athlete overall,” said Tony. “I just want to let him fulfill one of his goals and dreams, to play college football. That’s just a goal I have as a father.”

  Vaughn said he wants to exceed the accomplishments of his family. While he hopes to follow a similar path, the success of his siblings doesn’t make him feel like he’s overlooked.

  “It gives me no other option but to follow their footsteps,” he said. “But I haven’t been in their shadow, I’m my own person.”

  Although he has two years left in high school, Vaughn is already receiving attention from multiple colleges. The University of West Georgia, Methodist University and Reinhardt University are a few of the schools that have expressed interest in Vaughn.

  The 5-foot-5, 150-pound junior is an elusive back with promising potential. While his smaller stature may deter larger schools in the NCAA, Vaughn said he hopes to play for a Division 1 football.

  One pro athlete Vaughn looks up to is Marcus Lattimore. Now a running back for the San Francisco 49ers, Lattimore suffered two major knee injuries while playing in college at the University of South Carolina. Vaughn said he looks up to Lattimore because of his effort and the works he’s put in to make his way back from injuries.

  Work ethic is a key aspect of Vaughn’s character. After starting with the NCCA football team in the summer, his head coach has already noticed the amount of effort Vaughn gives.

  “He works hard. He’s one of the few kids that have asked me for a key to the weight room,” said Brown, noting that the school’s workout facilities are separate from the main building.

  The Crusaders finished 9-2 last year, making a trip to the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia-Alabama (ICSGA) semifinals. The team graduated 11 seniors in the spring, and Brown admitted there would be some growing pains early on in 2013. However, with Vaughn running the show in the backfield, NCCA already looks like it will be tough to stop on the ground.

 

 

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