The success started in July, when Noah Gillon attended his first Duel and finished second among incoming fifth graders. He’s continued to ride the impressive wave into September.
Playing football in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, Gillon has helped the Eagles roar out to a 3-0 start. “I am most excited that we are 3-0,” the 10-year-old quarterback said. “Each week I gain more confidence and look to get better. Our team goal is to win the Super Bowl. We won it last year and want to win again. My personal goals are to get to know my teammates better, to improve my throwing accuracy, to get stronger and to learn how to read more defenses. ”
That is an extensive to-do list, but Gillon knows how to get things accomplished on the football field. While guiding the Eagles to lofty heights last season, he passed for 850 yards and 15 touchdowns in just eight games and also rushed for 660 yards and 11 more scores.
Through three games this season, Gillon has connected on 24 of 33 passes for 338 yards and 6 TDs while running for 102 yards and 2 scores. He’s also caught a 64-yard touchdown pass.
Home at QB
Gillon has already established himself as a player that can excel at multiple positions, but he is most comfortable at quarterback. “I’ve been playing tackle football for four years and I’ve been playing quarterback for three years,” he said. “I love playing QB because you get to control the offense and I am involved in every play.”
Gillon seems to get better with each play. “I think my strengths are throwing the short pass accurately, and I’m calm under pressure,” he said.
Even though he’s had so much early success, Gillon isn’t satisfied. “This year, I am working on my footwork,” he said. “I’m also trying to get better at throwing the deep ball, reading defenses, and I’m working to get stronger.”
Gillon has been attending NFA camps for three years, and he credits the training for allowing him to grow as a quarterback. “NFA has helped me a lot,” Gillon said. “They’ve helped me with play fakes, my footwork in the pocket, throwing mechanics, gap escapes, throwing accuracy and much more.”
All of those skills were put to the test when Gillon headed to the Duel. An obvious competitor, he traveled to Massillon, Ohio with one thing on his mind.
“My goal heading into the Duel was to win and do my best,” Gillon said. “Honestly, I wanted to do better. But I enjoyed the chance to compete with kids my age from all over the USA.”
Almost winning still sent Gillon into his current season on a high note. “The Duel gave me confidence and made me feel like I could go home and compete,” he said. “I would like to thank NFA and Coach (Darin) Slack for teaching me how to be a good leader on and off the field.”